18 Feb

TechCheck # 106 – Event Technology Notice

A Quick Mid-Year Review of Digital Tools for your events (and what to look out for!)

Have you, at times, been lost with all the technology that’s out there? As if Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels have already been confusing, 2016 brings more to our table. There’s beacons, crowd-streaming and your kid just downloaded Pokemon GO so there’s augmented reality that’s just new to your ears.

And all you just wanted was to bring people to your event. Is it too hard to ask?

Before you go crazy, let’s go over some of our trusted digital/online events that will help people pack the doors of your event.

WEBINARS and PODCASTS

Of course, we have our trusted webinars and podcasts to turn to. Webinars or web-based seminars are the big thing for the last few years or so. Allowing people, regardless of location or timezone to participate in the event. Podcasts on the other hand, refer to either audio or video presentations made available for download to a computer or any portable media player.

The beauty of these two staples in digital events is the fact that they give prospective attendees a “peek” into the actual event. Gone are the days of keeping everything “secret” for participants that paid for your event. Let them have a taste so that they’d want more.

This, aside from the fact that cost-wise, these two are very inexpensive. Free software abound the internet for those that wish to do these. Willing to pay? There are more professional tools out there for a fee such as GoToWebinar, WebEx and WebinarJam.

LIVE STREAMING

It’s been around for a couple of years, being able to attend and experience events without actually being there. Just waiting for this stream of video and audio to play on your laptop or any media player. No downloading needed.

This works because you are communicating to people and in turn creating a community. This community will continue to talk about your event, making people more interested to be part of it. Like webinars and podcasts, it’s also cost-effective to implement. Heck, most everything that we’ll be talking about here is cost-effective.

GOOGLE+ HANGOUTS

Now, there are a number of conferencing technologies out there. There’s Skype, Facebook Messenger among many. Google+ Hangouts stands among the others as it is related to Google+, a social media platform developed by Google.

If you aren’t part of Google+ just yet, you might be missing out on opportunities to get your event out there. The company has the most used search engine and posts on the page are automatically indexed which leads to a higher rank in search results, among many.

Hangouts and HangoutsOnAir, which allows you to host and broadcast live discussions and performances to the world, would be reason enough to use this for your event marketing efforts. Add to that the use of Communities, YouTube, Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps and many others at your disposal. Talk about getting a bang for your buck.

And since we’re talking about the future, EventManagerBlog’s “10 Event Trends for 2016” had 2 items that got us interested.

CROWDSTREAMING

Think of Crowd streaming as it more hip cousin. Unlike Live Streaming, Crowd streaming is user generated movement. Content is created by the attendees and those that are part of your event. Think of a high tech version of word-of-mouth where the actual attendees of the event are telling everyone out there how fabulous it is.

And we all know how powerful word-of-mouth is. Add stimulating visuals and engaging sounds and you have a winning formula. There are a number of concerns with this like legality of sharing content especially when it is reserved.

Nevertheless, apps like Periscope, Snapchat, Meerkat and Holyvent are bringing in new ways that event professionals can increase attendance and develop more engaging content for a new set of audience.

AUDIO BEACON

I won’t lie. I’m still in the process of understanding how this works because its just so technical. Let’s see.

Beacons are, again, the more hip relative of Bluetooth. They send audio waves to your gadgets which the regular ear won’t hear and these would put certain apps to work. Unlike Bluetooth, there’s no need to turn anything off. Distance isn’t a problem as well.

There are a number of issues with this technology such as tracking and privacy but event marketers are saying praises about this, having the ability to interact easily with potential audience.

We’ll be on the look out for this and give you our thoughts as the months pass.

So there. These are just a few that we think matter and there are a lot out there left for you event professionals to discover. Technology is here and if left behind, you might miss a lot. Yeah, there are your staples but these new ways to engage new audiences is something worth our time to take a look and study.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go out and catch that Pikachu next door.