30 Oct What is the right technology solution for your event?
Technology is everywhere; from the smart devices we carry in our pockets to the self service kiosks in fast food restaurants, we can’t escape it! So it is no surprise that today’s event attendees expect to be consulted, engaged and able to participate actively in the events that they attend.
In response to this hundreds of services and app providers have appeared on the market to satisfy this need, some of these are free whilst others cost thousands of pounds. This has created more questions than answers though: What is out there? Is there a cost? What is best for my event? Will it work?
So how do you navigate your way through this minefield to determine which solution is best for you, your client and, most importantly, your attendees?
First of all don’t panic! There are 3 key areas you need to consider that will help determine which option is best for you:
- Budget – how much do you have to spend?
- Time – how much time do you have to prepare?
- Objectives – why is the event happening? What type of event is it? Who is coming? What are you trying to achieve? How do you want the technology to help with this?
This final point is the most important of the three to ensure that the solution chosen adds value to the event and does not detract from it. The message is more important than the method.
This is the stage at which you should involve your technology partner in the process, and the earlier the better! Ask them for recommendations and discuss these options taking into account the three key areas mentioned above.
Throughout these discussions, please remember to:
- Ensure that there are clear benefits for the attendees – give them a reason to use the solution otherwise engagement is likely to be low
- Not over do it – too much technology can be counter-productive as you risk overloading and distracting the attendees
- Check data security and privacy – where is your data being stored? Who has access? How are you sharing attendees’ personal information?
- Check Wi-Fi and internet access – don’t take it for granted! Make sure you get an expert to help ensure the network can handle the technology you are using and the number of attendees coming
- Ensure you can measure the impact – systems will need to be in place to enable you to analyse how well it all worked
- Plan how you will encourage attendees to download the app before they arrive at the venue, if you decide upon an event app – technology that is only used by a few people will not give you the results you require
So what is out there? As mentioned at the start, there are hundreds of suppliers and solutions available. A good summary of the range might be:
The technologies you use should help people share information and improve their experience. They should be inclusive, i.e. available to everyone, and not take centre stage. After all, events are not about technology; events are about people.