As 2017 picks up pace, the pixies at Team DB are mired in the depths of building, coding and developing some exciting new projects and software for clients this spring and beyond, and there’s one piece of tech which stands out as causing the most excitement and buzz amongst our excitable geeks, and that is Mixed Reality – or MR, the latest upgrade to Virtual Reality. With the introduction of the Microsoft HoloLens, the team at DBPixelhouse are able to create exciting mixed reality environments that we can drop straight into an event with minimal setup and maximum impact. We think it will be a key trend for event tech this year and we wanted to share our excitement with you.
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In our modern, high-tech world the brochure has long been a dying breed. It still has a place, but increasingly events deliver follow-up information electronically. Digital marketing materials have a number of key benefits – they are instantly available and retrievable by search, they can be automatically tailored – for example by language or to only include the elements you’re interested in and they can be more easily shared.
2015 was tipped to be the year of the cashless event in the UK (admittedly, mainly by the PR machine of the suppliers producing the RFID solutions which make it possible). Last year, several of the big US festivals, including Coachella and Lollapalooza, introduced cashless payments using the RFID entry wristbands, which have been a mainstay of festivals now for some time. This year in the UK, Download was one of the first to try it, with mixed results. They made it compulsory but the system buckled under the weight of users and party-goers were frustrated to be unable to buy anything, with no contingencies in place to revert to cash. Inevitably, they took to Twitter to share their pain and negative tweets ricocheted across the networks.
Know thy customer. It’s engraved in some stone-age monolith somewhere as the most basic maxim of marketing. How can you possibly market a product if you don’t know who your customer is or what they want.
We’re always saying it – live events and social media are natural bedfellows. For networking events this is because the opportunity to actually physically meet people you may have been conversing with or exchanging glib one-liners is somehow rather life-affirming. But it also cuts the other way – using social to amplify a live event beyond the attending audience makes for powerful marketing indeed.
As digital content specialists for events, we’re often asked what can be done with data-heavy content to make it more engaging and interesting for visitors at events.
Events and exhibitions are an assault on all the senses. They’re noisy, busy, colourful, lively environments in which text or data heavy content simply isn’t going to get attention. It might be ground-breaking. It might be revolutionary. It might transform healthcare but unless it stands out in some way, unless it looks interesting and piques curiosity, your visitors will simply overlook it entirely. So, here’s our top tips for giving your content more impact at events:
With Christmas well and truly over, the only remaining task – which continues to hang over our heads even now in mid January – is to get the kids to write their thank you cards. It struck me yesterday after trying to excite my 6 year old daughter with the prospect of some glitter and fancy pens for the job that writing thankyous after the whirl and excitement and frenzy of Christmas and birthdays is a bit like following up post event and responding to leads and following up introductions. Post event, and post Christmas, the glitz and glamour and excitement has all worn off. The job is done. Follow-up feels nothing short of tedious. The threat that if you don’t get your thankyous off you might never get another present from Granny is pretty weak – everyone knows granny loves giving presents.
Last month I touched on the importance of attracting and engaging visitors at a live event or experience, and the use of technology as both an attractor – piquing visitors interest – and as an engager – for example providing ways to contribute to or share an experience. I wanted to delve a little deeper into this as it’s a topic that really fascinates me.
The ubiquitous goldfish bowl for business cards remains a staple ingredient of many events, from conferences and meetings to exhibitions and brand experiences. Despite being accompanied by an incentive to win a bottle of champagne or an ipad, I am always surprised that anyone would add their card to the bowl knowing that they will be automatically subscribed to generalised marketing messages. Increasingly, we protect ourselves from unwanted marketing messages by being cautious about what we exchange our details for and, more often than not, the “maybe” of a raffle isn’t going to cut it. Marketing tactics have evolved from “push” to “pull” in recent years and I think there are lots more interesting and meaningful ways in a live environment to hook interest.
Having recently installed and then pulled-out the Connectivity Infrastructure at Farnborough International Airshow, which at over 1000 acres is, we believe, Europe’s largest temporary network, I was struck by how quickly Connectivity technology has developed to become a business critical component of events.