September 28, 2018

The market for so-called wearable technology is developing rapidly, led by devices such as Apple Watches and FitBits.

Wearables offer users a great marriage of technological convenience and style. Linked to a smartphone, they provide access to your favourite mobile apps without having to keep fishing a phone out of your pocket.

The Apple Watch, for example, offers its own extensive suite of apps allowing users to do everything from checking the news, weather and messenger inbox, to taking phone calls or making notes.

The events industry is always quick to seize on the possibilities of new technology to improve the overall experience for attendees. Wearable technology is no exception, and combined with Bluetooth Beacons, there are numerous ways organisers can plan to add value for Apple Watch users. Here are five ideas to get started:

1. Quick Check In and Registration

The inclusion of Near Field Communication technology on the Apple Watch is there to support the Apple Pay contactless payment system. However, the transmission of user data over a short distance (like waving it next to a reader) could also be used to complete check in and registration at events. Names and details stored on an app on the Apple Watch will match up with the attendee database, with a receipt sent electronically.

2. Finding Your Way Around

Ever worry that the maps you so painstakingly drew up just aren’t going to cut it when the venue is jam packed with delegates? Have no fear – with a Bluetooth Beacon network set up at the venue, Apple Watch wearers are able to get directions to whichever seminar or exhibition they were looking for. Each beacon in a venue gets a name or a code, so when an Apple Watch user says they want to head to a certain point, the other beacons work together to guide them on their way in real time.

3. Gamification

The concept of gamification in an events setting is focused on encouraging active engagement from attendees – not so much creating an air of frivolous fun for the sake of it, but borrowing from the concepts which make gaming so popular and engrossing and applying it to events planning. In this regard, the goals of gamification are not dissimilar to those of social media – people are engaged when they feel part of fun, interesting shared experiences. An Apple Watch is particularly good at letting users create their own mini games and competitions from their fitness routines. The same principles could be applied to an event by creating leaderboards to show how many exhibitors people have visited, or create a voting tally for your favourite seminars. From these very simple starters, gamification is then all about the level of creativity you’re aiming for.

4. Social Networking

As with a smartphone, one of the main things people use an Apple Watch for is to keep up with their friends on social media or on messaging apps. This can be harnessed to boost networking at an event, for example when setting up a Facebook page, visitors could register online for different seminars and workshops, and be able to see a list of attendees. The news feed can be used to post comments, feedback, photos and videos from the event, and to ask questions which are then opened up to the whole community of delegates to answer.

5. Push Notifications

Push notifications simply mean real time messages – like an updated version of a group SMS. This is ideal for event planners to keep attendees up to date with latest information, for example sending out reminders about upcoming workshop sessions, or informing people about changes to the schedule. It also creates opportunities for sponsors and exhibitors to create hyperlocal marketing campaigns – using beacons, they can push out offers, links and invitations when Apple Watch wearers approach their stand.

Find Out More

Technology can make all the difference in delivering an outstanding event experience. But whatever the latest gadgets are, you need the right network infrastructure to make sure everything can run smoothly. Simpli-Fi provides a wide range of end-to-end IT services for the events industry. As well as offering the latest event tech solutions, we specialise in providing robust, managed Wi-Fi networks for events, providing a reliable foundation from which everything else can be run. To find out more, contact us here.