Top 7 Event Management Tools for 2017
Experts estimate that by the year 2020, 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet worldwide. For context, that works out to roughly six devices per individual. On any given day, there are over a thousand new apps released, and an estimated 73% of those applications are free. Tech solutions are fast becoming the easier, and cheaper alternative for businesses to get things done.
For a business to be at it’s best in the contemporary marketplace, it must make use of technology and this is even more important in the events industry, or MICE sector (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) where participants, sponsors, venues, and volunteers all have different needs in terms of information, transparency, visibility, and connectivity.
“Attendance and interest in sports events is extending through the use of technology. Social media, apps, and virtual reality are all being used to extend the excitement and action of the fan experience to wider populations, which in turn fuels the growth for future events. Likewise, technology is creating new employment opportunities in the sports industry, mainly for specialists in social media, TV production, start-ups and digital marketing for target audiences,” said Mike.
Here’s a review of seven of the best new tools that are changing the world of event management and the event visitor experience.
New Technology for the Event Management industry
IFTTT is an acronym meaning: ‘If this, then that’. The IFTTT app and website works using the logic of ‘If conditions’ used in computer programming, similar to how you would direct a function using code. It works like a flowchart, and therefore can be used to automate certain tasks that involve computerisation, e.g. social media, internet research, instant messaging and so on. One example from an events perspective might be: ‘If someone uploads an image to Instagram using #OurEvent then save it to directly to our Google Drive,’ or ‘…Notify me via Instant messenger.’
This kind of technology means that you are able to offload many time-consuming tasks onto something of a self- sufficient, digital personal assistant. IFTTT can aid event competitions by funnelling all participants information to one particular inbox, retweet event information automatically, or even alert specific members of staff if something that concerns their department needs looking at. It’s usages offer many potential remedies to event management and marketing concerns, all depending on how you decide to program it.
Slack is the digital cousin of the walkie talkie. It is a desktop and mobile compatible IM (instant messaging) service that facilitates internal communication among teams. Slack is a secure and reliable application that allows image sharing, message pinning and chat archiving, as well as multiple channels of communication all at lightning speed. It is in fact so efficient, that a whopping 77% of The Fortune 500 use the Slack tool to communicate internally.
Slack is also ideal for outdoor events such as festivals and sporting occasions where it is likely to be too loud for radio communication or might experience interference. It also enables you to not only broadcast messages to all, but also target specific groups of people categorised into ‘channels’. These might include groups such as ‘technicians’, ‘bar managers’, ‘artist liaison’, ‘stewards’ etc. meaning you can get messages directly to who you’re in need of in the blink of an eye.
“77% of the Fortune 500 use the Slack tool to communicate internally”
(DMR Stats, 2016)
Cluboid is extremely intuitive CRM software designed for bar and nightclub bookings. It is ideal for events geared at the nightlife industry, and helps venue management to comprehensively manage everything from customer enquiries and marketing outreach, all the way through to customer aftercare.
The software provides custom interactive floorplans of a venue so it is able to monitor how many bookings are placed, and which areas in the club or bar are still available. It can pull data from social media channels when a booking is registered so the venue can establish exactly who has applied, and add that data to a detailed, printable guest list for door staff. Being cloud-based, the software runs little risk of data being compromised.
Following incidents such as the New Year’s Eve terrorist attack in Istanbul, or the Orlando shootings in the United States, security measures are a major concern in the event industries. One of the most important features for today’s Cluboid systems allow venue communication in the interest of everyone’s safety. Advanced security settings can be put in place to prevent the admittance of known troublemakers, with the ability to flag certain individuals on the system.
Glisser is an online platform specifically designed for speakers to give interactive presentations at events such as conferences, Q&A’s, speeches and seminars. Users can digitally take questions from the audience throughout their presentation to answer as and when their queries arise, as well as receive live quantitive data through use of interactive polls. These allow the speaker to gauge how engaged the audience is at marked points of the presentation, and consequently tailor them accordingly. Since 75% of event industry professionals buy applications specifically to target audience engagement, Glisser is the perfect solution to delivering an effective and engaging speech.
Glisser is time efficient and can help you sift questions, as well as get more answered in a limited amount of time. It also allows users to live tweet content directly from your presentation to their mini-feed, which enables effortless online networking between those in similar industries, which can give your brand a much higher social media reach.
Beacon marketing may map location, but Crowd Connected maps movement. Crowd Connected claims to operate using a ‘subcategory of The Internet of Things, known as The Location of things’, and offer proximity marketing, which is ideal for events.
Using Bluetooth, Crowd Connected can create a geofence which factors in both where a person is and when they were there. For instance: at a fair, exhibition or showcase, if someone has visited an area a few times it may indicate interest and so you are able to target those people specifically. Crowd Connected provides a way to broadcast information to your event attendees without appearing spammy or impersonal, because messages are relevant to the recipient.
This applies not just to attendees, but also to staff. Special CC lanyard tags mean you can locate staff at all times using real-time mapping, which helps to keep tabs on overall productivity.
Xylobands provide light up wristbands that transmit and receive radio signals which dictate their change in colour, and can perform a range of visual effects. They are but one example of ‘wearable tech’ – a market predicted to rocket in value from 2.9bn (2016) to 5.8bn by 2018.
Xylobands allow artists to engage with their audiences at large music events, but their zoning capabilities also make them ideal for sporting, private and corporate events. They are extremely eye catching and therefore perfect for marketing or awareness events, as well as for things such as competitions. For example, at the kit launch of the Arsenal football team, event staff gave out 5 lucky Xylobands that would later identify the winner of a football shirt by remaining unlit, when all the surrounding ones turned on. Xyloband clients include Mtv, Coca Cola, Nike, Porsche and many more – including internationally acclaimed band, Coldplay, who have used the Xylobands brand numerous times on tours and awards ceremonies around the world.
“Xylobands are the greatest invention for our concerts that I can ever imagine.”
(Chris Martin, Coldplay)
Winner of Best Venue Solution at the 2016 Event Technology Awards, specialist wifi providers Get Me Connected concern themselves exclusively with providing a great internet connection to events around the country at a moment’s notice.
Weak internet connection at an event is extremely common due to a venue’s bandwidth struggling to cope with the demand of so many people attempting to get online. For business deals to go through and international trades to take place – strong internet capabilities are a must. Wifi can also be a concern for outdoor events – but not with Get me Connected. With faultless connection, you will waste no time getting your social media team hooked up to Hootsuite to cover the event marketing in real-time.
The very essence of the events industry is celebrating the ‘new’. Events launch, present, showcase, announce, and teach people. We throw events in order to share something new with an audience, so it is essential for events companies to keep their ear to the ground using the latest equipment available to them. From festivals to conferences, concerts to club nights – every aspect of the events sector can and is being aided by technology. The tools we listed here may be 7 of our favorites, but they merely represent the tip of the technological iceberg.
An Event Management degree for the future of the industry
As a pioneer and leading provider of Sport & Event Management degrees, Glion Institute of Higher Education seeks to integrate technology into the learning experience as much as possible. Glion was awarded “Best Innovation in an Academic Program” at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards in 2016 for adopting teaching methods that provide students with a framework for understanding and integrating new technology into their working lives for consistency, ease of use, and clarity with new technology and digital protocols. Glion students also connect with industry leaders and the latest trends in event management during the “Project Factory” as part of their event management training, and they have served as volunteers, interns and pitched project proposals for international organizations such as Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the International Olympic Committee, the World Economic Forum, and New York Fashion Week among others.
This article has been brought to you in collaboration with Cluboid.