How the arrival of 5G will affect the events industry

May 15, 2019 | Featured, Industry Insights

The future of connectivity is coming, and it’s going to be faster, more efficient, and even more transformative than we could have imagined. With the arrival of 5G networks – said to be up and running by 2020 – and with analysts suggesting that the super-fast connectivity of over a billion people by 2025, there’s a real wave of anticipation across the tech and events community.

With the increased levels of connectivity predicted in the events industry, it’s now down to the experience designs, events managers and events technology teams to begin planning how to set this huge change into motion. They will need to explore how it can be used to heighten the experience of those attending events and the logistics of setting the event up in the first place. The impact 5G will have will be far beyond just increased connectivity, it will bring about a new horizon of possibility within the industry, allowing for increased levels of fluidity and customization of the relationship the industry has with technology.

You only have to look back at how the creation of 4G advanced how the world interacted with technology and brought about the rise of the IoT (the Internet of Things). 5G is set to fully reinforce a mobile society. Both live and digital experience will be more unified and seamless. There will be countless opportunities to create event experiences that are more immersive and personalized. It will open doors to greater levels of creativity and present more of us with the possibility of creating elevated versions of reality.

New opportunities with 5G technology

With 5G set to bring about huge changes to many sectors, one of the main highlights getting everyone excited is the lightning-fast connectivity it’s set to provide. With speeds said to be no less than 1000 times faster than 4G LTE, it would allow users to download an entire HD film in under a second.  It isn’t too hard to see how much of a dramatic change this will be, not least for the events industry. So what does this mean in real terms? With download speeds of around 1GBps set to be the new norm, the amount of space this will create will cause a huge boost in the world of the IoT which will be phenomenal.

5G has been built on years of hard and dedicated work, harnessing the power of cutting edge technology. Connectivity is set to be boosted to levels that will allow massive, multi-platform sharing on a scale never seen before, and could remove the need for WiFi at events entirely. As the events industry becomes increasingly global and interconnected via the internet and mobile devices, this additional boost in speed of mobile connectivity will act as a catalyst for new technologies and events technologies that we can currently only imagine.

The promoters of 5G are already making huge claims that it will be the death of WiFi, as 5G connectivity will allow people access to faster internet connectivity regardless of location. Whilst it currently seems unlikely that WiFi will disappear from use (as it’s also likely we’ll see improved band speeds alongside mobile connectivity), it does seem more than likely that improved 5G global connectivity will make concepts like data roaming a thing of the past. With ‘global’ becoming the all-encompassing buzzword surrounding the excitement of 5G,  5G will be the first truly global mobile network. It will allow seamless and simultaneous platform sharing among operators spread around the world. 5G will finally provide the solution to problems that have hindered operators for years: a global network service experience which doesn’t require individual agreements with different operators around the world.

Next level live streaming

As 5G is set to be so much faster than anything before, event tech managers are already preparing for new, previously unexplored opportunities in the realm of live streaming. Now so many events are global or feature some form of online participation and virtual attendees, live streaming has become the driving force in the contemporary events industry. It’s an essential part of the connectivity trend that’s only predicted to rise. With the higher bandwidth of 5G it’s set to bring the events industry incredible levels of high quality, live and virtual reality streams from ongoing live experiences, whilst also enabling complex digital information to be superimposed over live images. Simply put, it’ll facilitate seamless augmented reality for the benefit of the viewer or the participant.

With the adoption of 5G we’re also set to see huge leaps in both AR and VR. Machine-to-machine connections will start to make every aspect of the events experience more immersive and detail orientated with increased levels of personalization. This will also make our regular lives both safer and smarter. Another key feature, which may seem trivial but will bring about huge change, is the lower latency of 5G. This means the battery life on all our smart devices will go that little bit further. This increase in battery life will bring about a plethora of opportunities for further growth of additional devices, wearables, and simultaneous tech use, as well as an expected boom for the IoT.  Once 5G becomes available it’ll be the perfect opportunity to take beacons, wearables, and VR experiences further at events!

Escalate profits for events with 5G

As we’re sure many events organizers are aware, you can end up spending huge amounts of money in a year on WiFi connectivity. WiFi is seen as a cornerstone in many contemporary events, especially where attendees are unable or unwilling to use mobile data. Once 5G is introduced, attendees will be able to access high speed, high-quality mobile internet, freeing up time for organizers to focus on providing more meaningful content instead of having to spend time on setting up customized content delivery systems.

There’s very little doubt this is one of the key ways that 5G will help event organizers to save significant money over both long and short term.  With the greater efficiency and speed of 5G and higher levels of online usability for all involved, profits will be further optimized simply as a result of time being saved behind the scenes on a daily basis.

It’s still about a year before 5G will be rolled out to the masses. However, this provides the perfect opportunity to start planning for the bright new feature of the 5G network in the events industry. After all, the architecture that’s required to help support this new system is far from trivial. Over the next 12 months, we’ll all have to begin to understand this updated technology on a deeper level and the industry as a whole will have plenty of work to do to ensure it’s leading the charge on the adoption of 5G technologies.

With the increasing demand for more live streamed events, multi-platform and global online events, and better quality video, AR and VR content as part of an events package, there’s little doubt that 5G will change the industry as we know it. Enhanced dynamic content will be readily available, offering brands new and innovative ways to communicate with wider audiences. The more interactive and shareable the content is, the greater the opportunity to increase brand engagement and advocacy.

At Helm Tickets, we’re continually striving to innovate and progress the ticketing and events industry and we’re looking forward to seeing how we will adopt 5G technology when released!

Charlotte Allkins | Marketing Assistant

Charlotte is the Marketing Assistant for Helm, coming from a design background she loves creating all types of content. Discover more of her blogs, as well as, many others here!


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