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Trends To Watch
Learn more about their applica1on in real life with our Britepaper:
Event Tech Trends in Ac1on
We’ve picked 10 exciting, innovative
technologies that are gathering pace and
adoption, and are likely to start appearing
on your radar in 2016. Get ahead of the
curve by learning more about them!
What is an API you might event be asking?
Well an API (Application Programme Interface) is essentially a
way to let one piece of technology ‘speak’ to another, sharing
data and meaning they can be used together really easily.
Too often event organisers are tasked with two bad choices.
Choice 1 is to get tied into an expensive ‘all in one’ system
where you don’t use half the features and the rest ore not best
in class…but for the convenience of having everything together,
you’ll put up with the downsides.
Choice 2 is to manage multiple different apps and services that
don’t work together, creating a headache of data management,
uploading and downloading excel docs and generally just
avoiding most of the solutions because it caused too much
APIs create a third way! You can pick and choose best in class
solutions, and have them work together seamlessly so you’re
getting only the best of both worlds, and avoiding the
That’s why we’ve spent a ton of time and money creating a
world-class API that is now supporting over 140 different
partners and solutions, making your life easier, not harder!
It’s also why you’ll find a lot more #eventprofs know and talk
about APIs in 2016.
2. Email & Marketing Automation
Email…really? Really! How can email make a list of technology
trends to watch in 2016? Well, we didn’t say they had to be new…
just making an impact.
What can really make it stand out is to use it in conjunction with
marketing automation software (vendors like Hubspot, Marketo,
Pardot and Eloqua are all major players). Marketing automation
allows you to send more personalised, relevant and effective
emails to prospective attendees, giving you the technology to
move away from spammy broadcast email practices, towards a
more value-led approach.
And email is making a come back in a big way. With social
networks’ growth slowing (even declining) and the rise of
messaging apps (which are hard to use as a marketing tool),
email is once again being seen a truly vital part of any
organisers promotional plan.
Email has been a core part of event marketing since it was
invented, and in 2015 was still seen as the number one most
effective marketing channel for organisers.
(Source: Pulse Report)
How will this impact events? Email has been a core part of
event marketing since it was invented, and in 2015 was still
seen as the number one most effective marketing channel for
organisers (Source: Pulse Report).
Utilising marketing automation could make it even more
powerful tool for events of all shapes and sizes in 2016…and a
better experience for attendees too.
3.Real time intelligence
Big data…analytics…you’ve probably come across a few
similar buzz words, but in this list we’re going to focus on
Real Time Intelligence, because this is what matters.
Let me explain…big data is, in reality, just a giant amount of
1s and 0s. It’s raw tonnage, and not a lot of use to anyone.
Analytics is what you perform on data in order to understand it…
it’s a verb that helps you get to your ultimate goal, but it’s not an
end in itself.
Intelligence is the goal you want. Intelligence lets you make smart
decisions. And Real Time Intelligence helps you to make decisions
whenever you want to.
Event organisers are always in need of real time intelligence. If
you’ve got a huge festival and one gate is particularly busy, you
need to know this at the time, so you can shift staff over to help
relieve the pressure.
(It’s less useful to know you had a problem once the event is
Similarly if you’ve just invested in a paid advertising push, it’s
good to know within a short period of time if your money is being
invested wisely (i.e. generating ticket sales), otherwise you’re
just wasting it.
That’s why we’re invested heavily into providing an intuitive,
intelligence-rich dashboard to provide all our organisers the real
time intelligence to make smart decisions on the go.
4. Live Streaming
With services like Meerkat, Periscope and Blab hitting the
marketing and gaining momentum, the idea of live streaming is
becoming more popular and mainstream by the day as access to
the technology has become widely available to anyone.
Some people are fearful, others see the opportunity, but hardly
any events will remain exempt from the potential for anyone to
live stream their event from a phone.
On the optimists side, organisers see free live streaming
technology as an opportunity to build FOMO (Fear of Missing
Out) that will help to build their overall audience and ultimately
lead to growth and stronger ticket sales in the long term.
On the pessimists side, organisers worry that potential
customers who would have paid for a ticket will stay at home,
able to access the event’s content for free through one of these
Whatever view you take, it’s unlikely streaming technology won’t
appear on your radar at some point in 2016.
5. Omni-channel experiences
This is another buzz-word that probably needs an introduction.
Essentially it means that whatever medium a customer uses to
interact with a brand, it is the same, but personalised to the
strengths of that medium. And all the data associated with that
interaction is centralised, not stored within the separate channels.
The easiest example is if a customers searched for a
product on their phone, and views their website, then
completes to purchase when back home on their desktop,
the experience is a pleasant one in both circumstances
This applies to things like mobile, web, social media, email,
phone, smart watches etc.
You never know how your attendees will try to interact with
you or your event, so it’s important they have a great
experience no matter what channel or medium they use.
This is another technology-driven trend we’ve invested
heavily in as a company, making sure attendees and
organisers alike have a great experience however they
want to use Eventbrite, whether it’s on a smart watch,
smart phone, desktop or picking up the phone.
If you’re failing to offer a good mobile ticket purchasing
experience (for example), you’ll almost definitely be losing
a large number of sales.
This one of just two repeat event tech trends from last year, but there’s
been one big development worth mentioning…you can now use
Eventbrite on both Apple Watch and Android Smart watches!
How will this impact events? Now all the tech innovators and early
adopters amongst your attendees can easily gain entrance with just a
show of their wrist. Reaching for your phone is so last year, after all…
Sticking with the theme of super convenience (and our second
repeat trend from 2015), RFID technology continues to evolve
and offer a wealth of opportunities to organisers.
For those unfamiliar with it, RFID (standing for Radio-
frequency Identification), is a technology that:
“Offers advantages over manual systems or use of bar
codes. The tag can be read if passed near a reader, even if it
is covered by the object or not visible. The tag can be read
inside a case, carton, box or other container, and unlike
barcodes, RFID tags can be read hundreds at a time. Bar
codes can only be read one at a time using current devices.”
How will this impact events? With the reduction in cost of
using RFID and increase in reliability, this is fast becoming
a favourite way for organisers and exhibitors to interact with
attendees and pass information.
Whether it’s paying for drinks at a festival bar, tagging
visitors at a trade stand or making entrance to events even
easier and more reliable, the uses of RFID are vast, and
we’re excited by what the future holds!
8. Gesture control
Gesture control arguably became mainstream with the
advent of the Kinect, when millions of households were
introduced to the ability of controlling action on the
screen with just their bodies.
Since then it’s application and sophistication has multiplied,
and many pundits believe it will become the next ubiquitous
way for us to interact on a daily basis with computers, cars
and other household applications.
How will this impact events? Could 2016 be the year that
gesture control breaks out to help us deliver more engaging
presentations, exciting trade stands and immersive sales
demos? Companies like Swoosh, Myo and GestureTek
Continuing with a tech theme designed to make life easier – and
event experiences more personalised than ever – AI is bound to
continue impacting the industry in 2016. We might not have
reached Skynet levels of (scary) sophistication yet, but the power
and capabilities of AI is now at a breakout phase.
From Apple’s Siri to Microsoft’s Cortana to Google’s Now, all the
big boys of tech are investing heavily, and there are dozens
(maybe hundreds) or other niche AI developers working on cool
things. Watch for plenty of AI news in 2016.
How will this impact events? Concierge services like Siri, Cortana
and Now present attendees the chance to enjoy a more engaging
and personalised experience by remembering their preferences
and helping them organise their transport or logistics. It won’t be
long until there’s event-specific digital personal assistants offering
even more tailored experiences.
The advance and utility of robots will no doubt continue to advance in
tandem with AI, as their physical capabilities will often be determined by the
smarts of their software, as well as the incredible feats of hardware that go
How will this impact events? From incredibly efficient bar staff at festivals to
helping people navigate around a giant exhibitions, the application of robots
to the events industry is probably limited only by imagination.
Wow, that’s a whole lot of technology and innovation
to wrap your head around!
Finally, don’t forget to check out our Britepaper:
Event Tech Trends in Action
which looks at how 5 event organisers have used
these trends to transform the event experience for