November 27, 2017

One key area of concern for planners is that of attendee engagement. As more millennials enter the industry and attend events with tech-savvy expectations, what can be done to engage them? What kind of content and event programming gets their attention? How do they consume information and behave at events?

Technology is often the catalyst for game-changing ideas and innovations, with the current rage being artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Game changers rejuvenate industries and inspire companies to reinvent their business models, products and services. But do not be swept away by trends. It's more important to see how technology is used to improve the bottom-line and to boost brand retention.

So before you jump onto the tech bandwagon, check out our list of tech-savvy tips and trends that make an impact on operations, programme design, content curation, delegate data collection, social agenda and corporate compliance. Design a tech-worthy event that makes sense - on stage as well as behind the scenes. 

Get it right - the first time


2017 Global Sales Mission event (Credits: W Taipei)

The simple things matter and it's crucial that delegates begin their meetings and events with the right impressions. Delegate feedback at global events have consistently revealed that a hassle-free and swift onsite registration process will go a long way in delegates' good books. 

Additionally, have roving registration staff onsite with tablets in hand to make registration a more personal experience. Delegates who have just arrived from overseas will appreciate the "hospitality" approach as opposed to standing in line to register. This is a good example of providing practical tech that emphasizes personal attention, not digital isolation. 

There are various event management apps available that provide easy registration, attendee management and lead collection functions. They should be viewed as a necessity for any event planner. It saves time, money and streamlines the many tasks that have to be tackled and functions that have to be monitored and tracked - from pre- to post-event requirements. Finally, it's also a great way to track your event's ROI and justify your budget spend. 

Make it fun to scan

Access a world of information (Credits: gettyimages)

Make delegates collect data on their mobiles, and make it fun for them as well. Not only is it interactive for them, you as a planner will gather more information for data mining.  For example, have information boards displayed in various areas of your event for them to scan QR codes to get more information at various points of your event - at the conference or at the break-out areas. You could even make it a treasure hunt and have them find the right QR codes to solve a puzzle related to your conference theme, meeting topics and corporate goals.


Let there be light!

Creative pre-function set-ups at Great Room @ W Bangkok (Credits:W Bangkok

Dramatic and memorable moments on stage are choreographed. And the audience pays attention when they are captivated - by light, sound and action. Create the right mood from the lighting and you capture the attention of delegates. Set in a trendy setting such as W Bangkok, the deep rich colours and vivid lighting of the hotel immediately gives your event a sophisticated edge with a young, creative vibe.

Throw the spotlight on your event at the hotel's 425-square-meter Great Room, where nine-meter-high ceilings feature LED dome lights for dramatic lighting effect. The lights may be customized with a choice of 5 different colors via an iPad, which controls the room's entire audiovisual  settings. The open space accommodates up to 400 guests for a reception or 300 for a sit-down dinner.

Go va va voom with the visuals

The John Jacob Ballroom @The St. Regis Singapore (Credits:The St. Regis Singapore)

Bring the 3D movie experience to your event. Who doesn't like going to the movies to be entertained by the big screen and great sound effects? Captivate delegates with powerful presentations at The St. Regis properties. They know how to dazzle with big props for the right audiovisual effects. 

The St. Regis Singapore used five projectors mounted on fly bars along with screens on three sides of the John Jacob Ballroom to create a 270-degree projection view for one of its events. It resulted in a dazzling display that almost mimics a moving visual backdrop. Over in Malaysia, The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur has also created waves with its 270-degree LED Seamless Projection in the Grand Ballroom, the first in Asia. 

Catering for the high-end luxury market also means getting sophisticated with events such as charity galas. For example, The St. Regis Singapore utilised automated bidding technology to create a seamless auction experience for its guests at one of its galas.

Where tech types meet green minds

Grand Ballroom @ Sheraton Grand Incheon Hotel  (Credits: Sheraton Grand Incheon Hotel)

There is no better city in which to be inspired by tech trendy and innovative events than in Songdo International Business District in Incheon, where technology, design and sustainability go hand in hand. It is a smart city that is LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the first in South Korea. 

Similarly, you will find the same inspiration at Sheraton Grand Incheon Hotel, which is also LEED-certified. The minute you step into the hotel, you are connected to high-speed wifi access, whether it's in the lobby, club lounge or conference room. There are 10 function rooms of varying sizes with flexible space on levels 3 and 4 for you to configure according to your needs. All function rooms are equipped with modern lighting and state-of-the-art meetings technology. And of course, planners with a green agenda will find its Eco-Friendly Meeting Package to be practical and appealing. 

Data is the big daddy of it all


Intelligent data that connects you (Credits: gettyimages)

Big data is one of the buzz words that's causing the MICE community to invest in data analysis and data mining tools to gain as much information as possible about delegate behaviour and preferences. Increasingly, more digital touchpoints are being established with delegates via pre- and post-event engagement. Event planners must understand and engage their delegates if they want to build brand loyalty and create a community around it.

This places the planner on the digital highway to planning a programme that has various content tracks for various segmented groups. Such customized content curation will engage delegates and provide that individualized experience they are looking for at an event. In order to understand that, they need big data and they can start by choosing the right event management solution, whether it's with a consultancy or an app provider. There is the right one to fit the right budget and needs. It can be as comprehensive as Cvent's event management software or as straight-forward as Bizzabo's ticketing, registration and marketing platform.

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