I was recently on a show-round with a first time client and having done the more generic walk through check points we began to get into the nitty gritty.
We chatted through different solutions that could help them magnify their event purpose. From bespoke registration platforms to mobile apps that encourage delegates to interact with each other as well as digital badges that would collate and send data from the conference speakers.
We were finishing the show-round and the client made a joke …that 10 years ago this would have all be achieved without an Ethernet cable in sight!
It got me thinking about how much event technology has seeped into nearly every event I run. Now, don’t get me wrong, tech solutions, such as social tables or syft, are an absolute godsend. But – has the rise of technology overshadowed what we set out to do in the first place?
“Has the rise of technology overshadowed what we set out to do in the first place?”
I recently read a great article dedicated to event apps. It was clear, concise and had some fantastic event apps that I would readily recommend. I’m not trying to flip-flop over my argument, but the article stated that to measure the success of an event you had to ensure that your guests were engaged with each other. So, without sounding old fashion, since when did engagement come from staring at our mobile phones?
“So, without sounding old fashion, since when did engagement come from staring at our mobile phones?”
Would it not have been better for me to recommend to my client a networking drinks reception where guests could eat, drink and have a face to face conversation?
If a hostess was there to welcome guests onsite would each delegate not feel that they had a more personal service versus an RIFD pod buzzing them in? Having the privilege of working in one of London’s most technologically advanced venues, 8 Northumberland Avenue, does come with great responsibility (that’s my superhero geek coming through)! Suggesting to a client to utilise intelligent lighting so their guests stay engaged is hands down a great use of technology.
I was fortunate enough to event manage the world’s first holographic telepresence over 4G.
For this event, exploring ground breaking technology seamlessly synched with their event aims and lead to one of the most engaging Q&A’s I have ever seen. Encouraging them to install a twitter or photo wall undeniably creates a dynamic social media buzz and a longer event footprint. Digital swag bags herald a new way of promoting sponsors as well as being more economical – not to mention the time saved from stuffing them!
So what am I trying to say?
In the same way that you carefully chose your guest-lists it’s ok to carefully choose what tech solutions you wish to offer. Don’t feel pressurised to do it all for one event – pick the ones that make your guest’s experience last longer and more streamlined. And if you feel the need to add a glitter canon powered by tweets than who am I to say you can’t!
P.S time to dust off your branding irons…as I look into how to effectively brand an event. If you have any standout ideas that have worked well or even ones that didn’t, Get in touch via Twitter @alchemyliveldn or email email@example.com.
ASK THE EXPERT
Don’t just take my word for it! Hear from tech expert Stuart Lawson from Blue Hut Productions:
Make sure the tech has relevance and make a connection not just physically (although that’s a good start) but to your audience. It should never overpower your message – no-one wants their guests walking out the room to only comment on the production.
Where do you see the future of event technology?
Interactive events are really taking off. Having a 3D experience of an event, without even being present is phenomenal. Just think of all the seats you can sell – without having to actually set them out.
With so much technology out there – how do you choose?
It’s pretty simple actually. Decide what your purpose is and then match that to the tech solution and never the other way round.
Can event technology ever replace planners or technicians?
NO! Better to think of it like this – technology aids productivity. It enhances the end product, however it doesn’t replace the instinctiveness of a professional.
LITTLE ORANGE BOOK
My Little Orange Book….what I’ve been up to recently
- Welcoming Story Events and our favourite reindeer Lord Crispin as 8 Northumberland Avenue host the London Christmas Party show as well as a few huskies!
- Catching up with Tim from Crowd Mics – thanks for coming all the way across the pond to showcase a great new option of mobile event tech
- Heading on a site visit to a castle for an upcoming client’s wedding (ready to pretend I can be a princess for the day)
- Grabbing coffee with Jonni and Lauren from Gilev Showband, check out their amazing entertainment offerings here