webmasterMay 11, 2017May 11, 2017You want to maximize the conference experience with your attendees and pull them into the event with unique and wonderful offerings. But with a finite budget and loads of technology options, which ones are best for your conference? Here is a breakdown of the four different engagement choices, and the pros and cons of each engagement technology. Pros and Cons of Engagement Technology Mobile Devices Tablets and smartphones fall into this category. PROS There are thousands of applications available on these devices, including many specially designed for the event industry. They are very portable – attendees can use them while sitting, standing or walking. Attendees can post on social channels, send texts and emails on a real-time basis. CONS Not all applications are supported on both iOS and Android platforms. Cybersecurity may be at risk if your conference has a BYOD policy and you cannot adequately monitor the applications on each attendee’s devices. Depending on the venue’s Wi-Fi capabilities, the bandwidth may come to crawl or crash if you have not planned for adequate upload/download speed. Video Walls A video wall consists of multiple monitors tiled together contiguously in order to form one large display. Up to 10 monitors can be tiled together. PROS A large video wall rental can be viewed up to 300 feet away. With the right look and feel, it can be a natural gathering point for attendees Each screen can run independently, as one large picture or somewhere in between. You can control the viewing parameters within seconds. CONS If space is tight, a video wall may not be feasible. It may take a long time to install because you must rig this unit and depending on the facility, union employees may be required to complete the installation. Attendees may discount or overlook the wall if not directed to it for information. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality VR and AR systems are all the rage at events and tradeshows. Each user is equipped with a headset and/or viewing apparatus that is powered by a computer system. PROS This is a totally immersive experience – the user feels they are on the roller coaster, in the game or at a destination. Attendees are requesting to try out this technology because it is so new and different from anything else. Given the right parameters, VR or AR players can play each other locally or across the globe – which takes gamification to a whole new level. CONS Some attendees may not wish to be immersed into the experience, as they prefer viewing versus feeling the product or service. There are not many canned apps on this platform and the ones that are available are more for gaming. Development of a customized app for your business can take time and be costly. Wearables Wearables such as fitness trackers and watches have moved into the event environment through intelligent wristbands, Near Field Communication (NFC) apps and RFID Badges. PROS Attendees can easily give lead information to trade show exhibitors, record their educational credits and show where they are physically located at the conference. Each wearable can be personally tailored to the individual desires of each attendee. Depending on the application, trade show exhibitors can send push notifications to attendees when they are within range. CONS Because most of these technology choices have the lowest level of encryption, there are opportunities for individuals to hack or steal sensitive attendee information. Attendees may forget or take off their badge or band and not be tracked at all. Because geofencing push notifications can suggest other booths or sessions attendees might want to go to, the user may feel a little like the “Big Brother” effect is taking hold. Hartford Technology Rental Can Help You Engage Attendees When you are ready to plan your event, contact us at 888-520-5667 or complete our request form and we will help you take your conference to the next level and make sure you provide the right technology to engage your attendees.