The Future of the Event App

Looking ahead there are some exciting new possibilities for making your event app unique and a must-have for your attendees. David Hass, director of technology solutions for Freeman XP, has some suggestions that will help your show “leap-frog everyone else.”

Augmented Reality—AR is a live view of a real-world environment that has been altered (augmented or supplemented) in some way with computer-generated input. This could be done with graphics, sound or video. At a car show simply holding a mobile device in front of a car would generate an identical virtual car that you can manipulate: open the doors to look inside, lift the hood to see the engine. Beyond a serious cool factor, it can increase educational opportunities with attendees. This is currently available from a few app vendors.

Second Screen—This app supports what is occurring in front of an attendee (keynote address, visiting a booth, etc.) by automatically supplementing the experience with additional, related information on the “second screen,” the mobile device. A presenter talking about the results of a study might have graphs of information on a screen and the actual study will pop up on a handheld device. Throughout the session other helpful materials and information will be provided. This app is available, but integration into existing show apps is underway.

Session Chat—This offers the ability to communicate with other participants in a session, during the session, without having to leave the show app. If everyone signs in when they arrive, each attendee will see who is in attendance. Then individuals can communicate without disrupting the presentation. “I don’t understand XYZ, could you explain it?” This electronic version of passing notes in class isn’t available yet, but is being developed.

iBeacon, based on Bluetooth Low Energy, is a technology that will enable event owners to offer “GPS-like” navigation on the showfloor. It will offer attendees the opportunity to receive alerts on information that they find of interest. If an attendee is interested in a particular product, such as a particular book, iBeacons can send an alert as the attendee nears an item of interest. The product is available and starting to get some traction in the market.

These and other innovations may allow event organizers to meet the needs of attendees, exhibitors and presenters in a new and exciting way. The only limit will be your imagination!

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