This is the event technology that you actually need in 2021.

There’s tons of event tech to choose from between in-person platforms, virtual platforms, health apps, hybrid technology, and probably a new event app launching daily. But which tech do you really need? And how will it make your event better? In this article, we break down the essential event tech in 2021 and how it will make organizers and attendees happier before, during, and after the event.

Expo Pass demonstration gif with person's hand using the touchscreen iPad to checkin

Fast registration, check-in, and badge printing.

What do registration, check-in, and badge printing all have in common? They’re all about time. 

A good event tech platform lets attendees register online in just a few minutes or less (including making secure payments). Think of registration as the first impression — you get one chance to prove to attendees that you value their time, and this is it. 

Speed matters with check-in, too. Attendees don’t want to touch a bunch of screens just to check in, especially not right now. This is why we recommend a low-touch process. Just a simple way where guests can type their name and tap check-in in seconds. That’s it. 

Badge printing is the final sprint. Event technology platforms in 2021 should let attendees print their own badges instantly. No more searching a table for the right badge. Just print, grab a lanyard, and go. Fast and easy. 

Not to toot our own horn too much but that’s Expo Pass pictured above. Nice, right? We can help with check-in, badge printing, virtual platforms, lead retrieval, and much more! Want to collaborate? Just visit our contact page to get more info.

GIF of Dwight Schrute whiting out his business card's title

Easy and touchless lead retrieval. 

Trading business cards is fun, but cards are also easy to lose, and it takes time to digitize all that contact information anyways — not to mention cards are definitely not a low-touch option. 

To solve this, we recommend a lead retrieval solution that lets exhibitors scan a QR code on each attendees badge to capture their contact info. The information is then digitally stored instantly, so all those new contacts are in one place, and easy to migrate after the event. 

This type of system is also completely touchless. As we said, we love a nice business card, but maybe not to trade at the moment.

Gif of a man on zoom saying "hello! I don't know what I pressed but I'm here."

A virtual platform backup plan.

In-person is the goal right now, but we’ve found that many organizers want a virtual platform ready just in case. 

The best virtual platforms are the ones that let attendees click a link and get right into the virtual experience. We’re a fan of magic links, which can take attendees directly from their email browser to the virtual platform in one click.

It’s also a good idea to find a virtual platform that’s integrated with your registration, so attendees won’t need to register for separate events.

Our last bit of virtual platform advice is to check streaming quality. The webcam game went up in 2020. 720p streaming just won’t cut it for your audience. Look for HD resolution. You want your presenters coming in loud and clear. 

NBA x Clear health pass logo advertisement

Health apps that work.

CLEAR Health Pass is a simple app that lets attendees validate their vaccine status before an event.

We know events may require vaccination in the future, but it’s been unclear how that would work. Do organizers hire a team? Or ask for proof themselves? Heath Pass proves that the process can be easy, secure, and attendees can do it from the comfort of their own homes. 

Did we mention you can customize the Health Pass app to fit any other health or safety needs you are screening for? And that Health Pass is also the official health partner for the NBA?  Yeah. It’s a good one to look into.

GIF of man and woman talking on a speaker stage

A nimble AV team.

Big screens, cameras, broadcast technology are all possible event technology needs in 2021 and 2022. If you are going hybrid, you may even want to look for a venue that has these things already hooked up on location. Here are a few hybrid event venues to get you started. 

Big screens are also a great way to create more social engagement. You can fill them with virtual guests, chat streams, Twitter feeds, polling, or anything really. We think that if you are going to make online engagement part of the event, it should be big, for everyone to see. 

Another plus for hybrid or broadcast technology is that it lets you make content on the fly. Once you record a session, you can create a quick video cut to keep the event energy going. The faster you can make content, the more engagement you’ll have online. 

Pictured above is the hybrid venue at Radisson Blu Frankfurt.

GIF of Chris Evans with caption "Internet, so helpful."

Good internet!

None of the things we mentioned above will happen without a good internet connection. It may sound obvious but check with your venue about everything you want to be able to do when it comes to connectivity. 

From check-in, lead retrieval, streaming, and even health check-ins, it all requires people to quickly access data on their phones or tablets. No one wants to be the one saying, “sorry, I’m not getting any service here.” Especially if it’s your event.

Event tech should make people happy.

When we think of event technology in 2021, we think of what will actually make people happy. Saving time makes people happy. So does health and safety. There’s also a lot to be said for having a virtual backup plan, or hybrid capabilities ready just in case. The bottom line, if it makes attendees and organizers happy, relaxed, and ready to enjoy the event, then it’s the right move in 2021.

August 11, 2021

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August 11, 2021

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