By Ilya Pozin Founder, Pluto TV@ilyaNeverSleeps Published on: Oct 13, 2017

Gone are the days of the traditional Woodstock-style music festival. In recent years, festivals and events have become cornerstones for all kinds of unique experiences, and the latest technology has made these events even more memorable for attendees.
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To guide the masses through this event, an app was developed pro bono by Rockfish, a division of VML, for both iOS and Android users. The BLINK app provides an extra interactive experience for attendees by notifying them when they’re near an installation, providing background information on the pieces of art and their creators, and displaying which installations are trending — all in real time.
Though not always done for free, the integration of tech in events is now the new frontier. 60% of event planners report that an event app increases guest engagement, and 91% of planners have experienced positive ROI when providing an app for an event.

Here are five different ways to bring technology into your event, for the benefit of both your guests and your bottom line:

1. Use RFID wristbands for an interactive guest experience.

Radio-frequency identification, more commonly known as RFID, is now making its way out of the trial phase and into major events. The Bonnaroo and Isle of Wight music festivals saw thousands of attendees using RFID bracelets to make purchases, connect on social media, and purchase virtual tickets. Further, RFID bracelets served as a safety measure by only allowing those with the proper coded bracelets to enter the festivals’ grounds and campsite areas.

To announce its take on the superhero classic “The Tick” and cultural sensation “Lore,” Amazon Prime Video employed the help of NVE Experience Agency to create a dynamic and interactive experience at Comic-Con International: San Diego and, more recently, New York Comic Con. Both installations integrated RFID technology in a gamified approach, capturing critical consumer data — such as behavior and change in sentiment — while enhancing the overall consumer experience and garnering massive media attention.

Given their success, RFID bracelets are becoming more in demand — 31% of attendees want RFID, and 17% are now accustomed to the trend. What’s more, 20% more money, on average, is spent when people wear RFID bracelets, and at the Lollapalooza and CounterPoint 2014 events, RFID bracelets accounted for 33% of concession purchases overall.

2. Integrate beacon technology to track the crowd.

“Beacon” is the current buzzword flying around multiple industries, and for good reason — 80% of users have opted in when given the opportunity. Why? Through creating an area barrier around an event known as a geofence, beacons send out messages to attendees about schedules, promotions, and what’s happening within reach.
At the 2015 Reeperbahn Festival in Germany, beacons were used to track attendees’ locations to display personalized content. Further, Greencopper, the beacon application used, synced with Spotify; over the course of the festival, it racked up more than 360,000 digital streams for the visiting performers.

3. Live-stream main events.

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4. Test drive augmented audio.

5. Utilize drone accessories.

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
Published on: Oct 13, 2017