internet of things IoT for conferences and eventsYou might have heard the term IoT enough recently that you think it’s just a buzzword for future technology hype. However, IoT is a technology that is here to stay with many practical implementations for event marketing. It’s a concept that not only has the potential to impact how we live but also how we work.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

The complexity of this topic allows for a mass amount of discussion but for the sake of this article, we’re going to keep it simple. Essentially, the Internet of Things is when everyday objects have network connectivity.

“Network connectivity describes the extensive process of connecting various parts of a network to one another, for example, through the use of routers, switches and gateways, and how that process works.” – Techopedia
It is estimated that there will be about 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020. So what does this mean for marketers? Because user experiences today span from online to offline activity like never before, utilizing this technology can help both marketers and organizers to better tailor offline experiences.
Common uses for IoT include thermostats that adjust temperature settings based on common trends and learned user history as well as remote lighting that can be controlled straight from your smartphone or any other mobile device.  Many of these use cases can be implemented into the event industry in utilizing sensors and devices to change the way attendees engage with speakers at conferences.

How can the Internet of Things Improve Attendee Engagement?

Like we said, IoT is changing the way people communicate and engage at events. Whether you’re putting on an exhibit, a sales meeting or a conference, utilizing IoT provides you with a way to connect with people when you physically can’t.  For example, you may not have time to meet with each attendee one on one or you might get pulled away (or you just don’t want to talk that day), this technology bridges the communication gap at these types of large scale events by providing attendees with a way to reach out to you via a mobile connected device.  In these cases, you’re also able to think about your response and even decide whether questions and comments are even worth replying to; thus saving you time!

The Internet of Things can also be used as a successor to other tech devices, such as RFID’s and iBeacons. The combined use of these technologies can and will provide event organizers and marketers with a plethora of information and data about attendee behavior, engagement, and overall event success.

We’d love to hear what your thoughts are on the topic and how you would utilize this technology to increase engagement and success at your event. Leave us a comment below and join the conversation!

Happy Planning!




Image: Forbes

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