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In the dynamic world of meetings and events, a revolutionary shift has been unfolding – the rise of immersive experiences. As the demand for stand-out events continues to grow, planners and designers are more frequently turning to virtual and augmented reality, AI and data analytics to take in-person experiences to the next level. Over the last five years, new 3D software releases have offered an unparalleled opportunity for businesses to captivate their audiences and connect with attendees.

Harnessing data and analytics

The profound impact of the pandemic on the events industry brought forth an unexpected evolution in data and analytics. As face-to-face events transitioned to virtual platforms, planners suddenly had access to a wealth of first-party data that could be used to extract insights into attendee behaviors and preferences. This newfound data-driven approach, coupled with advancements in RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tracking and NFC (Near Field Communication) allows planners to tailor agendas and topics based on real-time interactions. Applying this technology to immersive experiences opens a whole new dimension of engagement, where the seamless bridge between the physical and digital realms are bound to create a lasting impact.

“We’ve been using AI to create art and provoke emotions. We’ve recently designed a registration process for a client where attendees are invited to input a term or phrase into an open field and an AI tool generates an artistic portrayal that gets printed onto the individual’s badge on the spot. The event in question was heavily focused around emerging AI, so it was a unique, personalized way to tie into the theme,” said Taylor Smith, VP, Executive Creative Director at BCD Meetings & Events

Taylor went on to say that “everyone is talking about AI, but we’re still in the very early stages of witnessing what this technology can do. It’s not just about implementing it for novelty’s sake, but about crafting purposeful experiences that enhance the immersive aspect of events. I think we’re just scratching the surface here, and we’ll discover how powerful a tool AI really is in the next 2-3 years.”

Choosing the right tech

The art of curating a truly immersive experience rests not only in knowing how to implement the latest tech, but in the strategic process of selecting the appropriate solution for your event. As Taylor highlights, it’s important to embrace technology in a purposeful way and in alignment with your event objectives.

“Every element of an event should be designed with purpose, and technology is no exception. It’s important to integrate solutions that advance our client’s content or message in a meaningful way, rather than just showcasing something new or different. Do it for a reason, not just because you can.”

These strategic choices can help event professionals to create immersive experiences that truly connect with attendees, and that ensure your messages are more memorable than the tech experience itself.

Technology matters

As the events landscape evolves, we expect to see a surge in immersive experiences and a new dimension of human connection. Beyond the clever use of data insights and AI integration that are becoming more commonplace, lie event halls where attendees are strolling through a virtual landscape, interacting seamlessly with avatars that respond to them in real-time. We expect to see the boundaries between physical and digital blur even further, giving way to multi-sensory experiences that hold the promise of personalized narratives and captivating stories that will leave attendees both informed and inspired.