Issue #56

Passive Intelligence

For the sake of personalization, technology is stepping out of the spotlight.

Following several years of heavy focus on virtual reality and other trending technologies, event marketers are now embracing an integrated approach to technology that gives attendees control (a form of personalization) while still harnessing all the intelligence and data they want most. In this “phygital” era of events and meetings, technology is no longer the flashy starlet. It is the passive player that is woven into the full event.

Take Pernod Ricard’s connected cocktail glasses, a program it launched with brand Havana Club Rum at a bar in Paris this year. Equipped with NFC chips, the branded glasses allow drinkers to simply scan their glass with their device to order another drink from the bartender. When it’s ready, the attendees receive a notification to pick it up. If they take their glass home with them, they can wave their device over it for recipes and invites to Havana Club Rum events. No more waiting for a drink, and, for Pernod Ricard, useful (and consented to) data on preferences and consumption.

Today’s event apps have symphonies of bells and whistles. Marketers know this. But some of the latest app integrations are all about attendees driving that user experience, rather than the other way around. At the McDonald’s Worldwide Convention, users of the event app could create a custom app interface for themselves and leverage an interactive map that included a special signifier for their favorite exhibits.

Augmented reality mobile apps are transforming what were “high-tech” and “borrowed” experiences on devices at events into a personalized experience accessible in-hand, much like IKEA Place, which allows you to see, virtually, how IKEA furniture will fit in a space before your purchase it. In events, Cisco is leveraging an AR mobile app it has developed for training and certification programs where users “perform” network tasks, like working with routers and switches, in a “virtual lab overlaid on the real world.” At Cisco Live in Orlando, the brand launched an AR mobile experience for attendees that allowed them to engage in a 3D environment overlaid onto the real world as they walked around the conference, performing tasks and challenges.

The use of artificial intelligence won’t just help personalize event experiences from a content point of view, but it could help make attendees healthier and happy, too. Passio is a startup that “specializes in AI and machine-learning tools for tracking food intake and health.” In other words, peer through your device to learn about the nutritional values of what’s on your plate—instantly. In an age of food allergies, preferences and wellness-focused attendees, passive technology satisfies appetites with a personalized F&B experience.

And perhaps, room for dessert.

Trend For the sake of personalization, technology is stepping out of the spotlight.

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