Meet The Future: Disruptive event technology trends

US-based speaker, consultant and writer Corbin Ball addressed a series of event technology trends during his keynote speech at Meet The Future in London today (9 June).

Up and coming event tech: the Cicret Bracelet (image: Cicret Bracelet YouTube page)
Up and coming event tech: the Cicret Bracelet (image: Cicret Bracelet YouTube page)

Ball explained there are two key areas of tech affecting events in particular – social media and mobile technology. "The umbrella term ‘big data’ is a big part of this," he said.

Wearable computing

Ball defined this particular technology as: "Miniature electronic devices worn under, with or on top of clothing."

Examples include Google Glass, a piece of tech which he explained wasn't adopted by the mainstream yet is on the right track; NFC rings, where people can exchange contacts, open up doors and more, as well as the Apple watch.

He also discussed the Cicret Bracelet, a piece of tech that is still in the development stages, however upon completion claims to operate as "a tablet, but on your skin."

Augmented reality  

Ball described augmented reality as: "A view of the real world supplemented by computer sensory input."

Examples include the immersive technology Oculus Rift, as well as Google Cardboard and Microsoft HoloLens. When used with Windows 10 the software is capable of producing holograms on screen without the use of wires, phones or a connection to a computer.

AR Concept

This includes facial recognition, whereby devices such as smartphones can be used to identify people at an event. 

The devices scan an individual’s face to automatically recognise them, and they are able to draw on relevant details that are attached to that particular person. 

Location aware technology/Geofencing

Ball explained iBeacons fall under this category. These small devices are fit out with Bluetooth devices, and they are compatible with Apple and android smartphones.

They can be used at events to:

  • Send notifications, whether that be to welcome delegates to an event or alert them about an upcoming seminar.
  • Process delegates’ registration on the day. 
  • Determine exhibit booth dwell times.
  • Facilitate networking among attendees.
  • Facilitate scavenger hunts and gamification.


Ball described this as: "Using data generated by attendees to adjust an event (often in real time)."

He mentioned a series of international examples, such as the Cisco Global Sales Experience event in Las Vegas. Here beacons were used to monitor the crowd flow, and the event schedule was adjusted accordingly.

At C2 Montreal data transmitted from delegates’ RFID badges was used to determine the number of staff and food required at any given time.

Event apps

Ball referred to an MPI survey from October 2014 that revealed 85% of meeting planers are, or will soon use mobile event apps; an increase from 9% in 2011; in an effort to highlight the fact that event app usage is on the rise.


Technology means tracking event behaviour, as well as garnerning post-event feedback is easier than ever.

He noted technology can be used to determine:

  • An event’s top speakers and sessions.
  • The number of in-app actions.  
  • The most influential people at an event.
  • Real-time feedback from attendees.

More: Meet The Future: Meaningful experiences need to be real - that's the challenge for tech

13 event tech to watch in 2015

Event Awards 2015

Why not enter the 'Event Technology' category for this year's Event Awards, taking place at the Eventim Apollo in London on 14 October?

The deadline for award entries is 18 June 2015. To find out how to enter, visit the Event Awards website. For the latest updates on the event, follow the Event Awards on Twitter at @EventAwards

To find out more about sponsorship opportunities, email Danielle Chapman or call (020) 8267 8010.

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