RHC Blog: Give your events a digital edge

Planning an event at the Royal Highland Centre (RHC) allows your audience to engage differently with your brand – and become even more well connected – through apps and other advances

Engage with the ever-connected consumer

Using the right technology is so important to the success of an event. The value of attendees sharing their experiences on social media, connecting via apps and other advances to promote engagement and increasing delegate connectivity has never been more significant. At the RHC, we know that using first-rate technology at your event can make the difference between a sell out and a washout.

What are the best ways that event hosts can use technology to their advantage?

1. Apps

Event management apps, such as those created by technology company Noodle Live are a great tool. You can share current content and live updates during your conference or concert. Those attending your event can also provide feedback and take part in live polls, using their mobile device to submit questions to speakers.

Having real-time data available is also handy. Eventbrite, for instance, allows you to collect postcode information which helps with transport planning and communication. Understanding the geographic appeal of event, in turn, assists with future advertising planning. It also provides real-time data on ticket purchases and attendance.

According to events and hospitality association HBAA, the main reasons that mobile apps are used for meeting and events are:

- the convenience for attendees
- the ability to collect data to improve future meetings and events
- to encourage engagement
- to save on the cost of printing.

Not only do they enhance attendee experience, they provide vital time-saving and insight tools to aid events management teams.

2. Live streaming

The world has become a myriad of instant information on multiple channels. Real time is the new normal and by encouraging live streaming through apps such as Periscope and Facebook, you can widen your audience base, essentially upping brand visibility – which can in turn lead to new customers in future.

Writing for Forbes, Steve Olenski mentions that “[Live streaming] allows you to reach people, but you can also interact with them on the spot. It makes interaction seamless, fun, and you can generate lots of leads this way.”
Brand awareness, engagement and potential leads? What’s not to like?

3. Digital Signage

Opting for a paperless event, and using digital signage instead allows guests speedy access to the most up-to-date information such as changes to schedules.

Smoke Signal is a fully customisable digital signage product, designed by event professionals in Edinburgh, with the goal of communicating effectively with audiences. This brings your event’s Twitter feed to life and engages audiences in a new and interesting way.

At the RHC, brands can create their own hashtag and then stream their Twitter feed across our versatile venue to encourage an online conversation, thereby organically creating brand ambassadors.

4. Wearable Technology

Smartbadges – the event organisers dream – allow managers to track delegate behaviour, interactions and geographical locations. Should an attendee of note enter a specific area, exhibitors will be alerted and adjust their interaction accordingly. Even more valuable, however, this type of tool allows analysis of high and poor performing areas of the event to continually evolve and improve.
The development of Xylobands transforms your audience from spectator to participant as attendees’ radio-controlled LED bands spring from colour to colour or nothing at all. Described as a “little bit of magic” it adds another layer of engagement to any event.

How much data someone is willing to provide depends on the “usability of the technology,” says George Hines, former chief information officer and head of innovation at Global Experience Specialists. “Is it seamlessly integrated into the event and does it make their experience better?” Whilst the information that can be provided to sponsors and event organisers is invaluable, the most important thing is it adds a whole new level of fun for your guests.

5. Wi-Fi

Technology research firm Gartner predicts the number of wireless devices able to connect to the internet by 2020 to be almost 26 billion. It might sound obvious, but if you’re not connected, you’re not connecting with people and missing out on a potential audience as a result. Making high speed Wi-Fi easily accessible for delegates is fast becoming crucial to the success of an event.

As part of the RHC’s investment in infrastructure, continuing into 2018/19, we will install high speed Wi-Fi across our facilities. As the largest indoor and outdoor venue in the country, the centre hosts premium, well-connected events in more than 18 000m² of covered exhibition space.

The RHC is the venue of choice for concerts, exhibitions, sporting events and much more. The venue offers on-site security and parking for more than 20,000 cars. For more information, or to arrange a visit please call 0131 335 6273.

Join the conversation Share this on Facebook or Twitter using #RHCpresents and #digitalevents.

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