The outbreak of the pandemic threw the marketing industry into major turmoil as almost all physical events were cancelled and events had to shift online. Event planners had to re-evaluate their processes to accommodate the transition, while they scrambled to find suitable tools and technologies in order to offer an engaging event experience for their attendees.
In late 2022, we saw a strong rebound for physical events, with Singapore’s events calendar packed with more than 60 international events, including new launches and major events that were typically held in other big cities. As the pandemic and travel restrictions ease and global events resume their physical activities or adopt a hybrid approach, organizers have to get creative in adapting to the “new normal” of events in the wake of the digital pivot because simply utilizing pre-pandemic strategies for in-person events is no longer an option.
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With increased attendee demand for immersive, focused and engaging event experiences, they need to take a more purposeful and strategic approach to the technological platforms and tools they use to deliver the dynamic experience their attendees are looking for.
From the increased use of QR codes to deliver information and even using the codes to connect and network with potential leads and partners to the utilisation of virtual reality and the metaverse, event technology has come quite a long way, especially in a short period of time, but there still remains room for better the attendee experience.
Remove the need for multiple apps for a single event
The surge of in-person events definitely has its positives, particularly for those who craved physical human interaction. However, it also comes with some drawbacks such as an unorganized and fractured event experience especially if they need to have multiple apps or devices to take full advantage of the event.
With the rise of mobile devices and the ubiquity of internet connectivity, event organisers can now leverage the power of the web and mobile to provide a seamless and unified event app experience across different channels. This means that event attendees do not have to download or open separate apps for each channel to access the same content or to remain updated. They can instead create one app that serves as a convenient catch-all for event information and simplifies the event experience.
Build a masterkey to allow registration to events around the region (then globally)
A rising key part of the event experience now includes the use of apps to help attendees register and navigate. However, as mentioned earlier, having the attendee use multiple apps creates a complicated and noisy event experience.
Similar to using a master key to gain access to multiple rooms, the convenience of having one app or platform simplifies the registration process and grants the attendee access to multiple events happening regionally or globally.
Additionally, utilizing such a platform presents organisers with the opportunity to be able to target and reach individuals and engage them in meaningful ways based on the events they have already attended or are interested in attending.
Create a customisable, personalised platform for events to build and create their own unique experience within a single digital platform
An undeniable result of the pandemic has been the shift in audience expectations towards brands and events. Having experienced the increased autonomy and choices provided during the fully remote era has left attendees demanding more personalized experiences.
This leaves event organisers with the daunting challenge to deliver on those expectations and engage attendees with a memorable experience. To cater to the various needs and demands of the attendees for different types of events, it is necessary to have a flexible events platform that allows for such customisation so that they are better able to drive the attendee experience.
Prioritise 360 events, engagement anywhere and anytime
One of the additional side effects of the pandemic saw the blurring of the lines between work and life. Similarly, the events industry has observed the blurring of what defines an event. No longer is the term “attending an event” solely used for being physically present at the event location during the duration but with the rise of digital and hybrid events, people are now able to share experiences while not being limited by a physical location.
The use of 360 events allows organisations to leverage digital technologies to shape how people experience and share their events outside the physical event location while enabling organisers to create a more immersive experience for attendees by allowing them to explore the event as though they were at the event itself without stepping foot into the premises. In addition, having 360 events also ensures that the event never switches off. Connections and conversations can happen outside the initial experience and marketers can look towards increasing the value of the event with regular touchpoints to incentivize future participation as well as content-on-demand to further drive engagement and other marketing opportunities.
Just at the beginning (of a new era)
As 2023 approaches, the opportunity to revamp and create fresh experiences should remain top-of-mind for event coordinators and marketers. Even with the rising trends of new technologies being utilised at events such as virtual reality, augmented reality and gamification, we are also at the starting point of what event technology will and could look like.
As event professionals, now is one of the most exciting times, as we stand to decide and pioneer the new direction of the events industry. At Gevme, for the upcoming CONNECT event, we’re looking to delve deeper into the matter with industry experts and global leaders as we explore the future and enter the next step of augmenting and elevating in-person event experiences.
This post titled “Navigating the new era of events: What needs to change?” was contributed by Veemal Gungadin, CEO of Gevme.
About the author
Veemal founded GSI in 2006, architected and coded the very first software platform of the company. GSI is today a leading event tech company with offices in Singapore, Australia, India, Myanmar and the US. Having graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Computer Science, Veemal remains at the forefront of technology and spearheads the software products being crafted at GSI. GSI’s core SaaS product is GEVME, the award-winning enterprise event ticketing & marketing platform.