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The Meetings Show

How smart tech will shape events in 2020

By Toby Heelis, CEO of Eventopedia

We live in an era of digital transformation, with advancements in technology leaving no industry untouched. In events, we have seen plenty of tech developments in recent years, shaping the sector for the better. With benefits ranging from improved efficiency, accuracy, and a reduction of risk, to improvements in the attendees’ experience, tech has become an integral part of events. 

2020 is just around the corner, so here are our top 3 predicted trends in events tech for next year: 

1. Boosting engagement

A major goal at events is boosting attendee engagement, and various forms of technology will contribute to this aim in 2020. 

Visual tools such as AR and VR will be increasingly used for exciting product demonstrations in various creative ways. Projection mapping will also gain more popularity thanks to its large potential of creating stunning effects, even with simple imagery projection on 2D surfaces, let alone more complex projects. 

Event apps will also raise engagement through increased personalisation. Based on guests’ profile information, apps will be able to deliver more personalised content and event suggestions, improving the event experience. 

2. Virtual tools

While face-to-face will still be a vital component of events, digital tools will make the virtual aspect a common complementary addition. For example, we will see more hybrid events and meetings next year, enabled by the improvements in audiovisual and VR technology, which offer increasingly ‘real’ remote experiences. These tools are especially useful for people who couldn’t otherwise attend an event.  

Virtual tools will also shape event planning. With video site inspections and interactive venue maps, event profs will feel increasingly confident in hiring event venues without needing to perform site visits. 

3. Sustainability

In 2020, tech will become an integral part of the efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of events. Sustainability will become a major theme in events (and across many sectors) next year, and digital solutions are a great way for event planners and venue to adopt more eco-friendly practices in countless ways such as: 

  • Digital tools leading to paperless events
  • Smart meters and sensors that reduce venue resource use
  • Tech for renewable energy (i.e. solar panels etc.)
  • Smart recycling solutions 
  • Remote meetings reducing transportation emissions (see above)

We foresee a great year ahead for the events industry, and are looking forward to seeing what other surprises technology will deliver in 2020