Embracing the future: The resurgence of event tech in a post-pandemic world

CEO of Searix, Lance Li Sheng, discusses the evolution of the events industry post-pandemic, and the seamless blend of in-person and digital experiences shaping the future of events

The incorporation of digital tools at events has become an expectation today

In the aftermath of the global pandemic, the events industry has transformed, placing technology at its core. This shift extends beyond live-streaming, embracing micro-interactions for enhanced personalisation, offering attendees bespoke experiences.

Micro-interactions are now integral to this technological shift, meeting guests’ expectations for personalised experiences tailored to their preferences. Event technology facilitates these micro-interactions, allowing attendees to personalise event journeys and engage with content and peers both before and after events.

The incorporation of digital tools at events has become an expectation today

Previously confined to conferences, event mobile applications have expanded to various events like staff parties and product launches. Affordable event dashboards, accessible via web browsers, enable attendees to manage their programme, interact with others, schedule one-on-one meetings, and engage with event tools and digital content.

While familiar to conference organisers, tradeshows and open houses featuring dashboards offer additional features such as floor plans, promotions, personalised surveys, and calls to action. Gala dinners, incentive trips, and staff parties integrate dashboards for digital programme and menu viewing, announcements, multiplayer games, and interactive activities like lucky draws and voting.

In response to the increased use of online tools due to Covid-19, event organisers have adopted polls, surveys, and games through platforms like Kahoot, Slido, and Google Forms. Insights from these tools, coupled with frameworks like Pico’s ExQ, provide valuable data for informed decisions on attendee experience and future event runs.

Despite tool familiarity, engagement is not guaranteed. Gamification has emerged as a trend, using incentives to boost interaction. For instance, at CWT’s MarketME event, lead scanning became a gamified experience with QR codes at booths leading to questions and prizes, addressing the challenge of Asian shyness at tradeshows.

In addition, Artificial Intelligence (AI) integration is transforming the events landscape, promising increased personalisation and efficiency. AI-driven solutions, such as business matching algorithms, analyse attendee profiles for meaningful connections, recommending personalised programmes. This ensures efficient networking and a satisfying event experience.

A 2023 poll from 180 partner event agencies in Asia revealed over 80 per cent experiencing a 50 per cent increase in demand for digital solutions. This resurgence signals a shift towards innovative, blended in-person and digital experiences, with technology enhancing engagement and personalisation.

Despite high interest in event technology, hurdles include budget constraints and unfamiliarity with solutions. A recommended approach is to involve a reliable event technology partner early in the process, seeking their guidance, cost estimates, and examples of past work.

The future of events will witness significant integration of cutting-edge tech solutions, offering memorable and tailored experiences. As event technology and organisers align, exciting possibilities emerge for the future of the events industry.

Lance Li Sheng is the CEO of Searix, a creative technology agency for event and campaign organisers.

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