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The Top 9 Meeting & Event Technology Trends for 2020

Kaitlyn Tatulli |

The end of the year is here! And as planners look forward to next year and start planning their meetings and events, it’s important to incorporate the biggest industry  technology trends into their plans.

We spoke with some of Aventri’s leaders, Mike Burns, Aventri’s Chief Revenue Officer, Shane Edmonds, Aventri’s chief technology officer, and Ivan Lazarev, Aventri’s Group Head of Experiential Solution, to hear what the trending, must-have technology for planners in 2020. Check it out.


1. Deep Attendee Personalization

Deeply personalizing the attendee experience at your next meeting or event is essential at increasing your attendees’ event satisfaction and securing ROI. As Shane says in our interview, “I would bet on deep personalization of the attendee journey and experience. This will change the paradigm from the passive methodology of ‘measuring an attendees’ journey’ to actually driving the journey and influencing the behaviors to align with the goals of the event.”

Check out the four research-proven ways to enhance your attendees meeting or event experience with personalization.

4 Ways to Personalize Your Attendees’ Event Experience

  • Create customized registration paths and define attendee types to create a tailored experience for attendees.
  • Use a mobile event app to send personalized push notifications and session recommendations to create a unique experience for attendees.
  • Personalize every aspect of your event management technology (e.g. event registration website, mobile event app, etc.) with your brand to create a consistent experience for your attendees’.
  • Personalize registration and website templates to save your planners time, and ensure your website is user-friendly for your attendees.

Optimizing the Attendee Journey_Aventri_CTA1

2. Onsite Data Collection Technology

Event data can be used to better understand and improve future events. But timely event data is even better because this data represents attendees’ behaviors. Real-time event data has several important sales and marketing functions.

5 Questions Your Onsite Data Will Help You Answer

  • How many attendees engaged with Booth X?
  • What was the overall attendee sentiment?
  • The conference generated how many networking opportunities?
  • What didn’t work at my event?
  • What can I do now to fix what’s not working?

3 Benefits of Onsite Data Collection

  • Troubleshoot Underperforming Key Event Elements
  • Personalized Offers Based on Active Engagements
  • Provide Better Attendee Experience

Because of these benefits, Mike says: “Another big trend we’ll see in 2020 is onsite data collection technology. More people will use onsite data collection technology to be able to get those insights into what their constituents are doing onsite.”

Ivan also notes that “customized event tools for attendee tracking using laser and In-door positioning technologies” will also be popular for planners to collect attendee onsite data in 2020.

3. Facial Recognition Technology

facial recognitionWhat exactly is facial recognition technology? Facial recognition technology is a biometric software that mathematically stores an individual’s facial features. This allows the technology to identify a person in live video or digital images without any other information. Essentially, your facial features in facial recognition technology is like your digital fingerprint. This fingerprint can also be used to categorize you based on your gender, age, ethnicity, or behavior.

Because facial recognition technology has become part of people’s everyday lives (e.g. unlocking your iPhone) attendees have come to expect this tech at meetings and events. Mike and Ivan both say that facial recognition technology will remain a trend in 2020.

“I’d expect to see a higher uptake in people using beacon or facial recognition technology,” Mike says. Ivan agrees and adds: “Enhanced use of facial recognition for perimeter and session access control.”

5 Ways Facial Recognition Technology Can Be Used in Events

  • Event check-in
  • Event security
  • Attendee’s experience
  • Traffic
  • Profiling

4. Machine Learning & AI

In 2019, Aventri spent time building our recommendation engines. As Mike explains: “Our recommendations engines are AI-powered and use machine learning to understand the trends and make recommendations to attendees, not only based on their demographic data points, but also based on their preferences, their activities, and their behaviors."

AI Statistics blogIn addition to providing attendees with accurate session, activity, and accommodation recommendations, this same solution Mike explains will also be able to make recommendations to meeting and event planners. "This technology will help event planners figure out what the right attendee mixes for their event are, how to optimize their event, how to draw the right attendee group to the event, etc. So, AI and machine learning aren’t going anywhere in 2020 in our industry."

In 2020, Shane says, "AI and Machine Learning is not only here to stay but will soon be a prominent technology used in all aspects of meetings and events." He continues: "The biggest impact of this will be the elevation of the attendee experience through optimizations in agenda scheduling, networking, and individual personalization of the experience."

4 Interesting AI and Machine Learning Statistics

  • 143%  of companies in the service organizations are projected to use or grow their use of AI
  • 80%  of technology and business executives say that AI increases productivity in their companies
  • 72%  of business leaders believe having AI is a “business advantage”
  • 61%   of marketers report that the number one, most important aspect of their marketing data strategy is AI

5. Event Badging & Ticketing

Event badging and ticketing is always important to planners since it is an integral aspect of organizing and capturing attendee data. In addition to noting the importance of RFID and NFC wearable badging technology, Ivan also identifies a new ticketing trend for 2020.  Ivan explains “digital event ticketing via tokenization on mobile wallets using Apple VAS and Google Smart Tap” is going to be a big trend in 2020.

In addition, sustainability is also on the minds of many planners, making it another trend for 2020. Check out the three ways event badging technology can help you create a sustainable event.

3 Ways to Use Event Ticketing to Create a Sustainable Event

  • Live Badge Printing Registration
  • Increasing Attendee Satisfaction
  • Exchange Information Digitally
    Optimizing the Attendee Journey_Onsite ebook_CTA3

6. Event Data Measurement

Do you use events as a marketing channel? Then you’ll want to pay attention to this trend for 2020.

Mike notes that, “For people who use events as a marketing channel, taking event data and measuring what their customers and prospects do at events the same way they measure what they do online will become a big trend in 2020." Mike continues saying that using “similar metrics to measure both in-person events and online behaviors, and then folding that into a multi-touch attribution strategy will be huge.”

7. Data Consolidation

Modern notebook computer with future technology media symbolsIn addition to event data measurement, another event trend planners should incorporate into their strategies for 2020 is a consolidated data platform.

Shane explains that “consolidated data platforms are crucial” for 2020. Although big data has been a trend in the meeting and event industry throughout 2019, Shane predicted the consolidation of this big data to dominate the industry in 2020. Shane argues that this “will enable the proliferation of Machine Learning and AI within organizations and this will democratize their data for all stakeholders to take advantage of.”

8. A Fully Integrated Event Management Software Platform

Not only is a fully integrated event management software platform a technology cannot live without, it is also an industry trend for 2020.

Mike says simply, “A fully integrated, nativized event management software platform is a must” for planners. However, Mike notes that planners need more than “a bunch of modules or capabilities that are daisy-chained together through APIs with a truly nativized system, that runs on one platform, that you can take an agile approach in your workflow to using.”

Planners need a nativized platform that is fully integrated with the other tools that organizations are using. According to Mike, "a planner’s event management software platform should be able to pull in  CRM and marketing automation data in the planning and marketing phases of an event and push your onsite intelligence data from your event management system back into your CRM.”

Not only is having this integration critically important, but meeting and event professionals are also increasingly being asked to step outside the silo so they need the right technology to do that.

Ivan agrees with Mike that a fully integrated platform is important for 2020. He explains that “events are a combination of six functions:”

1. You need content and speakers.
2. You need sponsors and exhibitors.
3. You need marketing tools to reach prospects and clients.
4. You need registration tools to build an attendee database.
5. You need onsite services to deliver the event.
6. You need reporting and analytics to justify the value of the event.

“Platforms that will deliver the above functions seamlessly and at an affordable cost with the help of an integrated event management software will lead the industry in 2020,” Ivan says.

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9. Industry Consolidation

The last major industry trend planners can expect to see in 2020 is more consolidation in the meetings and events industry.

“We will continue to see consolidation in the industry. That’s going to be a big trend," Mike says. "There was a lot of acquisition activity in 2019 and that will only increase next year.”

But what does that mean for planners? Mike adds: “The big message here though is that because of the maturity of the market and the consolidation occurring in the industry, an all-in-one provider that continues to improve their platform with new technology is key.”

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This Post was Written by Kaitlyn Tatulli

Kaitlyn Tatulli is a graduate from Fairfield University with majors in Digital Journalism and Psychology and minors in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Computer Science. Currently, she is receiving her MFA from Fairfield University. Kaitlyn...

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