With the influx of new technology, the events industry is entering an unparalleled frontier of creative possibility. This holds double with the rise of 5G.
The powerful signal strength is providing a foundation for the most immersive experiences the event industry has ever seen, kissing WiFi signal interference goodbye. Event technology has always been a driver for creativity. However, bandwidth has historically been the bottleneck for what’s possible. 5G breaks these boundaries by offering a seamless, high-speed wireless network.
5G is transforming the events industry, enhancing both creative and immersive expression, as well as logistical efficiency. Let’s explore what specific impacts you can expect from 5G events in the coming years.
What is 5G?
5G is the latest generation of broadband wireless internet. It’s the new and improved version of 4G LTE. Just as 4G was an upgrade on 3G, in terms of speed and bandwidth, 5G is leveling things up yet again.
The Rise of 5G and its Market Value
5G has been in development for nearly a decade. Back in 2019, it made its first appearance in a few select cities, such as Chicago and Minneapolis. All of the major wireless providers have been developing 5G plans in preparation for its widespread rollout this year.
5G is predicted to explode globally in the coming years. Here are some notable market statistics:
- The 5G market is currently worth $31 billion, as of 2020.
- Mobile networks are spending 80% of their budget on 5G infrastructure and equipment.
- The 5G market will be worth a whopping $11 trillion by 2026!
With numbers like these, it’s clear that 5G will be taking over the world as we know it.
What Are The Benefits of 5G?
There are many benefits to 5G. They’re expected to fundamentally change how we interface with technology. Here are some specific advantages of 5G over its wireless network predecessors:
- Unparalleled Speed – Say goodbye to buffering and slow file transfers. 5G is predicted to be at least 1,000 times faster than 4G. As a result, uploading and downloading will take less time than ever before. For example, you’ll be able to download an entire HD movie within seconds.
- Decreased Latency – Latency is the time it takes to send data between two points. Lower latency means fewer digital delays. 5G’s delay time will be 50 times faster than that of 4G. This super-speed connectivity has powerful impacts on the quality of live streaming, holograms, and the like.
- Greater Connectivity – 5G’s powerful cell towers will be able to support more simultaneous users than 4G ever could. This increased capacity is due to 5G’s use of higher frequencies. With such reliable connectivity, slow network connections will be a thing of the past.
Due to 5G’s superior speed and power, it’s expected to transform the way we employ other innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, and more.
How Will 5G Transform Events in 2020?
5G events will offer more immersive, personalized experiences and allow for untethered creativity to take hold by abolishing many of the obstacles related to overcrowded venues. Planners who look to the cutting-edge of AR and VR technology to improve their live events, will be especially excited.
Why? Let’s dive into the major 5G event applications you’ll see cropping up in 2020.
Poor WiFi Will Become a Distant Memory
We’ve all experienced frustrating internet issues, especially at a crowded festival or trade show. At densely-populated live events, mobile service dwindles and WiFi access gets spotty. Due to 4G’s limitations, high-density crowds easily overwhelm wireless networks. In turn, one of the most common complaints of event attendees is slow WiFi.
Here are some examples of high-profile events that have “broken the internet” by overloading servers:
- Steve Jobs’ 2010 iPhone 4 Keynote Speech crashed the New York Times website.
- Mercedes-Benz’s website crashed during its Last Fan Standing Super Bowl Contest, where viewers were prompted to visit the Mercedes-Benz site for the chance to win a new car.
- Twitter crashed in response to an overwhelming amount of retweets of Ellen’s infamous Oscar selfie, which featured 12 other prominent celebrities.
5G’s improved capacity and efficient loading times will make events like these ancient history. In turn, event managers will no longer worry about obsolete internet infrastructures falling short of their audience’s demands.
Opening Up The Floodgates of Mixed Reality
Mixed reality encompasses the use of two types of reality: virtual and augmented, which have been making a buzz this year. They dazzle audiences as they combine real-life elements with the virtual world. With mixed reality in your event planning arsenal, the only limitation is your creativity.
For example, imagine a concert where you can hold up your 5G smartphone and watch digital projections grace the stage. Likewise, envision attending an event with VR headsets, enjoying an entirely virtual experience.
All of this sounds wonderful, but there’s a catch.
Mixed reality requires massive amounts of computing power, especially at large scale events. Limited bandwidth has restricted mixed reality thus far. However, 5G offers mixed reality the power it needs to reach its full potential.
5G-Powered Mixed Reality Event Elements
Here are just a few of the mixed reality elements that event planners will be able to employ with ease:
- Digitally augmented venues
- Holographic live speakers
- Real-time analytic data collection
- Seamless live streaming with VR
Enhanced Live Streaming
Speaking of live streaming, 5G is revolutionizing this tech trend as well. Most event planners already use live streaming to share events with online audiences in real-time.
5G improves live streaming by offering higher video quality and fewer loading delays. As a result, live stream viewers enjoy a much more seamless, realistic viewing experience.
Furthermore, 5G opens the doors to more immersive live streams that implement VR. VR streaming gives people a way to experience a live event from the comfort of their own home. All they need is a VR headset. No longer will limited venue capacity or costly tickets get in the way of a front-row seat to:
- A sporting event
- A live speaking conference
- A high-class fashion show
- A popular industry trade show
- A headlining musical artist’s performance
Improved Safety and Security
Event safety is paramount. Even the most well-planned events will fall short if they lack proper security and safety measures. With 5G’s enhanced connectivity, events will be safer than ever before.
In case of an emergency or safety breach, fast, reliable communication will be of great benefit to:
- Security staff
- Medical staff
- First responders
Event attendees will also be able to alert security staff of safety concerns with greater ease and swiftness. Widespread security alerts can be dispatched in nanoseconds. This heightened level of safety and security will be appreciated by attendees and event organizers alike.
For large events, like sporting events or festivals, 5G is tackling the issue of long vendor lines. People don’t want to wait around for 30 minutes just to get food and drinks.
5G’s incredible bandwidth is supporting AI in the form of super-efficient, self-service checkout machines. Aramark tried this out in their Major League Baseball stadiums. They saw an impressive improvement in efficiency and sales! Their self-service checkouts resulted in:
- 40% quicker transactions, reducing wait times.
- A 25% increase in sales.
This use of AI check-outs is just one of many convenience-enhancing changes that 5G events will make possible.
Powerful Event Video Marketing
Did you know that by 2021, video will make up 80% of all worldwide content? For years, video has been considered the most valuable form of marketing.
With 5G, the power of video marketing is expected to skyrocket even further. 5G networks will enable more people to access high-definition videos, with faster loading times and fewer geographic limitations. Frustrating buffers will no longer turn your target market away.
For event organizers, high-definition videos will make your marketing campaigns more visually impactful and memorable. You’ll even have the option to mix in elements of augmented reality.
How Can Event Organizers Prepare for 5G?
Even if 5G isn’t readily available in your area yet, it will be soon. As an event organizer, you need to start planning for it now.
Start by questioning how you can enhance your audience’s experience. This will greatly depend on the type of events you put on. A music festival may involve more visual elements than a conference, but don’t let that hinder your creativity.
Imagine your perfect event—then work backwards.
- What technology is needed for this to happen?
- How can mixed reality technology help?
- What programs and technology will you need to learn?
- How can you enhance the experience for virtual guests?
5G Events 2020: The Future of Event Planning
Event planners are always looking for tech trends to help their event stand out. Putting on a memorable, enjoyable event is made much easier with the adoption of 5G. It empowers all the other important new tech trends, like event apps, mixed reality, and improved security.
Reliable, fast network connections are the foundation for all other amazing event technology. Innovation can soar and events will become increasingly impressive. With 5G on your side, the possibilities are endless.
To see incredible event tech in action, check out Vario’s Allergan MIND Summit event. It employed mixed reality, holograms, and customized design elements to wow its audience.