Wearable Technology and the Emotion of Events

All marketing activity needs to evoke some kind of emotion.

Whether the aim is to motivate, excite, or even guilt trip; the success of any marketing activity is dependent on the level of engagement and interest from the target audience. It’s easy to identify the end goal, and when it comes to typical B2C campaigns, we can quite often attach a numerical value to the response. This can be through increased revenue, boosted participation levels or growth of an online following. However, in areas such as the events industry, it’s much harder to measure the direct reaction.

The emotion of events

In events, the goals vary. Whether it be motivating sales teams, building synergy within a leadership group, or creating a buzz amongst press during a product launch, the aim usually revolves around positively affecting the mindset of the delegates who attend. There are simple methods to help gauge people’s opinion post-event. There’s good old-fashioned face to face conversation, and there’s also feedback forms that can be handed to every delegate.

But how much can we rely on a 1-5 scale to truly show us the exact points of success throughout an event? Equally, how much credibility can we apply to a handful of people’s responses after chatting to them for 5 minutes? For everyone, an event will be a personal experience, it’s subjective. And it’s this subjectivity that affects how we can measure the impact, and therefore the success of each event. So how could we accurately measure the response of our delegates in relation to our goals?

In short… technology!

Wearable technology already can tell you about your heart rate, sleep patterns, health habits and breathing patterns; all of which can provide just as much insight into your emotional state as your physical state. For example, one Fitbit wearer discovered his device recorded the moment of his breakup. His heart rate soared at the bad news and stayed elevated for the rest of the day as he dealt with the sadness and heartache, showing how closely his emotions affected his physical state.

But now, more wearables on the market are designed specifically to monitor your feelings, not just your physical state. These devices work by measuring everything from breathing and heart rate to speech patterns and brainwaves. Armed with this information, identifying success points throughout an event or conference would become easier than ever. The depth of the resulting feedback would allow for a minute-by-minute analysis of what worked and what didn’t, which should aid us as Event Specialists in providing a better solution next time around.

These technologies do raise questions regarding consent. Granted, not everyone is going to want people to analyse the inner workings of their mind. Moreover, it will take a certain type of person to wear a piece of headwear more suited to a member of the x-men for more than a few minutes; but it’s always interesting to consider where new technologies can fit into the events landscape.

We’re not mind readers, but…

We’re always looking to embrace the latest technologies to improve our event experience. The challenge is not necessarily spotting these trends but finding a way in which to utilize them to ensure that they go beyond just being a gimmick, and actually add value to the end-user.

What are your thoughts on wearables within the event landscape? Are there any other technologies that you believe will become more common? Feel free to get in contact at hello@cwa.co.uk and we’d be more than happy to discuss any ideas with you and your team.

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Written by
Myles Griffin
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