Lights, live video and robots were just some of the many technologies expected to take over the event industry as covered by TechsyTalk Live, held last week in New York City. As my first event industry event since working at etouches, I found TechsyTalk to be extremely informative, and fun while being conveniently jammed packed into one-day.
While it was a lot to take in in such a short amount of time, in my opinion, one common theme emerged: FOMO. FOMO, or fear of missing out, is an emerging concept in the events world, and it was even named one of Event Manager Blog’s top trends of 2017.
And it’s so much more than a trendy, Millennial-era hashtag; when you apply the concept of FOMO to event planning, you create experiences that people don’t want to miss. On top of that, if you create experiences that make people want to share them (especially online), they help spread your event’s FOMO to their colleagues and friends. This is important as a friend’s influence is immeasurable.
Here are just some of the things I learned at TechsyTalk this year that can help increase FOMO at your events:
- Facebook Live: Not surprisingly, out of all the social media platforms out there Facebook has the most active users, so it’s the ideal place to host live streaming video. This is the perfect platform to film live expert interviews, have real-time Q&As with speakers and showcase behind the scene developments of your events. Not only will this help get prospective attendees excited about a famous keynote, for example, but the live element allows you to gauge their feelings through reactions, data and comments.
- Facebook Events: Speaking of Facebook, one interesting tip I heard was creating and utilizing Facebook events regardless of the type of the event you’re planning. It may seem like a waste of time, and yet another thing to manage, but consider this – Facebook users often see what events their friends are attending or are interested in. It was said many times throughout the day that friends and colleagues are an attendee’s most trusted source. If they’re attending an event and think it’s great, then they’ll want to go to too and not miss out. On top of all that, a specific Facebook event is a great place to showcase exclusive content and reach out to attendees on a more personal level.
- Memorable Networking Experiences: One statistic mentioned at TechsyTalk was that 75% of people said their top reason for attending an event was to network. Therefore, one of the ways to create FOMO is to create unforgettable and new networking experiences that attendees are dying to be a part of. I heard several examples, from something small like inspiring attendees to create programing on the fly via an event mobile app, to something extravagant like pairing off like-minded attendees to take a stroll through artificial rain under an umbrella together. Either way, if you make networking an unique, but also seamless experience, attendees will be talking about it for years to come.
- Projection Mapping: Easily one of the flashiest (no pun intended!) sessions was learning about how to take lighting to the next level through projection mapping. Lighting can already help set the mood at an event, but by taking 3-D models of spaces or objects, projection mapping can help these elements comes alive and become interactive. Some of the examples shown at TechsyTalk included a light show displayed on a private jet, a lit-up photo op in front of a new car model and plain white sneakers changing into countless color combinations with guests’ self-created designs. These examples are not only cool, but they act as focal points that attendees won’t be able to resist taking photos of to share on Instagram and beyond.
- Accessibility: Finally, technology like live streaming, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) are helping make attendees’ FOMO disappear, even if they just found out about your event hours before it starts. Once your event FOMO has built up over the years, this technology can let your attendees experience it all without having to travel. While you always want them to come onsite to see it all, making your event more accessible with this technology will help them make the commitment to attend in future years.
Better understanding the concept of FOMO was just one of the many things learned at TechsyTalk. Another key takeaway came from CEO Liz (King) Caruso herself: “If you don’t use the technology yourself, you can’t inspire [others] to use it.”
So along with taking the time to continuously learn more about technology, if you want to drive up your event’s FOMO quality, think about the technology you like to use as an attendee, what experiences have been unforgettable and what makes you want to share your experiences with others. If you remember those qualities, your attendees will want to do the same.
Written by: Lauren Williams