By KRISTIE THONG

A new survey has found more companies using interactive event technology as a way to gain insights to the audience.

While interactive event technology has been growing in prominence worldwide over the past five years, a recent independent survey commissioned by IML Worldwide and conducted from November-December 2012 revealed knowledge gaps in the industry that prevent event stakeholders from fully maximising its benefits.
This was based on insights gathered from over 300 event companies and stakeholders in key regions such as the UK (25.5 per cent), Australia and New Zealand (22 per cent), Europe (19.6 per cent), US (16.6 per cent), South Africa (5.8 per cent), Asia (4.1 per cent) and others (6.4 per cent).

Using technology at events is now the norm, with only 0.1 per cent of respondents saying they had never used some form of it. Out of the myriad tools that include texting/messaging, wireless microphones, voting/polling, social media, data tracking and more, voting/polling remains the most commonly-used feature.
The way technology is used at events has seen a shift – only 1 per cent of survey respondents use it primarily to entertain audiences. This also shines light on the use of interactive event technology for gaining audience insight, where 59.5 per cent of respondents believe it is very or vitally important. 79 per cent of respondents believe not using interactive event technology tools would cause their organisations to lose audience insight.

It allows event stakeholders to capture post-event analysis and feedback from insights captured at the event, which up to 74.9 per cent of respondents believe is very or vitally important. However, the survey highlighted that whilst the industry values the usage and how it effectively captures more audience insight, 88.7 per cent of respondents feel their organisations could do more to maximise it.

Understanding that there’s more to learn about interactive event technology tools, 95 per cent of respondents believe specialist advice is important, both in terms of assisting in the maximisation of insight harvesting and maximising the event’s overall success.
Contrary to belief that price is of utmost importance, the key selection criteria when it comes to interactive event technology is its ease of use (41.3 per cent), functionality (22.3 per cent) and reliability (20.6 per cent).

The future is bright for interactive event technology; close to 98 per cent of respondents believe it will play an even bigger part in events, especially in audience engagement and the level of data and insight gained. Approximately three quarters of respondents surveyed believe it will in fact become much more important, or one of the most important components of events.

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