2019 Meeting Technology Trends

2019 meeting technology trends, meetings
Robots like Pepper will greet hotel guests in the future.

2019 meeting technology trends are about new uses for—and refinements to—the tools we are already using.

We turned to the experts for the top 2019 meeting technology trends. What we see is the same technology making waves right now, but being used in new and innovative ways.

Drones for Hotspots and Security

The Federal Aviation Administration predicts that up to 7 million drones will be flying by 2020. Over the next 12 months, we will see drones taking a more functional role, rather than flashy. For example, drones can actually be utilized as mobile hotspots. If your event needs better internet speed or network connections, adding a drone hotspot can make a big difference. Also, drones will become a powerful tool in event security. Drones fitted with cameras offer the possibility of continuous aerial monitoring, allowing for the detection of security violations or suspicious behavior.  Source: Hubb Event Management Solutions

Chatbots as Personnel

Chatbots will take off in the hotel industry. The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, for example, uses a VIP virtual host that goes by the name of Rose.  With a sense of humor, Rose can respond quickly to amenity requests and give out recommendations for local bars and restaurants. At the Clarion Hotel in Amsterdam, guests are introduced to their AI-enabled chatbot butler, an in-room assistant based on Amazon Echo. Equipped with power features, it is designed to help guests with many of their requirements such as hailing taxis, ordering room service, finding information online and other hotel-related operations. Source: BCD Meetings & Events 

“Phygital” Events

Are virtual meetings set to replace live events? The answer to that is a resounding no, but for increasingly complex events at multiple locations around the globe, virtual and hybrid meetings—also known as “phygital,” a cross between physical and digital—are the future. Meeting Professionals International’s latest outlook finds that 60 percent of meeting and event professionals feel virtual events have a positive influence on live event attendance. Source: CWT 2019 Meeting & Events Forecast

360-Degree Reporting

Many planners are drawing event data from various technologies, not all of which are integrated: event management software, registration systems, event apps, post-event surveys. An optimized data dashboard, such as Ontrac, can consolidate relevant data and extract actionable KPIs. The goal is to get a 360-degree view of attendees’ experiences by bringing together the disparate technology tools used throughout the planning and executing process to build a useful picture of the event’s effectiveness based on the full range of data points available. Source: Omnience Event Management

Live Events Via Social Media

Another option for social media is to broadcast an event, or part of the event, live. Although live video feeds have been around for some time, the next frontier provides a more immersive experience. New technology that debuted at the Golden Globe awards involved some attendees wearing special wireless video cameras that were synced with Snapchat’s Spectacles service. This meant circular videos featuring 115-degree fields of view could be beamed directly to users’ feeds. Source: &Meetings

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.