You’re planning your next big event. Let’s face it – the last thing you want it to be is a snoozefest.
When you’re putting together an event, you want it to run smoothly, encourage engagement, and ensure your participants leave with a positive impression of you, the event and your business/organization.
When you put it together, you don’t have to aspire to be the second-coming of CES.
However, you can think about ways to add technology that will wow your team, whether it’s a third-party add-on or something your venue can provide. And, of course, the venue you choose, and the features it offers, also play a big role in the success and memorability of your event.
We’ve put together a list of a few cool technology options you may want to consider for an upcoming event if you’re looking to add engagement, metrics, “wow” factor, or all of the above.
WiFi is a Must-Have.
This probably goes without saying, but in today’s world, WiFi isn’t a nice-to-have at an event. It’s practically a mandatory option. Ensure you have WiFi available for your attendees to connect with one another or to access information while away from their traditional work sphere.
You’ll want to speak with the event coordinator at your venue to make sure your WiFi passcodes are displayed prominently and that the signal is strong enough for all attendees to access your network conveniently.
All our event locations, from comfortable conference-style rooms to large-scale theatre and basketball court spaces, offer fast WiFi, taking one event consideration off your plate.
Know Where Feet Go.
If you’re having vendors set up booths at your event, you want to make sure they’re getting value from it. There are many ways – from high-tech to low-tech – to be able to do this, whether that means scanning name tags or tracking footsteps with smart pads.
If you can see which event zones or booths are most interesting to your attendees, you’ll be able to plan accordingly for future events to make sure you’re creating something enjoyable that will get rave reviews and return business.
Drop. All. The. Balloons.
All of us still love indulging our childlike sense of wonder, and I’m not sure there’s any better way to do that than with balloons. Surprise your attendees with a balloon drop to celebrate successes, mark the achievement of a major fundraising goal or cap off an energizing pump-it-up presentation.
Balloons, streamers and exuberant feelings galore can rain down on your event in the Forbes Theatre at 500 Pearl (this is one of our very favorite event locations, so you’ll probably notice us mentioning it a lot). The event team says it never gets old to see the surprise and delight on guests’ faces when an unexpected balloon drop occurs.
Get Phones Involved.
The days of telling event participants to put away their devices has passed.
If your attendees are going to be on their phones and tablets and laptops (and it’s pretty likely they will be unless you put a complete embargo on online access), you might as well make sure they’re using it to connect with you and with others at the event.
Some examples of ways you can put phones to work at an event include featuring live feeds of your event or industry hashtags or using mobile voting technology to increase interaction during the events.
As an added reminder, if you’re planning to have people using their devices, charging stations can be a great tech feature to incorporate, either at the tables or in central locations throughout your space.
Videos are Worth a Thousand Words (Or More.).
Sometimes using a video can make a tremendous impact on an event.
You’ve seen people get excited, or laugh hysterically, or even grow teary-eyed, all based on their interaction with a video. Sometimes it can be easier to let people see what you mean than to ask them to imagine it or to follow along with your words.
When you’re planning your event, make sure you have the proper technology connections at your location.
It doesn’t have to be a gigantic screen (although that option is available at some of our venues – with 20-foot screens available in 500 Pearl’s Forbes Theatre). Video can make a powerful impact even in a traditional conference or meeting room setting.
Personalized Experiences Keep Guests Connected.
Branded apps can be a great way to keep your attendees engaged, and to make them feel like they’re truly at home at your event.
An event-specific branded app can give them the confidence to explore and connect with others; some apps even list contact information for other conference or event attendees, so you can reach out and make that necessary networking connection.
Whether you’re planning at an event for a dozen people or a thousand, technology now plays a vital role in the planning process.
To create an event that dazzles, look for ways to incorporate those “little moments of delight” into your event attendees’ experiences. And, if you’re looking for a great venue to make it all happen, our Ellicott Hotels offer a variety of spaces that can fit the needs of virtually any event.
if it is also free, that would be good to include, but I didn’t want to put that promise in there if there is sometimes a cost associated.