Only a few years ago, the idea of speaking into a device and it being able to carry out your commands was nothing more than science fiction, or perhaps something James Bond might be able to do, but that was about it. But the development of technology has seen products such as Google Home – a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant that can carry out your commands – hit the consumer market, and, says George Sirius, CEO of event-technology firm Eventsforce, these devices may be about to change the events industry.
“In the US we use [voice recognition technology] all the time – in our homes – it’s nothing new. But
it could have a big impact on the events sector in the next few years,” he explains.
Sirius, whose business specialises in event-management solutions, points out that advances in technology mean the way events are being planned and run have changed dramatically in the last
“Organising an event is a logistical nightmare and one of the biggest developments is software to assist with tasks such as registration and email responses,” he says. “The second is around the collection and analysis of data. There’s lots of data that can be analysed in order to understand an event – the demographics, attendance levels, and success – and there is now software to do that.”
Real-time feedback is also changing the industry. The technology, says Sirius, is extremely innovative. “For example, event speakers can now receive feedback in real time from the audience, which means they can change the way the session is going if necessary.”
Organisers can now engage delegates in different ways using technology. Event personalisation, Sirius explains, is one way to do this. “It’s really cool because it’s a way of showing attendees the aspects of the event that are relevant to them, whether that’s interesting sessions or particular people who are attending. By using the technology to provide relevant information to delegates, it allows them to better engage in the event.”
But what about cost? For smaller firms it’s about understanding the long-term investment, says Sirius. “Don’t try and buy everything that’s on offer. Work out exactly what you need for your business. Event planners, especially in small companies, are bombarded with all possible solutions. Figure out why you want the technology and then find a technology partner – someone who understands the tech and is able to implement it – to support you through that process.”
Looking to the future, Sirius believes drones could transform events. “It’s going to be interesting to see how they are used in the industry. Think about being able to track where people move in an exhibition area using drones. Or being able to broadcast what’s happening on the exhibition floor. It’s very exciting!”