For today’s event planners, a working familiarity with the latest technology is more than just recommended – it’s practically a requirement. Whether you’re helping a client host a black-tie banquet or a multi-day literary conference, tech solutions increase the efficiency of your day-of execution and add wow factor to the experience.
As an event planner, you should know the following eight essential tech terms:
Augmented reality is one of the most exciting event trends in recent years. This tech comes in a variety of forms, but the defining feature is that it superimposes virtual elements on top of actual settings. Users will see the physical space around them, but there will also be computer-generated images overlaid on the environment. Sometimes sounds or videos are also added. An example of augmented reality is the popular mobile application game Pokemon Go, which showed users illustrated digital creatures in their immediate surroundings.
Like a literal fence, a geofence establishes boundaries. But instead of physical lines, the perimeter created by a geofence is a virtual one that typically uses either RFID or GPS technology to identify when an attendee’s mobile device is within a certain space. Event planners use this tech to either track locations for analytics purposes or send audience members relevant information at appropriate times. For instance, guests could receive itineraries sent straight to their phones when they near a registration area.
3. Ultrasonic beacon
An ultrasonic beacon is an inaudible sound sent to smart devices. Though your guests won’t hear it, the beacon can be used at your events in a number of ways, such as tracking attendees to measure engagement.
4. Virtual reality
Whereas augmented reality overlays images on the real world, virtual reality creates entirely new three-dimensional experiences for users. Attendees at your events just have to put on goggles or walk into spherical displays and they’ll be transported to a different place. It’s a cutting-edge opportunity to demonstrate new products, illustrate presentations and more.
— Audience Inc (@Audience1st) March 29, 2017
5. Near-field communication (NFC)
Near-field communication allows two devices to communicate with each other without a physical connection when they’re located within a certain range. It is typically used for close-range communication, such as providing users with information straight to their smartphone when they step up to a booth.
6. Radio-frequency identification (RFID)
As opposed to NFC, radio-frequency identification is more useful for tracking devices that are far from the locater. The tech uses an electromagnetic field to track attendees, which can be useful for measuring engagement metrics.
7. Computer vision
Computer vision is technology that allows machines to “see” via machine learning algorithms that teach the machine to identify environmental objects, such as a human face. A popular example can be found in the popular mobile app Snapchat, which locates the user’s face when layering filters without any outside input. This type of facial recognition technology also has numerous applications in event planning, ranging from the simple, such as automatically tagging attendees in event images, to the more complex, like analyzing expressions to gain insight into audience engagement and help measure responses to content.
8. 5G Networks
Fifth Generation – or 5G – Networks are the inevitable future of telecommunications standards. Compared to current 4G capabilities, 5G would allow mobile broadband users to access the internet at even faster speeds by supporting a higher density of wireless consumers. The general consensus is that full 5G capability is still a few years away, but its completion could have a significant impact on the operations and revenue streams of most industries, including dramatically improving the wireless capabilities of your events.
Along with knowledge of the correct terms, you need an audiovisual supplier that you can trust. Contact FMAV today to learn how we can help ensure that your event leverages the latest in AV technology.