21 August 2019

How to Use Digital in Events

Joel Onions
Written by Joel Onions Digital Production Manager

We’ve seen a rise in the number of clients that want to add digital elements to their events, which is fantastic. But what we’ve also experienced in parallel is that clients tend to rush the creative of their requirements, for example, building a noninteractive event app that is just used for signposting the event, therefore missing a huge opportunity to capitalise on engagement.

Digital event solutions can add so much to an event and with the correct guidance, they can become so much more than just a requirement or a nice-to-have. The key to all digital event solutions is ROI. What will the delegate get from an app? Will the message of the event stick with them and can we use the app to help this? Asking these upfront questions helps inform the creation of the app, and provides another channel for communication, messaging and personalisation.


From an audience perspective, the opportunity to amplify their experience of a live event can be greatly enhanced by digital. Something as simple as adding presentation slides to an app allows delegates to walk away from the event with the event theme and message in their pocket – helping the client to maintain momentum post-event through re-engagement of content and reliving the experience via the delegate journey. The app is built for them as much as it is for the client.

The virtual experience

We’ve previously discussed the rise of virtual presence and the rise of phantom delegates, utilising the power of VR, AR, and eventually, MR, to interact digitally with our environments. Apps can be a gateway to realising this. AR has been steadily embraced by clients as another dynamic layer to the delegate experience and we’re seeing more projects incorporating it as a great way to digitally immerse audiences in real-world environments.  

In the not-too-distant future, clients will no longer need to have 3,000 delegates in a hall for an event. You will be able to supply an app that puts them in that space. As you may well have seen in the recent EE 5G advert, digital allows users to be part of the action no matter the location. Events will have to harness this type of communication if they want to stay relevant in the modern world.

To boldly go…

Digital is the future - that much is clear. Events are moving into the online world, be it webinars, forums, live streams or event portals. The next big trend will be audience-led events. The Netflix series Black Mirror: Bandersnatch allowed the viewer to make choices that affected the story from start to finish. Its interactivity and multiple pathways were heralded a success – and is now making its way into the event world. Taking personalisation to the next level, we’ll soon be seeing delegates controlling events via an app or voting system, engaging them far more than just a speaker flicking through hundreds of slides with a couple of strategic VTs. This enables delegates to be involved and minimises passive participation, not just for those physically in the room, but even for those attending via webinar or event portal.

I am equally excited to see how social media can further be utilised at events, as we’ve only just scratched the surface of the media world. Tweet walls, polls and hashtags are just the start of the event engagement evolution.  

The possibilities for apps and digital solutions within the events industry are truly endless, and as the boundaries of what we can achieve through ever evolving technology are being stretched, so we reach new frontiers in event delivery, delegate engagement and innovative client solutions.

Like what you see? Let’s work together!

Give us a call on: 0844 682 5989 or email us today on:  anythingspossible@drpgroup.com

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