Events in a connected world

I was struck the other day by the extent to which we’re always gazing down at our handheld devices, not up at the world around us.

In just a few years, our phones have gone from being something we use to make the odd call, to a 24/7 entertainment system – bringing us news, games, weather, maps and a never-ending stream of social media content which we feel the need to constantly check as part of our FOMO – fear of missing out – syndrome. Add to that the prevalence of tablets and kindles and our ever-connectedness and it’s a wonder we ever see the world around us.

Events provide quite a powerful opportunity, I think, in helping us break that mould. At exhibitions or experiential events there’s so much going on, so much to see and interact with, so much to distract us from our handheld worlds that we really do get fully involved and absorbed. The ability to meet face to face, to see, hear, hold and touch, to make a connection with a real person and build a relationship is why events are so powerful – they give us the opportunity to have real discussions unfettered by distractions.

When our mobile devices do come out at an event, instead of being a distractor I think they can be a powerful way to share experiences, to make them better and to extend them. At festivals, the selfies, facetime, video, facebook photos and status updates are all a way of enjoying an event experience more deeply by sharing it with people who can’t be there. At exhibitions, sharing content or things you’ve seen is simultaneously a way of reaching out to others who may be at the event that you could connect with, while also bookmarking that you want to learn more about that product or solution.

But the prevalence of mobile devices and tablets at exhibitions has also provided an opportunity for technology providers like us to deliver digital content directly to consumers.

Our brandWallet technology, which provides personalised data targeted to an individual visitors demographic profile, can use the cloud to deliver information direct to someone’s phone or tablet. We’ve created mobile augmented reality software that enables visitors to look through the camera of their phone to see additional annotated information about a product, or to see static pictures become animated and reveal additional information. We’ve installed software solutions on exhibition stands that use the phone or tablet camera and when specific images or patterns are recognised, triggers specific content so that visitors are “gaming”, unlocking content through participation.

Other technology providers have turned phones into microphones, or have enabled visitors to use their phone as a voting device in conferencing. The opportunities, when you think about the power in a phone today – are limitless!

It’s remarkable to think that just five years ago my phone was pretty much just a phone and will be interesting to see what the next five years brings and how it will impact on events.

Oliver RichardsonIf you’re looking for innovative ways to make technology work smarter for you at events, get some inspiration at or give us a call to see how we can help 0845 226 3083.


Guest post from Oliver Richardson, Group Sales & Marketing Director at DB Systems.

DB Systems is an IT & AV rental company working with organisers, production companies and design agencies to supply services and equipment for the global event industry.

Follow DB Systems on Twitter @dbsystemsltd or visit their website

One thought on “Events in a connected world

  • October 20, 2016 at 11:22 am

    This article reminds us how mobile technology can be both bad and good. It is true that we sometimes forget to appreciate life’s wonderful moments because we are too engrossed with our phones and the internet. When we see something beautiful, we may not even pause for a brief moment to truly appreciate it, we impulsively take out our phones and take pictures or videos to share our experience to our online connections. I guess this article establishes the context by which we should tap the full potential of mobile technology. There are some behaviours that we should curtail, however there are also event solutions that we should embrace more. In the event industry, the power of mobile applications have greatly helped in the event planning process, for example. Other mobile technologies, as mentioned in this article, also improve the overall experience of attendees in an event.


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