3 Awesome #EventTech Gadgets that will Boost Engagement

The newest technology can, at times, seem gimmicky and impractical. However, there are some amazing gadgets that have real potential for creating immersive event experiences. The following tech tools are relatively new technologies that have proven themselves in the event space and could be a wonderful addition to any event planner’s toolkit.

Near-field communication bracelets or badges

What it is:
Simply put, near-field communication (NFC) refers to standards of close-proximity radio transmission that can occur between smartphones and other devices equipped with an appropriate hardware. What’s cool about it is that you can share information instantaneously with just a little bump.

How you can use it:
Not all smart devices are NFC compatible. Increasingly, however, there a number of suppliers of NFC bracelets and badges that can be used for various activities during your event, from registration and session-entry to voting and engaging with locations and content. Mashable covered a great example of how NFC can be used to create virtually frictionless event interactions. At the food event, attendees were given an NFC bracelet that allowed them to vote for their favorite dishes by simply scanning their wrists. Similar strategies can be used to encourage attendee engagement with booths and event e-literature.

Check out:
– Poken
It offers tags and tools for implementing NFC at your next event. The platform comes with dedicated apps and tools for optimizing information sharing with NFC and QR codes.
– Bump
We just love Bump. With this app you can share files, photos, contact info and more with just a nudge between devices.

Interactive Walls

What it is:
Interactive walls, or multi-touch collaboration walls, are huge multi-touch screens that can be used to explore or display different kinds of information, dependent on the need.

How you can use it:
Interest in interactive walls really took off in 2008 when CNN employed what was previously military technology to follow the presidential election. Since then, interactive walls have been optimized for use at events. These walls can be used not only as presentation screens for education but also as a tool for engaging attendees with information, social networking, or games. For example, the wall can display an application with interactive elements to unlock additional information or show multimedia.

Check out:
– PSAV Presentation Services
PSAV offers a range of cutting edge audio-visual solutions. They offer a number of cool new technologies, including video mapping and SwankDraw.

Augmented reality tools

What it is:
Augmented reality (AR) may seem very futuristic if you’re new to the topic. Even after you get used to the idea, when done correctly it can still feel like you’re being transported to the future. Basically, AR is the integration of reality with computer enhanced elements. An AR device will capture “reality” (an item or the environment) with a camera, then parts of the captured image or video are “augmented” by additional computerized components, like information, sound, video, etc.

How you can use it:
AR elements can be integrated into all phases of the event life cycle. After you’ve sold event tickets to an attendee, why not send an AR event confirmation similar to these greetings from Artiphany? (Yes. It is another Kickstarter project. To find out other cool ways to use Kickstarter projects in your event, check this out.) During the event, AR games and processes can be used to help attendees engage with content and/or booths. Imagine, for example, asking attendees to check in at certain locations/activities at the event to unlock new AR features. AR has also been used to provide details regarding the layout of the room or to allow people to “visualize” retail items inside a space. After the event ends, you can continue providing AR opportunities in various relevant contexts (always asking attendees to share their experiences in social platforms).

Check out:
– Augmented Pixels
This service provider offers a number of games and interactive platforms for augmented reality. Though they feature games, they have use cases from various industries, including real estate.

Have you used any one of these technologies in the past?  What was your experience like?