At last, live events are returning, but they look different post-pandemic.
After two years of rapid-fire digital innovation, attendees and stakeholders have high expectations. Attendees want onsite event tech that personalizes and engages more than ever. Stakeholders need a positive return on investment.
With so much new onsite technology out there, it can be tough to know where to begin. From contactless check-in to facial recognition and custom gamification, there’s a lot to consider.
The following Onsite Event Tech Checklist will help you get started. It’s broken down into six buckets:
Of course, no two gatherings are alike, so tailor technology to fit your audience and goals.
Let this checklist serve as your starting point to find the latest event technology to take your live events to the next level in 2022 and beyond.
1. Kiosks that Simplify Check-In
Why wait to do everything at the venue? Set up check-in kiosks at destination airports, train stations, and partner hotels instead. Pre-check-in eases registration at the start of the conference and helps create a queue-free attendee arrival.
Quick Onsite Registration
Say goodbye to long lines and wait times with these live event technologies below:
- Kiosks with badge printing speed up the check-in process. For example, using MeetingPlay’s Fast Pass technology, attendees scan a unique QR code in the mobile app and print a badge in a few seconds flat. They can select check-in times as well to further avoid crowds
- The contactless check-in helps keep traffic flowing to improve health and safety. Attendees hold their phones up to a scanner and breeze into the event.
- Facial Recognition Kiosks modernize event check-in even more. They print badges and tag photos automatically on the event app. Attendees can un-tag themselves in pics they don’t like.
- Insta-check-in carts are another way to get rid of bottlenecks. Staffers roll these small mobile units up to attendees as a crowd starts to form. The best carts come with their own power and Internet connection. Even if Wi-Fi goes out, check-in continues without a hitch.
2. Next-Generation Digital Badges
Digital badges come in handy at every corner of a live event.
The NFC or QR code badges are available through the event app. They help you capture data like never before to increase attendee engagement and measure success.
In addition to streamlining the check-in process, digital badges power:
- Tap’n go lead retrieval
- Access control
- Session scanning
- Materials distribution
- Attendee tracking
- Purse management for onsite purchases
- And more
The paperless badges also give sustainability programs a boost. They help contain costs as well, by reducing the number of staffers you need onsite.
3. Mobile Apps that Do More
Below are just a few ways the latest mobile apps drive successful in-person events.
Modern mobile apps make bulky business cards and misplaced contact info obsolete. Using MeetingPlay, for instance, attendees simply scan each other's QR codes and connect within the app. They can add notes, chat, and follow up post-event, with contact details easy to find, in one place.
With private in-app messaging, attendees read each other’s profiles. Then they send direct messages to like-minded professionals and arrange to get together at the event. The latest event apps also use AI matchmaking algorithms to connect attendees who share interests. As people engage, algorithms learn their preferences and get smarter to deliver high-quality leads in real-time.
Leverage Proximity Networking
Mobile apps work to create an even more personalized event. Picture an attendee walking through the exhibit hall. First, they get in-app recommendations about nearby booths they might like. Then, another notification tells them a hot lead is hanging out at the coffee bar a few steps away. Savvy planners use proximity networking to deliver info when and where attendees need it most.
Boost engagement, learning and fun with custom gamification to support event objectives. Let gamified challenges send traffic to vendors, increase brand exposure, foster team building, and drive event ROI. To see an innovative example of how a data and AI company made the most of gamification to blend education and entertainment, click here.
4. Enhanced Lead Retrieval
Sponsors and exhibitors connect with their ideal prospects, taking advantage of the same networking and matchmaking features as attendees.
For example, with MeetingPlay’s Advanced Lead Retrieval tool, they use their mobile device to:
- Find and connect with leads
- Scan and save contact info
- Take notes in real time
- Qualify leads with custom surveys and on-demand content
An integrated communication suite saves exhibitors loads of time. In one simple interface, they can broadcast live audio and send follow-up emails, texts, calendar invites, and files to leads and prospects.
5. Tracking the Attendee Journey
Mobile apps, smart badges and beacon technology are like fitness trackers for live events. They track activity and provide a clear picture of event performance in real time.
By setting up beacons around your event – in session rooms and at exhibit booths – you can track actions passively and collect a goldmine of data. Attendee tracking benefits event participants and planners, as you can see from these examples below.
- Easy Session Check-in: They step right into session rooms. Passive tracking does away with paper sign-in sheets, badge scanning and long lines.
- Convenient Contact & Materials Collection: No more lugging around bags of printed marketing materials. Beacon technology makes sharing digital content a breeze.
- Personalized Event Experiences: As mentioned, attendees who opt in can get proximity-based notifications to help them make the most of their time at events.
Event planners, in turn, gain valuable insights to improve attendee and exhibitor satisfaction and demonstrate ROI. For example:
- Session Tracking: See which sessions participants attend in real time and how long they stay. You’ll discover what’s working (or not). Then tailor future events to attendee needs.
- Automated Access Control: Use one simple tool to oversee access to paid sessions… track and issue CEU and CME certificates… and monitor room capacity to support COVD protocols.
- Booth Traffic: Heat maps show traffic patterns across the show floor. You’ll see who the most successful exhibitors are and learn what types of companies to target next year. Post-event, customize data-driven reports for sponsors, sharing metrics like booth traffic, dwell time and leads generated. They’ll have the data they need to measure the value of their investment.
- Attendee Profiles: By tracking attendee journeys, you can build out profiles with fresh insights about your audience’s interests and challenges. Add this business intelligence to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing automation systems to lift event ROI.
6. Onsite Event Services
Your provider’s professional services team should offer white-glove support. So everything runs flawlessly, from pre-event planning to integrations and onsite support.
A top-notch provider will:
- Take time to learn about your business and event goals
- Act as a trusted advisor and guide you to the best solutions for your event
- Customize your mobile app and other tools to meet event requirements
- Offer robust training in their event management software
- Provide 24/7 support anywhere in the world, on any of its solutions
- Make onsite service specialists available on standby to fix any tech issues you may encounter, including check-in & badge printing, lead retrieval, attendee tracking, and mobile app
- Innovate constantly, so you have something new to keep attendees and partners coming back
Enrich Live Events
Events have changed post-pandemics, and so has the technology that powers them. The right onsite event tech can help you ratchet up attendee engagement, sponsor satisfaction and event ROI.
When evaluating the latest solutions, look for innovations, including:
- Self-serve check-in kiosks
- NFC and QR code badges
- Mobile apps with enhanced networking features
- Tracking to personalize attendee journeys
- Advanced lead retrieval to keep exhibitors coming back
Ready to level up your live events? Learn how MeetingPlay + Aventri’s onsite technology can help by booking a free demo today. Don't forget to ask about our latest product, ExpoPRO: your new best friend in exhibitor management.