We thought we’d start the New Year by dusting off our crystal ball and making a few predictions about what could be the hottest trends in trade show and event technology over the next 12 months. Here’s our top 5 picks from our resident ExperiTech™ technology experts:
- Next-Gen AR Augmented reality has been around for some time, of course, but 2018 could be the year it explodes. After all, new iPhones, Facebook and Instagram now have AR frameworks built right into them. This means that attendees will soon be able to access your exhibit’s augmented reality experience on their own phones, without using a tethered device or even having to download an app. This new convenience, along with exciting advances being made by an army of developers, could finally unlock AR’s huge potential to engage, educate and sell customers.
- Connected Objects Up till now, you created a tangible connected object by attaching a simple readable code to it. Putting it near a reader/screen would then bring up information about that object, which was usually a product. The next step will be to embed a sensor within an object that can precisely communicate its orientation in space. This creates an opportunity for attendees to control digital experiences in an entirely new way: as they move the object around, different content will be triggered on a screen.
- Sound Environments Sound is the great magical element that can add enormously to visual experiences, but except for headphones, it ‘s not often used at trade show and events. New technology is on the verge of changing that. The paradigm shift here is not adding sound to a visual experience, but creating visuals and sound together in ways where they dynamically interact to each other. Think of how much emotion this can add to story-telling.
- Deeper Social Incorporation Creating sharable moments has long been a goal in creating trade show and event experiences, but in 2018 this will be taken much further. The key is not just creating content for the experience that attendees will want to post on social media, but creating content about the experience itself that makes the sharing much more meaningful.
- Operational Data The breakthrough here will be capturing attendee data that can be used to make adjustments to your exhibit on-the-fly. For example, if your VIP customers are showing a preference for a particular product or piece of information, you can instantly make those things more prominent. Or, if traffic bottlenecks are detected, content could be moved to different screens to ease the congestion. No longer will you have to wait until after a show to improve your exhibit; you’ll do it all right there and then.
Whether these trends develop exactly this way or not, one thing is certain. In 2018, technology-driven experiences will entertain, engage and educate attendees in ways that are richer and far more powerful than ever before possible.
Here’s wishing you a great year of making it all happen!
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