Is this the future of exhibition and event tech?

Last Modified: June 3, 2016 | Posted by: Katie Callear

When it comes to exhibitions and events, quirky tech is always an attention grabber. Taking a look at some new and emerging technology, we consider what the future of event tech might look like. And what is already available to help you to engage and involve attendees at your next event.

1. Augmented and Virtual Reality (VR)

Augmented and VR is creating multi-sensory, immersive experiences. And these experiences have the potential to change the world of events forever.

Showing us how it is done, as far back as 2014, Red Bull created the “ultimate interactive flight experience”. This used technology that allowed members of the public to sit in the pilot’s chair and feel the “blistering pace and quick turns” of an Air Racer.

VR (such as Oculus Rift, facial tracking and avatars) also gives brands an ingenious way of engaging with potential customers. And it’s suitable for use at events and exhibitions around the world. VR is also ideal for promoting larger products that it just isn’t feasible to transport to tradeshows.

Of course, immersive technology has been around for some years. But historically, it’s only the big brands that have had the budget to deploy it. However, as with most tech, the better it gets, the more accessible it becomes. As such, we predict that we’ll all start to see VR creeping into mainstream exhibitions over the next few years.

2.Video Mapping

Video table mapping technology manipulates light to turn everyday objects into interactive, 3D displays. The images can be simple effects or elaborate projections. Ultimately, by ‘painting with light’, video mapping creates a stunning and highly engaging event experience.

With table mapping technology you can turn surfaces into casino tables and undersea worlds, take part in space exploration and travel across continents – all from the comfort of a banqueting hall.

But talking about what video mapping can do simply doesn’t do it justice! See how Apex is using Lumentium video mapping to bring a new kind of event experience to the UK.

3. Gamification

Gamification is helping event organisers and attendees meet their objectives.

With intelligent technology and interactive devices, participants are encouraged to achieve event related goals. Be that networking with particular people, checking into a certain number of sessions, and/or engaging with exhibitors.

With the latest technology also offering a competitive edge, with leaderboards and incentives, gamification is taking the collaborative event experience to a whole new level.

4. Robotics

Only last month we discussed how exhibition stands don’t actually sell anything. Instead, we argued, that what really sells your products and services is your people. But with the world of AI and robotics moving forward at a tremendous pace, is the advent of the robot stand salesman just around the corner?

The truth is, robotic employees are already science fact. One hotel in Japan is staffed entirely by machines. And, last year, the Royal Caribbean installed robot bartenders on several of its cruise ships. Likewise, in a Marriott hotel in Belgium, a humanoid robot named Mario has been welcoming guests (in no less than 19 languages!) and guarding the buffet since June 2015.

Let’s hope Mario wasn’t created by Skynet.

5. Transportation technology

Autonomous vehicles is a particularly hot topic of conversation, with the driverless car set to be tested on UK motorways next year. But what if, inspired by the latest Intelligent Park Assist Technology, event organisers could also free themselves from the troublesome task of arranging furniture?

Enter the self-parking chair.

While we can see conference venues investing in such tech, we fear the traffic (chair) jams!

6. Audience participation

Yes, of course, voting technology that allows people to vote or ask questions during presentations is nothing new. In fact, we’ve been using it here at Apex for some years. But, with engagement the buzzword on everyone’s lips, just because the practice of audience participation is old hat, doesn’t mean it there isn’t new, and richer ways to do it.

The unique perspectives that different attendees bring to events can lead to more creative brainstorming sessions and outcomes, and shed new light on old problems. And, today’s technology makes it easier than ever to live-share content with audience members, deploy moderated Q&A sessions, and crowd-sourced content via interactive tools such as social media and apps.

Just as importantly, you can use engagement tools to provide valuable insights and data on the success of your events. For example, which sessions were the best attended, and which received the most positive feedback.

Ultimately, by increasing participation and creating a more interactive experience, events become more engaging, and more memorable.

7. Location, location, location

Proximity-based technology is already engaging customers at events. For example, apps that use GPS data and beacons to send tailored offers and promotions to customers on their smartphones, based on where they are.

Likewise, what if you could use technology to help people find your stand at exhibitions and tradeshows? One of the simplest and memorable ways to do just that is what3words. Using a unique combination of just three words, this clever technology can identify a 3m x 3m square, anywhere on the planet.

Try it for yourself at But we can’t take responsibility for the time you’ll spend experimenting with it!

The truth is, in today’s competitive business world, simply sticking the company logo on the biggest stand you can find just won’t cut it.

Facing this challenge head-on, savvy marketing teams are increasingly using technology to help them embody their brand, engage their target audience, and deliver that elusive wow factor. And this technology is changing the face of events. Adding imagination and ingenuity like never before.

At Apex, we understand the immense effort that goes into preparing for exhibitions and events, and we work with you to help reach your goals and achieve a truly positive experience. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you integrate technology into your events, Click here to find out more, or give us a call today on + 44 (0)1625 429370 to discuss your requirements in more depth.