API, GDPR, iOS, AWS? The world of event tech is filled with jargon. How on earth is an #EventProf meant to keep up? You’d need to be a full time geek to get your head around it all. Well, never fear, Team Noodle are here.
Yep, when we’re not creating event apps we spend most of our time discussing the difference between badging systems for events and iBeacon technology. Think of us like your geeky younger sibling who actually gets all the jokes about string theory on the Big Bang Theory, only with a bit more event tech and RFID in the mix.
So, want to get to grips with what it all means? Here’s the handy Noodle Live guide to all things event tech jargon:
API stands for Application Programming Interface – sounds complicated but it’s actually just the tech that activates when you buy something online. An API allows two systems to talk to each other and share date, such as details of your online purchase, or in the case of a live event, something like an attendee list or a list of people who have registered interest with a particular exhibitor. APIs are very useful for fast-paced events as they allow data to be shared between systems without the need for manual input, so, for example, you could check how many attendees have arrived without having to go and count the door tally.
When you gather data, you’ve always got to allow for the possibility of some rogue results – just like in a science experiment. With live events, there’s also a margin for human error. A normal acceptable range for human error is somewhere around 1-5%. When signing up for an event tech package, be sure to ask your provider about their accuracy rates and what measures they have in place to increase accuracy of your final data sets. Want to know how to increase data accuracy at your event? Check out our blog.
Audience Response Systems
Audience response systems allow your delegates to interact during live sessions and workshops. For example, a speaker could ask the audience a question, set up a poll or invite questions for a Q&A. Audience response systems usually come in the form of an app or an online portal.
One of the tech world’s biggest buzzwords of the moment. Augmented reality is the tech that allows you to take images of the real world and add extra elements to it by superimposing images over the top. Like Instagram’s added filters. At live events, your delegates could view real time images of themselves and add items such as sunglasses, branded t-shirts or different backgrounds. Apple are working hard to allow this tech to be easier to access for app developers so you’re likely to see it popping up in a lot of apps in the near future.
Noodle Live’s bread and butter. We’ve been offering event badging systems for more than 5 years. Not that long ago, you would arrive at an event and be offered a simple name badge to help other delegates recognise you. These days, event badges have become a lot smarter. With NFC and RFID name badges, thanks to a small electronic chip embedded within the badge itself, you can now use your name badge to register, check in for sessions, swap contact details with exhibitors, access information points, check your coat in and instantly download session notes. Event badging systems can also help you to demonstrate the ROI of your event. Need to know more about RFID badges for events? Our sales consultants love a good natter about all things tech.
Another really useful piece of event tech is the beacon – a small device which sends a message to your phone when you come into close proximity. Your phone then performs a set task, such as showing you a pre-set message. It could be a special offer, details of upcoming sessions or simply information about how to navigate the event. Find out more about the difference between beacons, barcodes and RFID on our blog.
For several years, barcodes were the fastest and easiest way to register people for your event and allow them to register their interest with exhibitors. They work a bit like RFID or NFC, allowing you to simply add a barcode to your delegates name badge to help them interact with various areas of the event. Barcodes are more cost-effective than RFID name badges, but also a lot more fiddly and prone to error. With RFID name badges delegates simply tap their badge to interact. With a barcode they need to wait for their badge to be scanned using a specific scanner.
Blogs are a great way of staying in touch with the latest industry news and tech developments. Check out our Noodle Live list of the best event industry blogs.
CSV files can be really useful for data transfer. They’re great for storing smaller, easier to manage sets of data that need to be read and interpreted instantly by your staff. For example, door lists, expected session attendees or lists of potential sales leads are perfect examples of data that can easily be stored on a spreadsheet for fast, easy to interpret access. Just remember that any data files should be encrypted before being sent across any public wifi service.
Chatbots are computers with artificial intelligence that allow you to talk directly to them as though you are interacting with a human. At live events, chatbots are often used to power information points or create fun entertainment points.
Containerisation is a method of encapsulating an app or application within its own operating environment so that it does not depend on other elements within the operating system and can easily be moved or transferred.
Several members of your team working on the same project? When our apps team are working on the same app, it’s essential that we ensure they are all working on the most up to date version and that all of their work can complement each other. Continuous integration is the process of merging all of the developer’s versions of the program to one central, final version. It’s best to do this several times a day to reduce bugs or cross-pollution.
Our favourite word in the encyclopaedia. Data is the information you capture about your event using various event tech systems. Data can tell you how well your event went, what people thought of it, how they behaved and what you can improve next year. Good data sets can help you to demonstrate ROI and make a strong marketing case for future live events.
The way you pay for Facebook. In the modern world, data is valuable, so if you want to use someone’s data, you should always offer them something in return. Facebook offer you a free social platform, in return for data about how you behave when you use it. It’s a deal that most of us are very happy with. At live events, if you’re asking delegates to sign in for sessions using their RFID name badges, offer to send instant session notes or speaker profiles to their email or event app in return. You’ll get a much higher uptake and your delegates will feel much happier knowing they are getting something in return.
The people who make it all happen – our event attendees.
Want to help your delegates find real time event information, engage with networking, share content, interact during sessions and provide feedback? An event app could be the solution! Create an iPhone and Android app specifically for your event with message boards, attendee profiles, live updates and more.
How do you know if your delegates were happy with your live event? Why not ask them for feedback. Good feedback can be essential to help demonstrate the success of your event and make improvements for next time. Event apps and RFID badging systems can help you to increase the amount of feedback you receive, as well as backing it up with great data about what your delegates got up to during the event.
The General Data Protection Regulations came into play in May 2018 and have given every individual an increased amount of control over their own data. If you’re gathering data about your delegates at live events, you’ll need to be aware of these regulations. Check out our guide to GDPR made simple.
Want to make something fun? Why not turn it into a game? Gamification is the growing trend for adding an element of competition or game playing to data gathering or processes. Ever wondered why you’re so proud of your Uber score? There’s an element of gamification involved in scoring your taxi-riding etiquette, and it probably makes you more likely to try to be a good passenger when you’re on the road. Gamification encourages people to perform in a certain way or to undertake certain tasks by engaging their competitive nature.
The source of energy for every event app and RFID badging system ever made by Team Noodle.
The operating system that powers Apple’s iPhone and iPads, making it the second most popular operating system in the world, after Android.
Internet of Things
The basic idea that our inanimate objects are increasingly being fitted with technology that allows them to go online. Most things with the word ‘smart’ in front of them are connected to the internet of things – smart fridges, smart watches, smart TVs, smart toasters (yep, they exist). The idea is that the objects that surround us could start to supply data and information about what they need, making our lives simpler. A smart fridge could tell you when your milk is about to go off and order replacement light bulbs before the current ones have even broken. At events, the internet of things allows your event to become a lot more interactive. Our NFC event badges allow delegates to interact with the event environment using their own smart phones.
To get the most from your event tech system, you need your whole team to be on-board. Everybody should be clear about what their job is, and should be offered a briefing about what the tech is and how it works. Opt for an event tech company that is able to educate and inform your staff team, and potentially supply on the ground support during the event if needed.
Originally a Google-run program, this invaluable container-orchestration system helps out developers create, scale and manage containerised applications (see C).
Never heard of Kotlin? Where have you been? Busy having a life and not hanging out with other Geeks we’re guessing. Well, let us explain. Kotlin is a programming language that offers an alternative to Java. Most programmers find it smarter and more versatile than Java, but it’s also compatible, so you can make the switch right away without having to re-write all existing code.
Why do you want to run a live event? Our guess is that one of your biggest motivators is generating some good leads for your marketing team. Things move quickly at a live event, so you’ll want to be able to gather, process and make notes about leads as efficiently as possible. Barcode scanners can help, and RFID and NFC systems also allow delegates to tap their badge to register interest instantly. With Noodle Live’s RFID badges for events you can even add notes about the individual lead or use a traffic light system to show how urgently you need to follow up.
Want to reach a bigger audience? Live streaming has come a long way in the last few years and you can now reach a much bigger audience who can follow the event at their own convenience. It’s one of the biggest tech trends in the event industry.
One of our favourite topics. Mobile event apps are iPhone or Android apps that are designed specifically for the delegates at your event. They can include a number of features including a news feed, profile lists, audience response systems, instant messaging, feedback surveys, floor plans, meeting making and even personalised schedules.
Want to collect data about your event? You’ll need to understand the key metrics that you’re trying to measure. A metric can be anything from the number of attendees to the level of satisfaction at the event. For some ideas on key metrics for your live event, take a look at our blog.
NFC stands for near field communication. Oh wait, you want more info than that? Fair enough. NFC is the tech that powers your wireless credit card and your oyster card. It’s actually a really simple tap to interact technology, similar to RFID, but accessible directly from your mobile phone, so delegates can bring their own device instead of relying on hardware installed at the event. A much more cost-effective solution. Noodle Live launched the first ever NFC-enabled event app earlier this year. Find out more on the Noodle Live event industry blog.
At live events, a good on-site registration system can be key. The registration area is the first impression your delegates will get, and also a key data gathering point, allowing you to keep track of who has arrived, who has yet to arrive and how long delegates are staying. There are a variety of tech products available to help you speed up registration, from simple clipboards, to barcodes and RFID name badges.
Exactly what it says – a system that allows delegates to register before the day of the event. They are a great way to speed up registration on the day of the event and get an idea of who will be attending. Pre-registration systems can be integrated with event apps and can help to gather really useful data about who to expect, and what they want to get out of your event. Noodle Live’s apps for events also allow your delegates to create profiles, so they can browse other attendees, set up meetings in advance and create a personal schedule for the day.
Delegates respond really well to interactive elements at live events. Polling is a great way to start conversation or make sessions and seminars more interactive by asking delegates what they think. There are a variety of event tech systems that will allow you to create live polls, and you can often add it to your event app system if you’re using one.
Questions about event tech?
Team Noodle are a chatty bunch and we’re always here if you fancy a bit of a natter over a cup of tea and a biscuit. You can talk to us online on our website, or pop into Noodle Towers to say hi.
RFID stands for radio frequency identification. It’s a really simple bit of tech that allows you to present a tiny computer chip to a dedicated reader, which will then read the data stored on the chip and react in a certain way. At events, RFID chips can be embedded into delegate’s name badges or into wristbands, allowing delegates to tap to their badge to register for the event as well as individual sessions and seminars, to download session notes and floor-plans, to express interest in a specific exhibitor or to provide feedback about the event. Find out more about how RFID name badges work on our blog.
ROI stands for return on investment. If you want to compete with other marketing channels and demonstrate the value of live events as a marketing opportunity, you can use event tech to gather data that demonstrates return on investment. Other marketing channels are often very good at producing graphs and stats to show the value of their work, but live events have traditionally lagged behind in this area. Event tech allows you to gather the data you need to create a business case for using some of the marketing budgets for live events. Find out more on our event industry blog.
It may seem like something from an 80s movie about the future, but robots are actually making huge progress and have become a really fun piece of tech to use at live events. Whether they’re passing out the drinks or helping the photographers capture great shots thanks to drone technology, robots of all kinds are likely to keep making an appearance at live events in future.
We’re not talking about bouncers in bomber-jackets here. Gathering data about your delegates? Before you get started, you’ll need to be aware of the security rules around gathering and storing people’s personal data. Take a look at our blog for more information on data security and GDPR.
Touch points at live events are the areas where delegates can interact using their RFID name badge or wristband. Touch points can be set up around the event at any location that you want your delegates to interact with – eg at the registration table, outside each session or seminar, at each exhibitor stand or at the cloakroom. Once a delegate has their name badge in hand, they just need to tap it on the touch point to perform a certain task, such as register or exchange contact details.
Ok, we took some liberties with spelling there. But you, the event organiser and manager, are a key part of any event tech system. You need to feel comfortable and at home with any system that you choose to implement, so never be afraid to ask questions and call in support when it’s needed. Nobody said you had to become an event tech expert overnight. Make sure you work with an event tech provider that offers support and guidance to help you find the right tech package for your needs.
Virtual reality has become a much-hyped piece of tech over the last few years. Essentially, it is using a variety of sound and image technology to create a ‘virtual reality’ experience. It can be useful for events where exhibitors want to transport their guests to other locations or to deliver really compelling content. More often than not, it still involves putting on a fairly large helmet to block out the real world and trick your senses into thinking they are somewhere else.
If you’re using event tech, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve thought about wifi at your venue, and what you’ll do if the Wi-Fi fails for any reason. Take a look at our Wi-Fi venue checklist to make sure you’re up to speed.
Wearable tech is any kind of tech that is integrated into your clothing or accessories – eg wristbands, name badges, smart watches or even smart clothing.
Xenodochial: being friendly to strangers aka Networking
Want to help your delegates network? A good event app can supply delegate and speaker profiles to help people identify the people they want to speak to and message them to set up a meeting or get the conversation started. No more awkward lingering (well, a bit less anyway).
Year on Year Uplift
Hosting an annual event? The year on year uplift is a really handy data set to be able to refer to to demonstrate increasing success. In the world of event tech, year on year uplift has been skyrocketing as more and more #EventProfs opt for event tech at their live events.
A feeling well-known to #EventProfs all over the world.
Heard another event tech term you want us to explain? Why not give us a shout on @NoodleLive! We’d love to take a break from making our event apps and badging systems for events in order to say hello.