webmasterNovember 13, 2018November 13, 2018For those of you who don’t know him, Julius Solaris is the Editor at Event Manager Blog. Last month, this industry expert spoke at IMEX America and shared with the audience seven trends he expects to take hold in the technology arena next year. Below is a summary of his talk and how you can position yourself as an event planner for the changes in the environment of shrinking budgets and increasing costs. 2019 Technology Trends Here are the seven ways planners can move from a paper and staff intensive systems to digital solutions that will keep everyone engaged and informed on a real-time basis. Self-serve Kiosks. From event check-ins to polling stations, iPad floor stand kiosk rentals can save your organization money on staffing and time. Each station can print a badge and schedule that is personalized to every attendee. In addition, attendees can access these secured kiosks 24/7. Smart Badges. The ability for trade show exhibitors to collect information off a badge and display it on an iPad as the attendee is approaching, aids in intelligent conversation starters, as well as, with collection of lead generation data. These types of badges can also track where people are and how long they stay at specific locations. Facial Recognition. Currently used in some airports and with high level events, facial recognition is becoming mainstream, as the latest round of Apple announcements proves it. The Orlando airport states this new method provides up to a five times faster check-in method, captures CEU credits and keeps unregistered attendees out of your conference. Digital Signage. This technology can save on printing and shipping costs, staffing time and be a great indicator of how green your organization is. Digital signage has many uses and Solaris encouraged planners to just use it. Use an Event App Sparingly. For small to medium sized events, Solaris believes the cost of the developing the app outweighs the benefit. However, for a large convention or trade show, it is beneficial to locate rooms, see bios about speakers and find specific booths on the trade show floor. Cashless Systems. Whether it’s purchasing a speaker’s book or buying a drink at the bar, our society is moving to a cashless environment with credit cards, Venmo, or Apple/Samsung Pay. According to Solaris’ research, converting to cashless pay increases an event’s revenue by 15 percent. Cybersecurity. It’s important to have a physical and virtual audit of the network, applications and hardware you will be using at your event. There are many ways hackers can get into your system, therefore it’s vital a vulnerability assessment be completed and fixes be put in place prior to your event. In conclusion, as you are outlining your 2019 event budgets, make note of the ones you are currently not implementing. If you think it will be a hard sell to management, present the time and expense associated with each if you don’t do it. For example, if you ignore cybersecurity and have a bad actor hack your system: The reputation of the event, your company and the venue’s brand can be damaged by negative PR and reviews Attendees may not come back to the next event because they don’t have faith in the capabilities of your organization to provide secure systems Confidential data may be compromised and held as “ransomware”, a method where hackers keep the data in exchange for a Bitcoin payment. There will be days of lost productivity due to downtime. The Ponemon Institute found the average time to resolve a cyberattack was 45 days. Hartford Technology Rental is Poised for 2019 As you begin planning for next year’s meetings, conference and events, call us at 888-520-5667 or request a free quote online to assist you with event rental recommendations. Let us show you how we can make your next meeting stand out from the rest and well within your budget.