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The Resurgence of In-Person Events in the Era of a New Tech Revolution

The Resurgence of In-Person Events in the Era of a New Tech Revolution


Feb 07, 2023 Durgesh Prakash

Today, events in general, have become multi-faceted, and the norm of conceptualizing in-person events as the only form has dwindled. There is no doubt that the pandemic paved the way for events/meetings to take the online route which has found great adoption across industries and verticals. Currently, virtual is more of a convenience than a necessity, considering a fast-paced world where decisions and actions do not have a waiting period. With almost everything going virtual, it is easier now more than ever to huddle on & off and finish off with those daily routine meetups and again connect back anytime. What’s interesting to note is the transition from in-person to virtual has almost occurred as a seamless shift. To assume that the whole world was battle ready for the pandemic would be to only touch the surface because there existed a foundation that always ensured the global marketplace stayed unbended. The very foundation of a paradigm shift-causing phenomenon called technology! 

The Technology-Powered Resilience of the Event Industry
Technological revolutions over time have often enabled us to crack the code and offer breakthroughs amid crisis-ridden situations. The pandemic was not new. For the virtual to take over from the physical, the peddling beneath was already done. UCC (Unified Communication and Collaboration) along with other CDN-oriented technologies laid the very foundation as pre-existing building blocks for the transition to happen from physical to online. Though the shift happened, it wasn’t as seamless as we may imagine, and thus cannot be termed as an overnight occurrence.  

Before the pandemic, while organizations had technologies that could connect across vast geographies, it still needed to be streamlined, networked, and be made uncomplicated. So, the digital diaspora had to strengthen its infrastructure and scale up its support system to fuel the next emerging business reality in virtual. 

The Current State of Affairs 
For event planners, it is about upping their sleeves and do the catch-up to keep up with latest trends, amidst constant upgradation of technology. Talking about event technology, recent studies tell that its use has contributed to 20% more inflow of people attending in-person events. Event technology comprises of a plethora of tools, apps, hardware, and software that enable event organizers derive effective results. From planning, executing till realizing the impact and reach of your event, the vividity of event technologies is beyond just numbers.  

Before the advances in event technology, planning an event was highly cumbersome and laborious.” Be it listing the attendees or conducting manual promotions which were limited to merely emailing, calling and oral communication, event planners had to single out each attendee and deliver the all-important information about their event through all the aforementioned mediums. Upon all this, the idea of a post-event follow-up was nearly absent.  

The scenario now is just the opposite. Because of advances in technology, even more so in the field of big data and analytics, event planners are now able to not only monitor, but also measure all that happens in their event, including every set piece or component of their event. This means that the all-powerful data at the disposal of event planners is being used to deduce an understanding of their stakeholders and the event itself, and, thereby, brainstorm on event ideas and design event strategies, whilst controlling and optimizing on overheads and other important components related to the event. So, what’s evident here is that the use of technology is making the events better than they ever were thus resulting in extraordinary experiences for everyone to mutually benefit from.

The New Facet of In-Person Events 
While some may have assumed that technology dependence would dwindle once we step out of the virtual realm imposed by the global crisis, today almost every industry, including events, finds itself immersed in a newly discovered ocean of opportunities. And, the very ocean bed is made of technology which is evolving by leaps and bounds, advancing possibilities like never before. In-person events, long missed, are once again alluring event enthusiasts, along with promising event technologies that are elevating experiences, for both organizers and attendees, in surprising ways.    

As an event planner, the aim is to deliver a great experience to the stakeholders, be it your sponsors or your attendees, and technology could provide a much-needed boost to the efforts.  

1. Mobile Apps & Wearables
Wearables such as NFCs and RFIDs in the form of wristbands and badges can be used as scanning elements that can be helpful in tracking attendee behavior and patterns.
For Sponsors - Your sponsors will always want that leverage - the leverage on insights about attendee data. More specifically they are keen on attendee behavior, and therefore, any meaningful lead about customer analytics and data on customer behavioral patterns would imply a sumptuous and fruitful event. For Event Planners – Wearables are also a great tool to monitor footfalls at your event, and how attendees have been participating throughout.  

2. Contactless Check-ins
Technologies such as AI-based facial recognition or other contactless check-ins though recent but are trusted technologies which are great security bolsterers at events. Apart from strengthening security, the technology allows for faster registration and speeds up entries, bidding farewell to long waiting times and queues.  

3. Multi-Functional Language Translators
As we may have observed in most of all conferences or summits that are considered significant and are of extremely high posture, there are technologies that facilitate simultaneous interpretations and live translation. In-person events can leverage a great deal out of this idea to incorporate the same as some section of the stakeholders (sponsors, attendees, exhibitors) may not be familiar with the language used in the event. Such incorporations will not only provide a great mileage to the event but will also make it a truly global one.  

4. Polling and Gamification 
This is a great tool, especially during in-person events as event attendees are provided with a platform to constantly engage through polls and gamification relevant to the event and also to the diaspora they belong to. According to a survey by CrowdCompass, gamification increases event attendee engagement by 44% and boosts attendee experience, especially when the design is more interactive. This leads to an increase in networking among various attendees, along with an engagement that is bound to last long.   

5.QR Codes
Installing QR codes is still one of the best things for an event. Arguably, though it may lessen the drive to human communication as every detail can be scanned and known, it can still enable attendees to know what’s where and why, considering a large canvas. There is a lot more one can do with QR codes than just dispersing information, the point is, it needs to be interactive and should have a tinge of the theatrical. QR codes can be leveraged during pre-events as invites or in marketing material, during mid-events as an interactive tool to help your attendees explore the program and agenda, and also as a post-event technology that can help event planners optimize and leverage the required data and metrics of their event.    

Technology is only as good as its user. Especially in a time when in-person events are back on the stage, the onus lies on many; the technocrats, event planners, and all the stakeholders of the event world to embrace it constructively and consciously so as to not lose sight of the human element at the cost of a very advancing weapon.  


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