How to bring Hollywood-esque technology to your event marketing

Remember
that scene in 
Minority Report when Tom Cruise is walking into
a department store, has his retina scanned instantaneously, and a hologram
proceeds to not only address him by name but also follows up on his last
purchase? Far out stuff. While department stores and train stations haven’t
really embraced this technology yet, the events world took the leap long
ago….minus the whole eye scanning thing.

Cut
to: Event Farm. It’s an online event invitation and guest registration
platform that specializes in corporate and branded events. Its custom branded
platform handles everything from the initial save the dates and e-vites to the
ticket purchase process, on-site will call, and followup “thank
you” notes. The platform also offers cool features like RSVP
tracking, ticket blocks for specific guests, and notifications when VIP’s enter
the venue. 

With technology like Event Farm’s, the future of events, much like in
Minority Report, will be completely governed by interconnectivity via channels
such as NFC (Near Field Communication), RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)
and others. The box office will be able to digitally announce your arrival to
the bartender who will begin making your drink when, simultaneously, your favorite
song immediately gets added to the DJ queue. So, what do these acronyms do and how can
I go to a party like that?

Like
Tom Cruises’ retina, each guest can be given their own unique NFC/RFID asset
that contains their name, ticket and registration specifics, social media
accounts, credit card information etc. Just by bringing your personal NFC asset
near a reader (think badge, bracelet, key fob), all of this information can be
transferred instantaneously and hands free. No more lines to get in the door,
you say?  Aside from things like entry management, event badges and
secure payment it can even contain things like your cocktail preference and
t-shirt size. Check out this awesome video where
Heineken customized an entire event solely around this technology 

I
spoke with Event Farm’s Market Manager of New York City, Elizabeth Hollister,
about why this technology is important for savvy event hosts interested in the
registration process.

“We
are really excited to release the first NFC platform specifically created for
corporate events that ties into a registration software.  We’ve built the
Hover platform [apps that detect NFC assets] to serve as the foundation for a
variety of engagement apps like access control, surveys, social sharing,
sweepstakes, etc, allowing brands to collect important data on their audience
and have that information integrate back into our guest management software.”

By
using this new technology, the guest is engaged and trackable throughout the
course of the event and even after. Companies like Event Farm may seem
futuristic, but they are providing a service that is all too often ignored. By
gathering analytic data on your event goers, it will only make you more
knowledgeable and successful moving forward and in planning ahead.

The COO of
Event Farm, Brennan McReynolds, relayed the importance of human interaction in
events by describing that engagement and emotional response are
the cornerstones of the industry. The more customized,
personal and unique to each individual, the better.  One look at that
Heineken video, and you will see his point with crystal clarity. 

McReynolds
went on to explain that their NFC technology, Hover,  has made a once cumbersome
event check-in process more streamlined.  It will soon show up
at your average event, corporate or otherwise, and not just lavish beer galas
somewhere in Europe. 

Don’t be
alarmed when this type of technology finds its way into the American
mainstream. Soon, personalized NFC readers or something similar are slated to
be standard issue in most phones of tomorrow making your data easily
accessible not only in the event space but also at the airport, a taxi,
a supermarket and, sadly, to your landlord.

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