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Why we’re all in event tech

One of the most fascinating sectors of our events industry has to be event tech. At GL events, we’re increasingly working with a number of dynamic companies that see the opportunity that presents itself when digital meets live.

The sector includes an incredibly wide range of different disciplines: the obvious ones are event apps and registration systems. We’re seeing exciting developments in RFID, Beacon and Near Field technology, all of which are continually developing at a pace, with no signs of slowing.

The event professionals we work with are now treating event tech as a central component of their events, one in which they must be proficient and completely understand. The event tech sector has moved so close to the core market of ‘creating events’ that the two are often pretty indistinguishable. One could have an event app; sell tickets; load QR codes or RFID indicators with drinks, hospitality and back stage passes; use beacons to track delegates’ whereabouts, and then monitor their experience across social platforms. Event tech plays a huge part in the wider organisation of the event.

As an event enabler, our job is to put event infrastructure into place, so it’s no surprise that event tech is changing the way we work, too. Not so long ago, it was our job to provide a beautifully equipped structure, marquee or temporary seating grandstand, ensuring that an event could take place wherever and whenever the organiser wished. Now it’s much more than that.

This summer we worked with the organisers of The 145th Open to launch one of the first Wi-Fi enabled grandstands at Royal Troon; empowering the organisers to create a more interactive and immersive experience for spectators. With this in mind, we expanded the brief. Not only did we create noise-reducing, safe and comfortable seating grandstands – we also made sure that Wi-Fi networks could be set up, with beacons available. As ever, our job was to work with the creative event organiser. But we also showed how effectively we can work alongside the outstanding app companies that are developing such brilliant event tech.

The end result was spectacular. Golf is a tough watch for spectators: it used to be impossible to see every green at the same time in a live experience, to the extent that some spectators choose to watch at home. The development of Wi-Fi enabled stands now means that, thanks to event apps, spectators can see their referred action, gain a better understanding of its context, and then check back onto the live entertainment, always immersed in the buzz of the crowd around them.

It’s a tremendous opportunity for sporting events to enrich the experience of the crowd, and to connect them with sponsors, venues, and the organisers themselves. Social media can be easily facilitated and the organiser can ‘listen’ in real time to the experiences the spectators are sharing. If need be, they can change or adjust them.

This shows that event tech isn’t just here to supplement an event; but to broaden it, and take it to more ambitious places. It’s a movement we’re behind 100 per cent, and we’re looking forward to the next stage in the evolution of this exciting sector.