Wearable technology is big business when it comes to health and
wellness, particularly post-pandemic. Recent research from Deloitte
shows that advances in sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) are
helping millions detect and manage chronic health conditions on devices
small enough to be worn on a wrist. But what about wearables’ potential
for the event industry?
Exhibition and conference organisers are familiar with RFID bracelets
and smart badges, which can help organisers track and collect data on
attendees’ movements, as well as how they engage with booths and
More recently, trends have focused on eyewear that allows attendees
to capture experiences through display technology such as augmented
reality, enabling brands to communicate in new and interesting ways.
“AR and VR eyewear are of course the en vogue devices as the industry
positions itself around the metaverse,” says Vince Ota, executive
creative director at Pico. “Immersive applications like Microsoft Mesh
provide mixed reality experiences that respond to an attendee’s
physicality and are a natural for event organisers and brands at
Smart badges, adds Ota, offer the ultimate experience for both the
attendee and the organiser – they enhance the attendee experience and
provide the organiser with huge amounts of data and opportunities to
personalise the experience.
Aside from providing new, exciting experiences to attendees, the tech
provides more insight for organisers, event planners and brands around
For a ‘wearable’ of a different kind – think clothing rather than
tech. US-based JabberYak, which provides ‘social icebreaking products’,
provides technology that enables users to select seven personal
interests that show who they are. These interests can then be printed on
T-shirts, event badges or name tags, which can be handed out at events.
Wearables can certainly add an element of fun to an event, as well as
providing valuable data, but as Ota outlines, adoption and cost on a
mass scale are probably the biggest barriers.
“With the current global Covid situation, in particular, there is an
understandable reluctance to invest the additional budget required for
wearables, on both the hardware and software sides,” he says.
“Nevertheless, this kind of investment would optimise the experience,
and the data would provide event hosts or backers with a better return,
even with a smaller audience.”