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Top Event Technology Trends: 6 Must-Know Innovations for 2022 and Beyond

Knowing event technology trends — and adopting the most valuable ones — gives planners and venues the competitive advantage. Studies show that using event technology can increase attendance by 20 percent and increase productivity by 27 percent. 

But with new event technologies emerging constantly, how do you know which ones to consider? From design through debrief, we’ve got you covered with the event technology trends you need to know for success.

Discover top event technology trends for planners and venues alike:

1. Live translation

Through the rise of virtual events, planners have been able to extend their reach and scale their events to a wider audience. However, one of the most challenging factors to overcome is the language barrier.

While English is still the language of choice for many events in the United States, having the ability to express ideas in your audiences’ native language is a valuable way to connect with attendees who would otherwise entirely miss out on the experience if they didn’t speak the presenter’s language. 

Until now, event organizers had to rely on third-party interpreters to host their meetings and events. Moving forward, we’ll likely see an increase in the volume and availability of live translation tools for digital events that will truly make companies global. 

What this trend means for event planners

Event planners can invite non-English speakers to their mostly English-speaking events. They will also be able to reach targeted groups of attendees that come from other regions all over the world.

What this trend means for event venues

Virtual and physical event venues can gain a competitive edge by offering live translation as part of their events package. They will also be able to partner with event planners in areas of the world they normally wouldn’t reach.

Live translation in action

Event technology platform Hopin offers real-time language interpreting directly within their live streams through their partnership with Interprefy. 

2. QR codes

“If you’d asked me in 2019 the value of QR codes, I probably would have thought that they were on the way out as a failed fad,” said Select Software Reviews CEO Phil Strazzulla in an interview with Social Tables. 

“However, these days, they help people interact with hands-on content that they might not have felt comfortable touching in the past. If you’ve been in a restaurant in the past year, you’ve likely seen these codes replace menus and other reusable paper goods. Now that people are becoming re-acquainted with the value of these codes, I think we’ll see their adoption in the eventing space ramp up astronomically.”

Another reason for the QR code resurgence? They no longer require a third-party app to scan them. Smartphones now have access to QR codes through the built-in camera function. 

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What this trend means for event planners

QR codes are fantastic design additions to physical marketing tools such as event flyers, speaker business cards, and postcards for event ticket leads. They also require a strong landing page to seal the deal, so event planners will have to lean on this tool even more than before. QR codes even provide a seamless way to organize event registrations. 

What this trend means for event venues

In keeping with modern health guidelines, event venues can add QR codes to their safety arsenal as yet another touch and germ-free way to connect planners with attendees. Offer venue maps, event check-ins, brand experiences, and more, all through QR codes. 

QR codes in action

Singapore Management University partnered with EventNook to use QR codes for their event registration and ticketing. 

3. Virtual reality

“Virtual forums have become reality,” Fluix Marketing Manager Maxim Levichev told Social Tables.

He shared a recent experience with an event that went from in-person to online during quarantine.  “Instead of renting an event platform in Paris, which probably costs money, the event’s managers sent VR sets (Facebook Oculus) to all speakers and created 3D avatars for them. The event was breathtaking and even those who were watching the translation afterward were impressed by the online organization.”

Based on this, Levichev believes that as early as 2023 the public may be participating regularly in virtual reality events and adopting VR technologies for gatherings worldwide. 

What this trend means for event planners

Event planners will have more platforms to engage attendees with. VR headsets aren’t quite household items yet, so this may be out of your budget. However, this may change as interest and need grow in the coming years. For now, consider adding a VR component for VIPs who can’t travel or as an add-on experience to your digital events. 

What this trend means for event venues

Event venues will want to feature VR headsets as an option for rentals to increase profits. Make sure you have adequate floor space for experiences that require movement. You’ll need at least 3 feet by 3 feet surrounding each person while they are wearing their headset. 

Virtual reality in action

Facebook has announced they are heavily investing into VR headsets for conference and meeting attendees who want to show up to digital meetings as avatars. The program is called Horizon Workrooms.

4. Holograms

Holograms are not just for the Jetsons anymore. Moving forward, holograms will be used to dazzle attendees, educate potential partners, and demonstrate products to buyers in ways not many people have seen before. According to Event Works 4D, a leading video production house in Ohio, they provide “3D holographic mixed reality displays, life-scale holographic presentations, and immersive holographic speaker support” for events large and small. 

What this trend means for event planners

This is one of those event technology trends that has many uses. From celebrity commercial endorsements to award shows to life-size product imaging, the only limitation is your own creativity. 

What this trend means for event venues

The best part about holograms for event venues is that they fit nearly any venue type, size, and location. The units themselves are typically self-contained and come with all the audio and visual tools you’ll need to run the hologram. They can be used for both permanent and temporary installations. 

Holograms in action

Accuray commissioned a stunning hologram-based booth experience to demonstrate how their products work at their very own medical conference. 

5. Digital photo booths

Jessie Whitfield, Chief MISGIF Maker at MISGIF, shared an insider observation of this event technology trend with Social Tables. “Most of our revenue in 2020 consisted of custom virtual photo booth experiences,” says Whitfield, who goes on to say that they are already increasing in popularity. 

And as event planners continue to recognize the power of video marketing, Whitfield predicts there will be even more demand for virtual video booths for both online and hybrid events that allow event attendees to share testimonials about their experience, spread awareness about a cause they care about, and more. 

What this trend means for event planners

Use virtual photo booths to snap branded photos, GIFs, Boomerangs, and short videos of attendees both in-person and online. This increases branded channel engagement. It’s also useful for improving organic SEO when paired with auto-generated captions and event hashtags. 

What this trend means for event venues

Event venues can offer even more ways planners can engage attendees at in-person and hybrid events. Spaces inside buildings such as hotels can also impress visitors of their own with branded experiences in between events. 

Digital photo booths in action

Adobe Summit enlisted the help of digital photo booth company Snapbar to let attendees capture branded selfies and share them on social media ahead of the event. 

6. Digital event invitations

In an interview with Social Tables, Paperless Post Co-Founder Alexa Hirschfeld said that a recent in-network survey found the following event technology trends:

  • 40% of hosts are less likely to send a printed invitation than they would have been before the pandemic.
  • 30% are more likely to use an online invitation than they were before the pandemic.
  • 59% of hosts believe that online invites are more socially acceptable now than they were before the pandemic.
  • 37% are more likely to invite guests to join virtually than they were before the pandemic.

“For the first 3 points,” Hirschfeld said, “we believe that while paper had begun to be a formality for certain kinds of events prior to COVID, with the onset of the pandemic, having an online invitation tool became a requirement for communicating with guests when rules and regulations could easily change from one day to the next.” 

She also noted that so far this trend seems to be the most popular among weddings, bar-mitzvahs, and all types of hybrid events that are currently navigating ever-changing health protocols. 

What this trend means for event planners

Event planners can bring a sense of formality to corporate events and upscale private events using digital invitations. They’re also great for engaging and upselling guests before they arrive at the venue. Digital event invitations also make RSVPs and meal preferences easier to capture. 

What this trend means for event venues

Event venues don’t typically offer invitation services to their event planners. However, event venues can still use this technology trend to impress their potential partners. Switch from regular email to multimedia messages with branded designs, embedded venue promotion videos, and more. 

Digital event invitations in action

Architect Rimi A. uses Paperless Post to invite partners to events such as business meetings so he can track RSVPs and easily follow up. Watch his full review.

Want more information about event technology?

How do you stay up to date with the event industry?

Attend events about the industry, follow leading blogs (Like the Social Tables blog), and push yourself to always be learning.

What is event technology?

Event technology is a term used to describe all of the digital tools and software used in the events industry. Everything from check in & registration, to diagramming, to social media tools, and more can be considered event technology.

Put the latest technology to work for your event design and conferences today!

Next up, learn all about other event technology advancements shaking up the industry.

More event technology ideas:

Everything You Need to Know About Augmented Reality Event Planning

An Event Planners’ Guide to Game-Changing Floor Plan Apps

8 of the Most Impressive and Unique Virtual Event Examples

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