Smartphones have become an essential part of events and our lives in general, but what comes next? Wearable technology has been pegged by almost everyone as the next big thing. For event organizers, wearable technology can be a double-edged sword.
It's already starting. We have already seen the introduction of products like Google Glass, Samsung Galaxy Gear, and many others. While the first generation of these devices may be underwhelming, its clearly the direction that we are heading. For events, this technology represents a big shift in how users can interact and attend events. We looked at the pros and cons as this new technology comes about.
PRO: Move Technology to the Background
The goal of most, if not all, wearables is to remove the screen between you and others while still offering the benefits of connected technology. This could be a big help at events. Interaction, networking, and presentations seem to be an almost existential experience with much of the audience trying to capture and find information on their smartphones. Imagine being able to actually grab event information or get a quick blurb about the speaker without turning on and focusing on a phone. Wearables can actually help balance the line between using technology to augment your experience without hurting it.
CON: Always Connected
What may seem like a positive, can actually be a negative when overdone. Being connected all the time is great, but it can also lead to a more distracted audience. Pulling out a smartphone during a session may be conspicuous, but checking a smartwatch or looking up data on your wearable would be nearly invisible. It could hurt your experience, but at the same time, its an opportunity for organizers to leverage wearables for a better event.
PRO: Better Experience
Like any technology, wearables open the door to an entirely new series of improvements and interactions at events. Imagine being able to track attendance with a smartwatch, push reminders to Google Glass, or use activity trackers for gamification; the possibilities are endless. If event organizers look at wearables as an opportunity to engage, rather the distract, the new technology could be a boon for events.
The biggest concern corporate clients have with wearables is the still undefined security parameters. We view that as a very real issue. With a technology that is still nascent, companies are trying so hard to push out new products that security becomes a back burner issue. For events where security matters, this is not something you want.
Wearables are still in their infancy, but growing up fast. What should event organizers do? Its simple: stay informed and keep your eyes open. We guarantee wearables will start showing up at your events soon. Find ways to leverage the new technology for your benefit.
Have questions or want to continue the discussion? Contact us today.