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Top 3 CES Trends To Change Events

3 CES Trends To Change Events

CES is one of the world’s biggest technology trade shows, attracting 160,000 visitors to Las Vegas every January.

I’ve taken a careful look at the emerging trends and themes from CES. And considered how those tech trends will change the events landscape.

1. Tailored Wearables (and data analytics)

When my sister received a Moto 360 smartwatch at Christmas, I realised wearables are going mainstream. Watch manufacturers such as Fossil and Tag Heuer are starting to bring new smart watches to market and crucially, making them fashionable.

Many of the exercise inclined have been wearing technology to monitor their health and performance in the guise of fitbits and the like for some time now. Smart clothing is the natural progression and now clothing brands such as Adidas and Ralph Lauren are showing off clothing for monitoring every little bit of an enthusiasts blood, sweat and tears.

Much of the wearable tech available so far has been large, clunky and short on battery life. CES 2015 promises this technology will vanish from sight. Then wearables will be embraced by event organisers and delegates alike. Who wants to carry multiple devices if the tech can be embedded in your wrist watch or clothing which will handle many of the interactions for you.

Just because you are wearing technology, doesn’t mean it is smart or will be useful. Working out how to make sense and analyse the data collected by the device will be crucial.

In the short to medium term, wearables will be useful for sharing notifications, location based real time snippets of event information, sharing contact details, mapping and directions as well as measuring engagement. Longer term, there is potential for wearables to enhance registration, networking, scheduling meetings and team building activities.

2. Amazing Drones Deliver

Drones are technology with wings set to take off to be a $1Bn dollar market in 3 years. Mini versions of drones, like the Parrot, are now available and relatively affordable.

At events, drones will offer a different perspective on your team building or table breakout activities.  A drone will hover above groups sending a video feed back to the main screen.

During team building activities drones will record the activity from above. Drones could be used as part of the game itself, using the devices as information or resources carriers between groups or individuals.

3. WALL-E Robots

Home robots are coming, not to take over the world like Skynet in Terminator, but to handle the mundanity of life such as cleaning, tend the garden, help the kids to learn or keep an eye on an elderly person.

Robots take no sick days, no vacations and need no breaks. The FT ran an article this week about the first temp agency for robots.

Robots at events have potential to manage registration, serve drinks, show delegates the way, maybe even speak or participate as delegates. If there’s a robot temp agency now, will robots one day hold and attend their own events?

Some other exciting tech spotted at this year’s CES includes:

Rapid Charging: developed by Israeli company StoreDot and backed by the Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich. The tech promises a full charge in the same time it takes to boil a kettle. Since mobile devices are hampered by battery stamina, the prospect of rapid charging could make a big difference.

Smart Skateboards: Keep your eye open next Christmas for the latest smart toys being promoted to your children such as the mini drone or the Yuneec E-Go Cruiser skateboard.

Intelligent Cars: Your next new car will be smart and probably be a better driver than you. Apple and Google are battling to dominate the brain of your smarter car.

2015 Predictions Crystal Ball

See The Future

At this time of year, the internet is awash with top ten predictions from all sorts of people. In particular from those involved or interested in event tech.

Don’t have time to read them all? Nor do we. So we used our word cloud software to create a summary of everyone else’s. Enjoy!

2015 Predictions - Word Cloud

The most important trend for 2015 is Mobile.

Followed in roughly equal measure by


Audience Response System




and Personalised.

iOS 8

iOS 8 And Interactive Events

Apple’s annual release of it’s mobile operating system, the software which powers the iPad and iPhone, always presents us with new and exciting opportunities. The launch of iOS 8 is no different.

In this post, I explain what the introduction of iOS 8 means for Crystal and the delegates using our conference app.

Apple have completely overhauled their old apps and launched new native apps. The redesign offers a new flat look to improve the overall user experience. So let’s take a look at how these new features will benefit our delegates.

Tighter integration with Wearables – the Apple Watch and other wearable devices will integrate perfectly with iOS 8. The adoption of wearable technology is a hot topic for 2015 as the technology improves and becomes more accepted.

Continuity – connect and sync up your data and content across multiple Apple devices in real time. Creativity is not constrained to a device, update your content wherever you like.

More effective iBeacons* – beacons offer real time positioning indoors which will enable information delivered to your device relevant to where you are and who you are near to. Find out more about iBeacons here.

There’s tonnes of stuff under the iOS 8 bonnet that has really whet the appetite of the tech experts at Crystal including:

Battery Usage Indicator will definitely help the onsite team monitor power usage to ensure the tech lasts a long show day!

Quicktype makes a considerable attempt at predicting contextuality more accurately. People needn’t fear for your Grandma.

Another feature that caught my eye is the Health app which promises to game us into improving health & fitness. Apple are also attempting to crack mobile payments with Apple Pay.

With every new iOS release, there’s always reports of a few teething troubles. Crystal devices are only updated when we can ensure the operating system is stable and able to run our apps.

Find out more about interactive event apps and technology, please contact Mark Robertson in sales on 020 3176 2000 or by email

* Research conducted by inMarket concluded app usage increases 16.5 times for users who receive notifications triggered by nearby beacons, if that’s not a reason for your clients to embrace the technology, I’m not sure what is!

Event Selfies Exposed Blog Image

Event Selfies Exposed

We love taking and sharing pictures and selfies in particular. The huge popularity of Facebook and Instagram for picture sharing show just how much we enjoy communicating visually.

The definition of a selfie is a picture that you take of yourself, typically the picture is taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.

Selfie of the Year

Selfie was the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year in 2013 beating such delights as binge-watch, schmeat and twerk.

How do you know when an activity has achieved critical mass? I think it’s when the noun earns it’s own entry in the OED, has a smartphone created specifically for it and it’s made the subject of a Hollywood TV series.

Adrenaline Junkies

Some selfie junkies are even ready to risk injury to capture the perfect sporting selfie. During Le Tour de France 2014, as the peleton approached, spectators were seen leaning backwards into the road, arm aloft holding their smartphone, taking an action selfie.

The most retweeted photo post of all Twitter time (3.4m), which currently is the only digital time worth mentioning, is Ellen DeGeneres’ A Lister selfie from the Oscars 2014.

Selfie Drones

Have you ever worried that your arm’s length reduced the quality of your selfie image? (Indeed Ellen commented on the length of Bradley’s arm in the aforementioned record breaking tweet.)

Now Ellen and other selfie lovers need worry no more. A company is merging cutting edge technologies to bring us the Selfie Snapping Drone. Launched from your wrist, the drone hovers just far enough away from your face to take the perfect selfie.

Event Selfies Framed

Where Hollywood A Listers go, delegates follow and that’s certainly true when it comes to Event Selfies. Event Selfies are a hit with delegates, and a number of new specific specialised event services have sprung up including Eversnap and Eventstagram.

Here are some of the ways Event Selfies can be used to increase engagement.

1. Selfies are a visual measure of engagement with event content, particularly at exhibitions.

2. Increase engagement with group selfies, from table group activities or team building.

3. Make taking and sharing selfies part of the exhibitions and run competitions around them.

4. Gamify selfies by offering rewards for more posts, most likes, most comments.

5. As part of a evening engagement, with a prize for best group and individual selfie.

6. Selfie caption competition.

7. Start taking Event Selfies, just don’t get over exposed.