Excite, Not Complicate

By Kristy CastletonHolograms, Virtual Reality, mixed reality, artificial intelligence, wearables, gesture control, chatbots, the list goes on. Event technology has been developing at an overwhelming pace the last decade, offering us a plethora of options when planning an event. While it is tempting to put them all together in a bid to wow event participants with new technology, it may instead overwhelm and disinterest them.

Ultimately, using event technology follows the basic design principle: form follows function. We should never use technology for the sake of it. Rather, it should fulfil a need, thus making it useful and memorable for the event.

Targeted Marketing
Event technology can be used to simplify existing processes or to add a human touch to the event, by personalising it to the participant. For example, during an event, you can distribute wearables to collect data on the areas that participants frequent. These wearables can also speed up and simplify the registration process as they can be tagged to the specific participant.

Subsequently, you can use the gathered data to conduct targeted marketing for follow-up events. This approach adds a personal touch for the participant and aids sales conversion. As a value add, reward the customers’ interaction with the wearable. Send a customised playlist to a consumer after a festival, based on the bands that they saw that weekend.

Telling A Story Through Music
Speaking of playlists, music is a beautiful medium to tell a memorable story. When a client engaged us for their annual gala dinner, we set out to make it memorable by engaging the guests’ sense of hearing. By incorporating a conductive ink pressure sensor into the table setting, we told a story through music.

Throughout the first course, musical notes filled the air as guests picked up  their cocktail glasses. We complemented this experience by working with a symphony orchestra to compose a unique piece of music to pair with each course.

Adding Personas
Of course, event technology can simply mean streamlining existing processes like event registration or scheduling. Take chatbots, for example. Most have a persona attached to them these days.

From Bus Uncle used by the Land Transport Authority, speaking in Singlish and cracking jokes to Mitsuku, the award-winning chatbot who gets smarter the more you talk to her. She’s a feisty one, too, who will stand her ground if you start an argument! These features add a human touch and give an illusion that participants are speaking to someone, rather than something.

Making Mini-golf Easy
Event technology can also be used to create a money-can’t-buy experience. During a recent golfing event, we created a Beat the Pros competition using cutting-edge augmented reality technology to train the amateurs to beat the pros. The tech was so good that one of our guests did beat the pro idol. The pros were so impressed that they’re now using the technology to train.

Event technology will, of course, continue to advance at a fast pace, but it’s the application of that technology that’s important. The aim is to improve and not to overwhelm. Excite, not complicate. Through personalisation and storytelling, technology can help to make an event highly memorable for participants, leaving a lasting and impactful impression.

About The Author
Kristy Castleton is the Founder and MD of Rebel and Soul, a socially conscious business in Singapore that produces highly memorable events for global brands across Asia Pacific. Her passion for neuroscience and technology – teamed with a love for parties and new experiences – drove her to set up an agency that does things a little differently and works with brands like Heineken, HSBC, Chanel and MINI, as well as agencies such as Dentsu and Saatchi & Saatchi.


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