Event technology trends are currently in a real phase of transition in Australia, with a renewed focus on technology to create more audience engagement and a streamlined user experience.
From simple navigation through to augmented reality, adding technology to your event keeps your attendees engaged and can add to an unforgettable experience. Consider integrating some of these latest tech trends in your next event for a memorably unique experience.
With a selection of services across Australia offering drones for event hire, it comes as no surprise that we will be seeing more of this technology scattered in the sky of outdoor and largescale events. As an asset, drone provide both entertainment and functionality, with a myriad of uses that make it a worthwhile technological investment.
Drones offer more photography opportunities than ever before with the scope to film across largescale music events without needing multiple photographers to travel from stage to stage. This technology allows the event to be filmed from an aerial perspective, encompassing the crowd and all aspects of the sporting or music event into the shot for future promotional videos, social media posts and marketing materials. Drones can also offer live video streaming opportunities for an immersive experience for remote attendees– a particularly useful aspect if there are crowd limitations!
As drones function as flying cameras, this can also be utilised by security staff to monitor the event to detect any possible problems or hazards. Security can then delegate staff to the appropriate areas promptly and as needed. Drones with audio capabilities can also be used to direct attendees to their destination or away from off-limits areas. Additionally, the presence of drones may also deter attendees from any fence jumping or risky behaviours.
With plenty of potential creative uses, it’s important to not overlook using the drone as a source of visual entertainment for attendees. A fleet of drones can fly in unison with music, form the letters of brand hashtags or carry LED lights to perform a choreographed light show to the wonder of the event’s attendees. This technology could also be used to carry items to performers during sets for added interest or seen flying above the crowd carrying silly signage for a humorous photo opportunity for guests. Drones can also play music during breaks in sets with the interactive option to encourage audience engagement by selecting the songs, like in this video here.
Augmented Reality, 3D Projection Mapping and Mixed Reality
Enhancing the attendee experience through more and more creative ways, augmented and mixed reality, and 3D projection mapping features create excitement and drives social media engagement.
This could include establishing an art installation area with a mesmerising projection, mapping an architecturally interesting building, creating 3D video features in festival villages or for product activations, or creating an augmented reality feature within an event app or for broadcast. From additional content that can be seen through the camera’s lens, through to branded filters that attendees can add to their photos, adding augmented reality will allow a new aspect of audience participation.
Visual installations could even be as low-tech as including branded special effects glasses, like these from Hi-Lites, with ticket purchases to allow light installations to be enjoyed anew as custom shapes.
Wearable technology offers engagement for attendees as never before.
For instance, at Belgium music festival, Tomorrowland, the event has established a cashless economy by creating a bracelet that acts as both a ticket to the event and a payment system scanned by vendors for food and drinks. The bracelet even offered wearers the ability to add other music-goers on social media with the press of a button.
Wearable technology has also been used at live music events as a stunning LED display allowing attendees to seamlessly feel like they are part of the art installation. As seen at this Coldplay concert at Emirates Stadium in London [starts about 1 minute in].
For many states and territories across Australia, the pandemic minimised capacity limits and created the necessity of contact tracing by scanning QR codes upon accessing events.
Wearable technology is also expanding to encompass this contact tracing and social distancing system, with companies like Smart Badge emerging. Smart Badge offers wearable devices, such as a wristband or lanyard, for major events. The wearable technology tracks the users movement alerts users when they are within 1.5 metres of another user. The real-time data can also be used to maintain venue capacity. The live updates can allow event managers to be instantly notified if capacity limits to an area have been breached, allowing them to quickly disperse the crowd to follow their state’s COVID restrictions.
Digital Wayfinding & Geofencing
With wearable technology that tracks the crowd’s locations while at the event, digital wayfinding to help crowds navigate largescale events smoothly is becoming more feasible. By integrating venue mapping and real-time data, digital wayfinding technology can also allow routes to be updated considering issues such as broken escalators, user’s accessibility needs or crowd numbers. It can also be applied to parking lot navigation for a smoother arrival and departure experience from stadiums or theatres.
Geofencing and beacon technology can also be established to send relevant messages to users via an event app or text message such as notifications, promotions or coupons when the attendee arrives at a certain stage. It could also be combined with digital wayfinding technology to assist music-goers who have wandered too far and notify them that they are entering or leaving certain zones. Eg: An alcohol-free area.
Many festivals and live events are now integrating their own branded multi-use apps as an opportunity to provide attendees with networking opportunities, notifications, schedules and digital wayfinding. Event apps can be combined with other technology to provide added entertainment for audiences through gamification; the creation of game mechanics that makes your event stand out by offering a unique virtual event experience.
This could include delivering rewards, badges and incentives to attendees throughout the day for checking out different areas of the site, or for handing in their f&b waste for recyling. You could feature a leadboard on the app or on a screen at the event, and offer prizes like redeemable drink and meal vouchers, or free merch, for participation.
You can also use it as a way for patrons to get questions and messages to the talent, or displayed on the video screens throughout the show.
Creating a gaming area at your event provides an added element of engagement and interaction for your audience in between sets. It can also offer further sponsor promotion by offering prizes to those who participate.
Games that could be integrated into an event app range from simple quizzes about the event’s performers to elaborate, high-stakes scavenger hunts that encourage attendees to visit multiple vendors across the venue. Gamification adds a layer of fun and creativity to the event that music-goers will appreciate.
There are no limits to improving the experience of ticket-goers by adding technology to your event. Whether it’s to improve navigation, encourage social media posting or keep attendees engaged, get creative and combine some of the latest technology trends to make your event uniquely awe-inspiring.
Feature Photo: Ameer Basheer / Unsplash