Chris Green from Etherlive spoke at our recent Data and Dining event. Etherlive is an event technology services company working at events of all sizes from pop-ups to exhibitions, festivals and large outdoor sporting events. He updated us on trends in event technology and the impact 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will have on future events and over what time period.
Here are the key points:
5G will be a great technology but it’s not there yet and events are not going to be run off 5G any time soon. Chris explained that it’s a really complex technology and there are lots of developments still to come. Going from 4G to 5G is a much bigger step change than from 3G to 4G so it will take time for the full range of functionality to be available. Over the next five to six years it will integrate more closely with Wi-Fi rather than replace it. In the short term 5G will be of more benefit to event attendees than event organisers. Long term it does have some exciting potential for event organisers.
Wi-Fi 6 is already here but has been rebranded to make it sound more exciting! Again it is something that is a multi-year evolution and is seeping into the market. It is backwards compatible which means you don’t need new devices to be able to use it, although to take full advantage you would need a new device.
The main benefit of Wi-Fi 6 is much greater capacity, more devices using it simultaneously, so a major boost for event organisers. It will also be approximately 30% faster and offer better security and better battery life.
Over time both Wi-Fi 6 and 5G will develop and also become more seamless.
Tech integration is finally coming up the agenda rather than all of the fantastic event tech developments being in silos. Chris advises engaging all partners and players early on in event planning to make sure that everything works together for you and also to create a seamless journey experience for attendees.
Planning with integration at the centre means you can maximise your data by joining up ticketing information, Exposure Analytics sensor data, CCTV footage and more. The trend is for this to all start to come together for everyone’s benefit.
Connectivity is still the biggest challenge for events. Some venues can charge astronomical amounts which becomes restrictive. Chris explained that we need venues to see good connectivity as critical so that we can all use the range of exciting technology that’s available.
He advised when booking into an event to sort out connectivity early to keep costs down.
Virtual conferences and events
A hot topic at the moment. Chris explained that there are lots of really good options for virtual events but as always robust infrastructure and good planning are key.
Passive Wi-Fi positioning
Etherlive has been working with our technology for around 18 months now. Chris explained that it’s a good fit as they are already on site deploying other technology so it adds to what they can offer their clients, saying “we very quickly realised that Exposure Analytics was a level above what else was on offer.” The data captured alongside their other technology allows them to offer a full end-to-end service embedded as part of general deployment and a really rounded offer to their clients.
Results from using Exposure Analytics at a Motorshow
Chris summarised some key results from using Exposure Analytics for one of their clients at a motorshow as follows:
- Enabled car maker to establish which cars had the highest footfall
- Flow diagram assisted better product placement
- Real time analytics helped decide on staffing during peak times
- End of day measurements influenced the next day’s positioning
- Post event reporting provided metrics and results to marketing
- External factors such as weather could be assessed
Chris’s key advice for the effective use of event technology was to start early and plan well.
Thanks again to Chris for his insight.
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