Consumers embrace technology in all aspects of their lives from binge watching shows on Netflix, and door-to-door Uber journeys, to same day delivery from the city’s best restaurants and retailers.
Technology is increasingly driving experiences, and live events are no exception. The events industry should be taking a consumer-first approach when engaging technology that touches their customers — from ticketing, to marketing, all the way through to the event experience.
We live in an age that demands immediacy, and technology is the means of delivering it. These are some top trends that event technology platform Eventbrite predicts will transform the events industry in the coming months and years.
Simply put, distributed commerce means selling tickets to your fans wherever they are (not relying on driving customers to a ticketing website) by leveraging partnerships for the convenience of consumers.
For example, say that you’ve used Eventbrite’s partnership to automatically publish your event to Facebook to reach more potential attendees. Your fans can now buy tickets to your event without leaving Facebook. Eventbrite users in the US are already seeing the benefits of this partnership— when buyers are shown a relevant event within their Facebook News feed and can purchase from the feed, they convert to purchase 2X as more as if they had to bounce away from Facebook.
These results are so promising that we are confident that more partners will be engaging in distributed commerce globally in the coming months and years. This openness and collaboration between platforms makes audiences more accessible to organizers, and events more accessible to attendees, transforming the landscape for ticket purchasing.
Of all the technology available to event organisers today, RFID (radio frequency identification) has perhaps the most exciting and wide-ranging impact long term. Whether in wristbands, badges or parking passes, RFID chips are tiny pieces of hardware that are already transforming how we run and experience live events.
While currently available RFID technology allows events to enable payments, and efficiently manage event access, thus drastically shortening wait times, the potential in terms of customer insight that organisers can gain is enormous. Heat mapping via long range chips and beacon technology can inform event organisers how their audience is moving, how long they spend at certain points, and how engaged they are. Whether running a nightclub, conference, or food festival, the data captured in these kinds of mapping provides invaluable market insight.
Taking this a step further, Eventbrite is working towards an RFID technology that radically improves the way organisers work with sponsors and event participants by harnessing real-time data. Consider the customer engagement possibilities if event organisers or vendors had instant access to background information of the person they are talking to. Not only is the marketing potential huge, the customer experience improves as a result of an immediately personalised conversation from the first moment of contact. As Eventbrite continues to push to improve RFID technology, we are thinking about how we can bring this high-value tech to more organizers as a self-service product.
Event organisers are social media pros — active across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. But as social media platforms increasingly encourage live sharing, it’s important to monitor how your fans choose to share their own stories about your event, and engage with them in real-time as well as before and after the event.
Further, with the influx of visual technology such as AR (aka augmented reality, an enhanced visual experience, using computer-generated content such as sound, video, or graphics), VR (virtual reality), and even content-capturing drones, the content produced for event attendees will become richer and more valuable than ever before in terms of marketing – particularly among generation Z (those born after 1995). Recent research shows that this group doesn’t just want to consume culture and entertainment – they want to redefine and shape it. Event organisers should take control of this narrative and think about how they can leverage visual technology to influence the content being created by audiences, as this will directly affect your brand.
Phil Silverstone is the General Manager at Eventbrite Australia.