5G events: New opportunities for personalized experiences
The year for 5G networks to officially launch is finally here. Mobile carriers across the United States have already launched 5G in select cities and the number of 5G connections globally is expected to grow to 1.2 billion by 2025. 5G network technology has been the subject of great excitement and debate within tech spheres in recent years. But as connectivity becomes a reality, the event industry needs to focus on how new use cases will change the way event organizers connect with attendees.
Representing more than just a new generation of connectivity, 5G is issuing in a new era in which our relationship with technology will be increasingly fluid and customized. 5G will create a fully mobile society. Improved connectivity provides a new variety of opportunities for event marketers to offer attendees an immersive, personalized event experience.
What features is 5G bringing?
One of the core features of 5G is speed, with some suggesting speeds up to 1,000 times faster than 4G LTE. Higher bandwidth means that mobile networks will be able to deliver live virtual reality streams from events, while enabling detailed augmented reality experiences. In addition to human-centric applications like AR and VR, more reliable machine-to-machine connections will make our lives safer and smarter.
Lower latency means that 5G can introduce lower battery consumption and support more devices, enhancing our use of the IoT. For event managers, the opportunity to capitalize on wearables has higher potential than ever before.
Expect more from wearables & apps
Imagine delighting your attendees through a wide range of personalized event opportunities, such as having their pre-ordered lunch ready as they approach the dining hall or directing them to a VIP networking reception with their favorite speaker and others with similar interests. Expect your event app to get smarter and deliver more personalized experiences at 5G events based on what exhibitors, demos and sessions attendees visit as well as their event schedule. This will also give event marketers deeper attendee insights that allow them to continuously improve event planning and onsite experiences.
Create safer event experiences
Event safety continues to be a top concern for event organizers around the world. As 5G improves connectivity between event management and emergency personnel, reaction times to emergency situations will become almost instant. Organizers will know the location, hazards and number of people affected in an incident, giving increased security and control. Communication possibilities with attendees will mean visitors can be instantly updated with security notifications.
Meet the first global network
As 5G improves connectivity, will individual data charges increase dramatically? Well, yes and no. Many 5G promoters are touting the new network as the end of WiFi, as 5G meets the need for speed and connectivity that previous generations of mobile services have been unable to fill. While this is unlikely, the average network user will have access to improved global connectivity without a massive price increase. In the UK, we’re already seeing operators offer 5G services without roaming fees.
Set to become the first truly global network, 5G will introduce federated network slicing that enables a seamless platform sharing amongst operators at a global scale, guaranteeing seamless user experience. 5G connectivity will finally make it possible for operators to provide a global network service experience, without needing individual agreements with different operators.
Optimize event revenue potential
Currently event organizers are still dedicating a significant portion of their budget to WiFi. Because 5G networks will grow to empower virtual reality in a way that 4G can’t, remote attendees will be able to experience conferences and events through VR content in real-time, allowing event marketers to create “virtual” ticket options that maximize revenue.
Will 5G remove the need for WiFi altogether? Probably not. But with improved connectivity, event organizers will be able to focus on customizing meaningful content, rather than connecting content delivery systems. “Every new technology predicts the death of the older technology, whether it’s wireless predicting the death of ever needing wires again, or 5G predicting the death of WiFi,” says Cliff Skolnick of RightRound, providers of high-density WiFi solutions for events. “Essentially they all end up working together: as 5G gets faster, so does WiFi. We expect 5G to allow more engaging event applications, video delivery, larger coverage areas, and more. Things you can do today only with a large budget will become more accessible to all events.”
Getting started with 5G
It will still be years before event organizers can fully use all that 5G has to offer. Gartner predicts that less than 45 percent of mobile service providers will have launched commercial 5G networks by 2025. As we see more and more providers launch 5G, we will better understand how to use this technology and see event organizers roll out innovative use cases for 5G and event management.
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