21 Jun Perceptions of the Eventtech Sector
A few weeks ago as part of our ‘Question of the Week’ series on social media we asked our followers to describe the Event Technology sector in one word and the responses received have given us food for thought.
So what were some of the responses we received?
Event technology doesn’t always do what event organisers expect it to. One contributor had experiences where they expected certain outcomes that didn’t materialise. There are lots of reasons that this can happen such as the solution not being the appropriate one for that event, the WiFi network not being good enough, or the host misunderstanding the capabilities of the technology and/or the audience – more on that later. It does however reinforce our belief that clients need to identify the objectives for the meeting and find appropriate solutions to deliver them.
Event technology is moving at quite a pace with new innovations and solutions being launched all of the time. This means event technology is actually redefining event management and will continue to do so in the future. So our advice to meeting planners would be to challenge suppliers to come up with new solutions that improve on previous ones.
Some suggested that we have now reached the point where event technology is a necessity for an event. It has replaced a number of previously manual processes and also helps engage an increasingly demanding audience. They also make the point that it needs to be a seamless part of the event, not a distraction, and should not be used to replace interactions. We echo this viewpoint completely and have written about it in several article and blog posts (including ‘Technology is so much fun …’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence in Events’).
Event technology should be there as a facilitator and not the focal point – a supporting actor if you will.
This was surprisingly the most popular response we received. There is a lot of jargon surrounding event technology and an even larger number of suppliers – especially in the event app sphere – which makes it difficult for organisers to sift through and determine which solution is right for their event.
Here at Group Dynamics we feel it is important to try to help event organisers find their way; be it over the telephone, in person talking about specific event requirements, or through blog posts such as ‘What is the right technology solution for your event?’ and ‘RFID in a Nutshell’.
They also pointed out that there are expectations placed on event technology to solve problems that it is not capable of. A great event enhanced by the correct technology will be amazing. A bad event with technology being used as a prop will still be bad.
Another participant added that people are including event technology because they feel they have to or need to rather than looking at what fits best both creatively and technically, as well as within budget. They provided an example from a client who when asked why they needed an event app replied with a shoulder shrug, “because we just do”.
This is why we believe the partnership between organiser and event technology supplier is so important. It is key that everyone is clear about the objectives of the event and what the technology is there to achieve/facilitate.
It certainly is that, but people might say that we are biased being an event technology company ourselves.
One participant explained that it is our duty as suppliers to take our clients on a journey from uncertainty to success (their words, not ours). We need to help clients discover a better way to deliver great events using technology as we should be educating and solving problems. When we do this and our clients see how successful and valuable implementing the right event technology can be, the only appropriate term to describe it is impressive. They followed this up with: “Event technology, when deployed with intelligence, creativity and care is the magic touch that every good event needs and deserves“ – what a quote that is!….
So what have we learned from this?
On the whole, people view the sector in a positive light and believe that event technology can add real value to an event – as long as it is used correctly. We are going to take that as a win! That doesn’t mean that we can now rest on our laurels. It is important that we keep reviewing the solutions available and the experiences that they provide to ensure that attendees are remaining engaged and meeting objectives are met.
It has highlighted that having a good knowledge and understanding not only about what is out there in the eventtech world but also of the event objectives to make an informed decision is crucial.
It has also underlined the importance of the role of event technology suppliers as consultants. In fact as an event technology supplier, our prime role should be to help guide organisers to the best solution for that event – whether it is one that we provide or not!
Whilst reflecting on what we have learned, it has made us wonder whether event organisers would find it helpful for us to set up education sessions where they can learn about different areas of technology as well as have discussions with us and peers about any concerns, issues and successes that they’ve had. If this is of interest, please let us know.