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17th of January 2018

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Here's the Secret to a Successful Marketing or Networking Event

Whether it's a customer meeting, an industry conference or an employee celebration, your business puts on its fair share of events. These events are important but also require considerable time to plan, market and execute, which limits how much effort you can devote to other tasks. It would be great to have an entire team devoted to event planning, but if you don't have the budget for one, you can leverage event technology instead, including tools and event platforms that automate the event management process. Here are some ways that you can more effectively manage your events, no matter how big or small.

Related: 6 Ideas for Influencing Events in Your Favor

1. Event platforms.

Eventbrite is the world's leading event technology platform. Besides providing a framework for hosting all types of events, such as music festivals, conferences, contests, fundraisers, gaming competitions and more, the event technology company provides an increasingly automated and integrated system for creating, promoting and hosting these events.

For example, its whitepaper "5 Essential Eventbrite Extensions That Will Make You More Productive" defines many of the aspects of an event that can now be integrated and automated, including 130 extensions that shorten the time you need to spend on an event. Many of these extensions you may already recognize and use, which makes employing an event platform even easier.

For example, you can use MailChimp from the Eventbrite event platform to send personalized, automated emails to sell event tickets. SurveyMonkey automates the event feedback process to determine what your guests thought of the event and what you might improve. Also, Eventbrite has a Publish to Facebook tool and the ability to integrate with Hootsuite to get the word out about your event. Finally, Zapier extends the automation capabilities within the platform to perform numerous event-related tasks, thus removing the need for, say, any manual data entry.

2. Event planning automation technologies.

Event planning automation is advancing in many ways. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, which has been around for a while, is now becoming a more common tool for automating aspects of an event. For example, the wireless system can be used in attendee wristbands for large-scale events, saving considerable resources and eliminating manual checks. In addition, the stored information can help you enhance the customer experience at the event. Attendees will not need to worry about carrying credit cards or a ticket but can just enjoy the show.

Furthermore, the data from those RFID wristbands can be analyzed through machine learning to deliver new insights that can lead to improved events for you and your audience. Various types of intelligent analytics can now be used to look at every aspect of the event to identify what the audience liked, what delivered the greatest return, and what needs more thought.

Related: 9 Tactics for Promoting Your Next Event

3. Event engagement technologies.

Attendee engagement is a vital part of the event management process. It could make the difference in the number of attendees who return to future events you hold, as well as the recommendations -- or complaints -- they share with their network. These technologies offer an incredible range of ways to engage with your eventgoers, such as gamification, social walls, live streaming, second-screen technology, people discovery, content sharing and attendee logistics.

Another area gaining attention is the use of virtual reality and augmented reality as event engagement tools. Many venues are offering virtual reality through Oculus Rift viewers as a way to provide a better vantage point of their space. However, you can also use this technology to engage with your attendees. It provides the option for virtual attendance, extending your pool of attendees beyond those physically present. Virtual reality viewers can potentially enhance any type of gamification at your event as well.

4. Biometrics and sentiment analysis.

Biometrics technology such as facial recognition is helping to strengthen and facilitate event security. To gauge your attendees' response to your event, sentiment technology collects such attendee data as mood and engagement level, in addition to demographic data such as age, gender and ethnicity. Examples include Sightcorp's CrowdStats Audience Analytics system, Visage Technologies' face tracking and analysis technologies and Mood.me's Face Tracking SDK and Emotion Recognition SDK. The XOX emotional technology platform even provides a sensory wristband that can measure attendee excitement.

Related: How to Break the Mold of Standard Event Conferences

A complete event package.

This intriguing list of event technologies illustrates the significant changes that have occurred in event management in recent years. There are many ways to reduce the time you spend managing events while also increasing the overall experiences you create and the insights you can glean from them. Even better is that these event technologies are fairly affordable and have proven to deliver a considerable return on investment.

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