There’s a lot of technology out there. Some well known, others more obscure. But they have one thing in common: they are drivers of change. Accompanied by discussions, often resistance and thus inspiring! Interesting part is that the present technology is ready to connect the virtual and real world better than ever.
One thing to remember though: because implementing technology nearly always implicates human behaviour change, you may have to take into account the factors associated with that change. Be aware that people will be in different stages of adoption.
And what about yourself? In what phase of adoption are you? Are you aware of that too? Implementing new technology without proper knowledge of your customers is doomed to fail. A good start is to experiment with them on a small scale, low profile just to learn from them. Ask feedback from your customers to see if you’re connecting the right technology to the right people. And …. don’t just try to be cool, try to be useful….
Now that we know all this, let’s see if these technologies can help you make your event more exciting.
Simply put Augmented Reality (AR) is a technique to add virtual elements to the real world. For example: imagine yourself looking through a video camera walking around in an old city, and while you pass by the various monuments they become labeled with their names and description in real time by the computer.
Via various techniques the camera ‘knows’ where you’re looking at and that’s where the magic comes in. Augmented Reality is really great at enhancing experiences, so by definition it could be a perfect fit for events. It’s a way to create brand and visitor interaction. You can play Augmented Reality games and showcase a product. Although AR has some serious adoption problems, it’s definitely worth exploring.
Cloud Computing is a way to deliver services via the internet, for example storage or applications. It can be accessed from a wide variety of devices like desktop computers, laptops and other mobile devices. Imagine your office documents, always within reach, wherever you go, regardless of what device you have with you.
Right now we’re in the ‘Mobility’ and ‘Distributed Collaboration’ Age, and Cloud Computing is all about keeping information in sync between different devices. If you’re working with digital documents a lot (and who’s not these days) numerous services are great to enhance your productivity. And if you’re in sync, your event will be too ….
With all mobile devices present there’re new possibilities to interact with people based on their current location. This introduces a strong case for adapting the interaction to the specific context of that location.
Location Awareness has been opening an enormous potential of direct and context specific interaction with customers. From checking in on locations, to indoor navigation and location based gaming. All interesting stuff to tickle your creativity.
Mobile is one of the great technological drivers of innovation in the events industry. The number of people carrying a smartphone and tablets along with them is quickly growing. Not only that, apps and mobile websites are important game changers in the industry, also other technologies mentioned in this article converge to mobile (i.e. NFC, QR codes, AR, etc.)
Mobile changes the way we communicate dramatically. We’re always online, thus connected whenever and wherever you go. The big differences with desktop computing are: a smaller screen to read from, less time and a specific problem to solve in an unfamiliar environment. The challenge is to help solve that mobile user’s problem as effectively as possible.
NFC (Near Field Communication) is a technology based on RFID and enables contactless, two-way communication between two devices. Not necessarily between two mobile devices, it can also be between a phone and a sticker, poster or card with a NFC chip. The optimum distance between two NFC chips is about 4 inches, making it suitable for payment, information exchange and personal identification.
NFC is expected to change a lot about the way current transactions work. From ticketing to social networking, it may all well be influenced. Information can be shared directly through billboards and information displays. Also interesting are sending coupon codes, media or documents using NFC.
QR codes is two dimensional barcode to store data (QR stands for Quick Response). It’s a simple way to interact with smartphone users. Users scan the code, the device decodes the data and takes the desired action.
With QR codes you have a cheap tool to interact with your visitor. And please remember one thing: if you implement QR codes, service the mobile visitor. Nothing is more frustrating and disappointing than a QR code leading to a desktop optimized website. Hook up a QR code to a call to action, so people know what to expect, when they scan the code or better, in fact why they should scan the code at all.
Wi-Fi is a trademark label for technology which enables wireless internet connection of electronic devices ranging from desktop computers, mobile devices or digital AV equipment. Devices can get internet access through an wireless access point or hotspot.
Following the explosion of consuming internet services like Social Media via mobile devices, there is an increasing call for Wi-Fi availability at (event) venues. So find a way to provide free-WiFi. For a fast growing number of people, internet access has become a basic need. Approve it or not, not providing free Wi-Fi at your venue can be one of the key issues to get your venue off an eventplanners shortlist. Maybe you can find a sponsor for the Free Wi-Fi, it’s a great way to guarantee visibility for the sponsor. Everybody who wants to access the Wi-Fi has to go past a confirmation page. There are plenty of opportunities to create brand awareness there….
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