Technology has been an area of intense focus in retail industries as a way to achieve both the goals of decreasing cost and increasing revenue. When technology integrates with retail business, the retail industry will be rich with data from human interaction and algorithmic computations. Here are some evidences that evince that technology is leading to the transmogrification of the Retail Industry.
In-Store Touch Screen Kiosks
One of the most intriguing technologies independent retailers can use to ameliorate the shopping experience is an interactive kiosk that uses touch screen technology. It speeds up the service, provides better customer engagement and simplifies the entire shopping process. You need not go around and search for items, you can search it through the kiosks and get to know where the items are placed or the customer can directly place an order through the kiosk.
Big stores, large scale businesses, banks and brands in general have a natural inclination towards implementing a high level unassailable security system. Biometrics provide options of inculcating security options such as fingerprint recognition, voice identification, iris scanning, face detection etc., and improves the customer experience concomitantly.
Beacon technology creates a nexus with the customers using Bluetooth Low Energy Technology. The proximity based marketing strategy that Beacons work on, is exemplary. Retailers use Beacons to provide more personalized, real-time messages, offers and promotions at the right time and the right location. A customer is bound to buy a product that he crosses by, when he receives an instant notification about the offers/ discounts on that product. Beacons send push notifications to the customers as soon as they cross the product. Beacons are said to multiply sales by 10 times in the coming years.
Connection to Social Media
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest have transformed from mere photo sharing and chatting tools to Business Development and Marketing tools. Recently Twitter had experimented the ‘Buy’ button similar to ‘Like’ or ‘Tweet’ with a few groups of sellers. Retail Business have infinite space to expand on Social media apart from the store. A word in social media has the potential to spread like fire. Posts or Tweets regarding offers or discount on social media becomes more powerful.
Robots in the Retail Business
While the number of staffs or labors in a store determines how many customers they can handle at a time efficiently, the current trends in the technology has led to the decline in the number of employees. Human labor is being replaced by robots. Selection of items, adding to the cart and more options that happen physically are performed by robots. The seamless technologies used in Retail Robots are stupefying the customers thereby giving them a new experience and converting them to a loyal customer of the product or store. Robots are able to provide multiple in-store services like Out of Stock detection, Over Stock detection, Promotion compliance, New or Discounted Product Compliance etc.
Sky is the limit when one tries to ponder upon the possibilities of implementing technology in retail business. The positive effects that it has on sales and customers is unbeatable.
Flying drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are finding its way into the event industry apart from its use in defense. The impact that drones can make on event attendees is unimaginably high. There are innumerable ways through which event organizers can put these drones to use and display their creativity.
1. Register Attendees using Face Recognition
The burdensome manual registration process can be easily avoided with the use of drones. Several face recognition technologies and algorithms such as Principal Component Analysis, Neural Networks, etc., have evolved and these can be easily embedded in drones to detect and identify attendees by their faces. They need not stand in a queue to wait for their face to be detected. While they walk in to the event their faces can be detected and their social media pictures can be correlated, matched and hence their names, contacts etc., can be loaded into the database making the tedious registration process seem expedient.
2. Capture important moments
The entry of a celebrity, the speaker, enthusiastic attendees, exquisite decorations, unique and astounding structures; capture them all through the flying drones and link it directly to Social Media like Facebook, Twitter etc. Drones give the opportunity to click photographs from all possible angles giving your images a unique perspective. You can also record your full event including speaker insights, attendee reactions etc., using the drones.
3. Drone Delivery
Amazon has proposed a new style of delivery system that would transform the whole delivery process. The system that uses drones, called Prime Air, a future delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using these small unmanned aerial vehicles.
Drones have a great potential to enhance the services provided in events to the attendees such as rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the delivery system.
4. Serve Food using Drones
We have heard the phrase ‘Love in the Air’. Now, imagine ‘Food in the Air’. Let your attendees order the food over your event’s mobile app, send the data to the drones and let the drones pick up the parceled food from the table and deliver it to the corresponding attendees. When your attendees would be expecting a hotel server or waiter, you surprise them with the drones.
5. A Preview to the Event Venue! Make your event go Live!
The drones can take the attendees on a virtual tour around the venue of your event for those attendees who are participating over the web. This is way better than simple pictures of the event. You can also provide a Live Streaming Access to those who aren’t able to make it physically to your event.
6. Double the Entertainment Factor
It is definitely going to be intriguing to see drones flying all over and performing during the event for the attendees. An aberration from the regular event conduction style is necessary to get the attendees stuck to their seats and not let boredom overtake their minds. These drones are definitely going to act as an amazing entertainment tool and will surely attract a large audience.
7. Advertisements and Sponsorships
Since drones are already a unique add on to the event, when ad banners, posters etc, are hung around the flying object it is bound to capture attendee attention. This is what the sponsors of your event are looking out for. This type of marketing would adjure the sponsors to invest more in your event, to make it all the more special. Overall, your event will leave the attendees spell bound.
The list of possibilities goes on and could be limited only by human imagination. The number of miracles that drones can do to your event is uncountable. Give your attendees a new and best experience so that they turn up at your upcoming events.
What are holograms?
Hologram in an imaging technique that records the light scattered from an object and displays it in a way that appears three dimensional. Hologram examples can be seen in movies such as ‘Star Wars’, ‘Iron Man’ etc., but its real time implementation has not yet matched with the expectations or predictions.
Why Holograms in Events?
If you are planning to conduct monotonous events every time with the similar venues, speakers and the same technologies then do not crib if you begin to lose your attendees. You must aim to shun boredom from your event and bring in something absolutely new and astounding like holograms. Most of us have heard about holograms but have we seen them in reality? This could give a totally new perspective to your event and attract more attendees who will be craving to experience a new and exciting technology at your event, thereby increasing the event headcount.
Where and how can Holograms be used in your Event?
A creative organizer would have already given a thought on umpteen number of ways to implement the hologram technology at his event. Here are some of the possible ways though which you can leverage this trending technology.
Is your speaker unable to make it to the event? No worries. Use Holograms to project your speakers in 3D to your attendees, giving them a totally new and invigorating experience. Hologram deletes the problem of absence of anyone and anything.
Attract customers at Art Exhibitions
Allure art lovers at your art exhibition by giving a 3 dimensional view to your portrait or drawing. The possibilities that the viewer will buy your art will be more when compared to a normal art exhibition view.
Create VFX to treat the eyes
Create an effect that shows live video and animated content floating around a presenter, event space or set. The presenter will appear to interact with the content as a live hologram. Imagine a situation where the presenter is able to flick large images and videos towards, away and around himself in the air. Isn’t that just mind blowing when compared to normal video or poster or projector screen presentations?
Create a room without a room
Don’t have a room to conduct your event? Or do you want to alter the configurations of your room? Create a room of video walls on all sides using Holograms. Also create hologram-based interior decorations to enchant your attendees.
Moving Billboards and Marquee Structures
Create giant moving printed billboards, posters and virtual moving structures using holograms and take publicity to the next level. Also make printed floors, stenciled surfaces etc., with holograms.
Ostentation of your Company Logo
Brag your company logo and your trending product as a spinning 3D Hologram right outside the venue of your event and capture the attention of people easily.
Create a scenario where a real speaker or a celebrity talks to a virtual version of themselves to create an astonishing effect on your attendees, leaving them spell bound.
Use the ground breaking 3D holographic technology to completely captivate your audience, multiply the headcount and create loyal attendees. Give your attendees a unique and best experience through holograms.
There are more than 1 billion iPhone users and the number of mobile apps on the Apple Store is increasing exponentially every day. While there are several applications that provide event management services or used exhaustively during events, here are some of the iPhone applications that are quite popular in the event industry.
Boomset efficiently manages the event registration process. As an event organizer you will need to create a seamless check-in experience for your attendees. To help you with this, boomset scans QR codes and searches guest info to print badges on-site, customizes the guest list to match the look and feel of your event and allows you to view and edit your attendee list with just a simple click.
webMOBI Event Networking platform presents complete end-to-end events solution to organizers in one integrated system that includes comprehensive CMS, mobile app, event website with features like registration, networking, payment, live polling, surveys, meeting planning services, interactive exhibitor floor map and many other features. The app also allows attendees to provide feedback via live polling and surveys expediently. It provides inimitable features like Rich Notifications, Push Notifications and all the core entities that a conference would require. This is an ideal app for any event planner.
So much information regarding your event may be available and accessible only to a few members of your team. To make the data ubiquitously reachable you need to store it in cloud. This data may include anything and everything like list of attendees, guest speakers information, items or resources required for the conduction of the event and other statistics, numbers, images or graphs. Dropbox allows you to upload, organize and share all of your documents digitally and even edit on the go.
4. Social Reminders:
This is a simple and quick to-do list creator that syncs with the cloud and shares tasks with colleagues. It provides a good user interface and multiple views for working the way you wish to. You will be able to access all your tasks online, receive push notifications for new and updated tasks, assign tasks to users and integrate with Facebook to connect with the world.
5. Simple Soiree:
Rated the iPhone’s Most Popular and Best Selling Party Planner App, the $1.99 Simple Soiree App lets you store everything from guests, speakers, celebrities to venue and schedules etc. It is a simple, elegant tool to keep every detail of your event structured and organized. With a built-in to-do list you can easily store, update and export all your lists to email for viewing or printing.
This app helps you discover popular local events, find upcoming events and events that your friends are planning to attend. You can register for and get tickets for events through the app. You may also get special event recommendations through the contacts that you create using this app. As an organizer you can view live sales and event attendance stats at any time.
Though this app doesn’t provide event management services explicitly, it is widely used during the event where attendees or friends can simply bump their phones together and this would exchange all essential contact details such as email, phone number etc. This saves time and manual paper work like jotting down the details etc. So when you bump into some of your friends at an event make sure you bump your phones too.
Eventful is an app that comprehensively furnishes details of local events, concerts and entertainment for all age members including adults, teens and kids. You can list your event on this app and see what is happening in and around your area. The app allows you to search by your location for favorite venue, performer or date of an event. It uses maps to show you what events are taking place around you.
9. Cisco WebEx Meeting:
You can schedule or begin or join a meeting virtually through the free Cisco WebEx meeting app. Stay in connection with important things, no matter where you are. This app allows you to join any conference from your iPhone, Apple iPad and Apple watch. The app enables content and video to be viewed simultaneously, voice-activated video switching and unique host account capabilities such as, Recording a meeting, Promote/ Demote Panelists, Mute/Unmute a participant, pass presenter capabilities to another participant etc.
HeyTell is a cross-platform voice messenger & simple walkie talkie that allows instant communication with colleagues and is available on the platforms such as Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7 devices. With a superior audio quality (twice the frequency range of a cell phone call) it utilizes very less data that is equivalent to no more than sending a mail and is quicker than an SMS. To top it all, the app is for free. HeyTell can encourage internal communication between attendees during the event. It will literally keep the attendees ‘engaged’ over the phone during the event, exchanging ideas, thoughts and opinions about the event. Groups can be created for a deeper discussion on event related topics.
Moreover HeyTell acts as the best tool for communicating with your organizing committee or the members to keep receiving and giving updates and to assign tasks continuously.
With the immense pressure shouldered by an event planner, 24me acts as a smart personal assistant with calendar, built-in notes and to-do lists by connecting to your personal life such as your utilities, service providers, banks, social networks and more. Its commendable calendar design, advanced to-do lists, speech-to-text convertible notes etc., are some of the best features this app possesses. This is highly recommended for an event planner who needs work life balance.
12. Super Planner:
As a professional event planner you should have the Super planner app that has a variety of planning tools such as calculators for venue capacity (for 15 different seating configurations including banquet, classroom, theater, reception, conference, exhibit etc.), staffing (like number of waiters needed and registration desk staffs needed etc.), catering (like number of drinks required), staging, projection (for seating and space of audience). You get all the numbers that you must know to conduct your event through the Super Planner App.
Hootsuite helps you to manage all your social networks efficaciously, enables scheduled messaging for future publishing and enhances your social media activity skillfully. The social media monitoring tools present in this app allows you to identify your attendees’ likes and enjoins engagement continuously. It also delineates analytical data to understand the trends in social media and its effectiveness for your event. Most importantly, it has an App Directory of around 80+ apps including YouTube, Instagram etc., in the social media dashboard that can amplify your social media reach and productivity.
With the availability of indefinitely many apps for event planning and attendee engagement, as an event organizer, you can give the best experience to your attendees thereby taking your event to the next level nearing the victory mark.
The famous Yahoo-owned photo sharing platform, flickr has more than 112 million users. It allows you to upload share and organize photo and video content. You can create a gallery of photos that describe your event so that attendees on flickr will get to know about your event clearly.
Here are some effective tips for marketing your event on flickr:
1. Share Photos and Create a Story
As mentioned earlier flickr thrives on the photo’s that is uploaded on to the website. The quality of images that you share on this platform can construe a story-like description for your event. This is one entertaining method that can enchant your attendees.
2. Create Sets and Collections
The photos that you upload are by default categorized under sets and collections.
Sets are similar to photo albums or galleries.
Collections are just a group of multiple photo albums.
Create a set based on a particular concept of your event, for example, a set that comprises all the images of the event venue and titled ‘Venue’. Another set displaying the different dishes that are to be served, titled ‘Food’. Club these two sets and more into one collection which is has a title of your event’s name. So if you share the ‘link’ of your collection titled “Your Event’s name”, prospective attendees can view all the images regarding different aspects of your event.
3. Flickr Stats
One of flickr’s amazing feature is the Stats option. Through this you can track the number of views, likes and comments that each post or picture that you have shared.
- It gives a detailed statistics of the number views for Photos & videos, Albums, Collections, Galleries etc.
- The graphical representation gives an overall understanding about the performance of your photos and its reach.
- The stats also gives the different modes through which people have viewed your images/ collections/ galleries. For example, the above image evinces the number people who have viewed through flickr itself as 62, and Search Engine views as 12 etc.
- This information will let you know which media is helping you the best to reach out to people. You could either focus on the platform that has the best response and amplify it further or try to get more views through the other means too.
4. Tag to Win
Choosing the correct descriptive keywords is usually a trying task. To circumvent this confusion, try to observe and get an overall idea of what people are already searching for online and fit those words into your event’s context and use it as a tag for your image. A majority of photos that are viewed on flickr are a result of the tags.
5. Join Flickr Groups
If your events have a particular theme, join the group that also has a similar theme. Through these groups you will be able to share details regarding your event. People with similar interests will eventually want to know more about your event.
6. Link your Flickr Photo stream to the main Event Website
Make a slideshow of your images and upload the same on your website. Provide the flickr link on your website so that attendees can enjoy the visual treat that flickr provides.
7. Create a Flickr Pro Account
- Initially you can create an account, upload as much as 200 images and have a storage of 1TB for free. Through the Pro account you will receive a Pro Badge on Flickr rising the status of your account.
- You will be able to remove the ads, thereby making your account and the galleries more professional.
- You’ll get a Desktop Upload to automatically back up images.
- Receive advanced Stats on your photos.
This mass media sharing platform has proved that visual story telling is a strong tool for marketing. Create a better exposure for your event through Flickr. Share photos, keep your attendees engaged and use the platform to the fullest.