Hybrid and in-person events are making a triumphant return in 2023, powered by the latest event technologies and tools.

After the past few years of digital transformation, event attendees will expect higher levels of event production and more engaging technology to make these events feel worthy of their hard-earned money and limited time. For conference and event organizers, it means investing in the right event technology. 

1. Augmented and virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are all the buzz these days. In fact, Grand View Research estimates that the global virtual reality market is worth roughly $22 billion today and will grow at an annual rate of 15% through 2030. Believe it or not, event planners will likely be a major contributor to that growth. 

This type of event technology injects a dose of cool into your events and takes audience engagement to the next level by uniting the in-person and remote experience like never before.

Event planners can include VR headsets on-site to transport attendees beyond the screen and into presentations complete with 360-degree video and interactive data visualizations, while digital attendees can simultaneously join the live experience, so it feels like everyone’s together in the same room.

Vendors and exhibitors increasingly use VR to stand out from the competition by providing highly immersive booth experiences. Attendees can stop by, put on a headset, and be whisked away to a virtual world. Talk about leaving a lasting impression!

2. Live streaming and simulive

Event tech companies have made amazing advancements in their streaming offerings to accommodate virtual events. This means your attendees will now expect the best-quality streams, especially those tuning in remotely.

Consider a comprehensive solution where you can quickly pivot between virtual and hybrid events with ease, sync multiple locations with your live audience, seamlessly combine live and pre-recorded video, and integrate your favorite streaming service.

Simulive offers another streaming solution that’s perfect for hybrid events. It enables you to pre-record your event content and schedule it to go live at specific times. Simulive significantly mitigates the risk of syncing multiple videos in real-time during the live event, which we all know can be incredibly nerve-wracking and problematic.

Learn how to take your production game to the next level and use live streaming and simulive to execute your events with precision and ease by downloading the WebexOne case study.

3. Contactless check-in

Even with event professionals rapidly pivoting back to in-person and hybrid in 2023, it will take time for some in the events industry to feel comfortable meeting in large groups again. It’s understandable after the ups and downs we’ve all felt. One solution involves using contactless check-in software, which is much easier to implement than you might think.

Here’s how it works: The event technology vendor supplies the check-in kiosks, and attendees simply need to scan a QR code on their phone upon arrival. The software sends the attendee’s badge to a nearby printer for easy badge pickup.

Contactless check-in not only enhances safety and health measures, it’s also much easier and faster than traditional check-in procedures. That means you can finally say goodbye to long lines and bottlenecks.

Want to learn more about check-in and badge printing? Check out the video below.

4. Event diagramming and digital floor plans

Similar to how architects use blueprints to design and build homes, event organizers increasingly turn to event diagramming software to create to-scale, 3D renderings of their event spaces.

Features like drag-and-drop functionality, 3D walk-throughs, seating and stage design, booth and vendor mapping save time on event set-up and enable event organizers with a powerful tool to market their event to potential sponsors.

Meanwhile, event apps with digital floor plans allow event organizers to quickly create interactive maps for their in-person and hybrid event experiences. Attendees can click on a breakout room in their event app to instantly see full speaker profiles and session topics or tap a sponsor logo that automatically shows their booth location on the exhibition hall map.

5. Event Gamification

Gamification offers the perfect opportunity to inject friendly competition into the event mix to drive engagement efforts and boost the fun.

Leading event management platforms often include a customizable game feature so event organizers can create challenges—like answering trivia questions at the end of a session or visiting an exhibitor booth. Attendees earn points by entering corresponding codes into their event app. Just make sure to promote your leaders frequently and offer some irresistibly amazing prizes.

For more, check out how Resource & Financial Management Systems (RFMS) used event gamification to create FOMO before their event kicked off, as well as to boost engagement at their latest user conference.

6. Wearable Technology

Most event management platforms provide some level of event data and metrics, but the latest wearable event technologies take it a step further and track core event data without stepping in the way of the attendee’s or exhibitor’s event experience.

Typically in the form of a wristband or “smart” badge, wearable technology covertly tracks a wide range of event metrics, such as exhibitor hall and foot traffic. Organizers use the tech to monitor staffing and quickly make real-time changes to address bottlenecks. It can also help organizers determine when keynote speakers and high-profile guests arrive, gate or allow access to VIP areas, monitor social distancing, and measure how long attendees engage with exhibitors or sessions.

7. Multi-use branded event apps 

Mobile apps have long been a go-to event technology solution for all event types, and with good reason. Event planners can easily package agendas, speaker information, live stream links, and venue maps, as well as showcase event sponsors—all from a sleek, mobile-friendly application.

Think of an event app as an extension of the event platform—a one-stop shop where attendees can access everything they need from your event.

The best event apps allow for white-labeling and full customization so that you can upload brand colors, logos, and icons to create a uniquely branded, professional event application. Attendees can network and connect with others, as well as use app features like chat, polling, and session Q&A to engage with speakers and sponsors. Plus, it’s an easy way for you to collect data, retrieve leads, and prove event ROI.

8. Attendee accessibility tools

Technology makes it possible for anybody in the world to participate in an in-person, hybrid, or virtual event. However, this also means that attendees may be speaking different languages.

The good news? Live translation is here to help. With the use of an event app, audience members can translate audio in real-time to the language of their choice. 

And, thanks to artificial intelligence, event planners can increase inclusivity at their events by automatically generating closed captions for the audience. The result? A more immersive, engaging, and accessible attendee experience.

Webex Events combines the latest event technologies in a comprehensive solution

When evaluating the latest event technology, the key becomes finding an all-in-one solution to power all components of a successful event. Top-rated event management platform, Webex Events, checks all the boxes and provides everything you need to raise the bar for your events, whether your audience joins in-person or virtually.

Webex Events equips event professionals with the latest event tech, including:

Ready to learn more? Start building your event for free on Webex Events to see how Webex Events powers event success for all event types, no matter virtual, hybrid, or in-person.