It was standing room only for our Event Apps session at Confex 17. That goes to show how influential event apps have become nearly ten years on from their inception.
Felix, MD for CrowdComms UK, led the session and started by taking a look at the trends we saw in 2016.
The good news is that most event planners reported an increase in event budget. And over half increased their spend on event technology. The increased spend on event tech shows that the benefits are clearly tangible, producing efficiencies and cost savings.
Felix then delved into how the core modules of event apps are evolving to deliver more value to events in 2017. He also looked some practical applications for Augmented Reality – which is often mentioned but not yet widely used. Here’s a taster of what was discussed regarding event apps in 2017:
Greater Q&A Control
Live audience polling and Q&A have always been two of the most popular features with an event app.
This year we expect to see the moderator role becoming redundant and the speaker having an easy way to manage the questions on the fly.
Another core element of an event app is mapping. Event apps feature a variety of interactive map functions and we expect that this will be further enhanced this year by distance filtering.
AI + Gamification
We saw a huge increase in the adoption of event app games by event planners in 2016. This is no surprise. When designed well they are a great way to facilitate learning, drive specific behaviour (including attendee networking).
A whole new level of sophistication in gaming is emerging through the incorporation of artificial intelligence. Think bonus points for submitting questions to speakers that receive the most votes, for example.
Video content is starting to change how we interact digitally.
360 content is something we will expect to see a lot more of this year. We are working with one our clients to have streaming 360 video content accessible via the event app.
Add Google Cardboard and event planners have a great entry point to a VR experience for attendees.
AR features at every expo about events but in reality very few event planners put it into practice at their events. Thankfully event app API’s have improved so plugging AR components in is now a much easier proposition.
We are excited about event apps in 2017. This year we will see a lot of the technologies the industry has been talking about for years actually in practice and delivering value at events