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#eventtech Insights

Date: Sunday 16th October 2016

We held our second event in Edinburgh on 20th September at the glorious The George hotel on George Street. The property has gone through an extensive refurbishment giving the hotel that amazing high-end luxury feel and showing real Scottish style. This is probably one of the best and most authentic venues for your event. We held our welcome drinks and education session at the Library, which was then followed by drinks and canapes at The Forth, which is as you may have guessed is on the 5th floor of the property and has got some stunning views over the water. It can seat guests on its spacious deck, too. If you have any questions or would like to book The George for events, get in touch with us!

We focused the event on the topic of event technology. Speakers at the event were: Chetan Shah, micebook; Adam Said, TFI Group; Tony Edwards, SECC

Current state of #eventtech

Event technology today has evolved into a must-have at events. It’s not only a means of enhancing the experience but it is the starting and ending point of an event cycle. Event technology helps organisers and participants to go through a seamless and simplified processes as well as to experience a moment that they will remember for life. As Adam Said rightly said, years ago attendees were asking about where the coffee was, now they’re asking where the wifi is. Technology is part of our daily routine, in our personal and professional lives and plays a major role in our overall success.

#Eventtech challenges

The biggest challenge according to our speakers is adoption of technology. How do we convince the decision makers that investing in technology is important and how do we show them, in what format, what technology can do for them? Tony Edwards said that it can be even worse if there are clients demanding technology without knowing what it can bring to the table for them. It is a long learning curve getting them to understand the real power of technology specifically considering their needs. Adam Said added that very often his clients face internal challenges related to signing off event technology implementation because those who hold the budget don’t understand the power of event tech. Showing videos and tutorials is a good way to teach them about the benefits of specific technological element or system. Cost is another challenge that often restrains opportunities for investment into something that wouldn’t necessarily give us the whole package we need. Very often there is a miscommunication, a link that is missing between the different systems we use in the lead up to an event, such as CRM, Website, App, etc. Even though there are all-in-one solutions out there, they often cannot get it quite right. Unless you invest in bringing in someone to tailor-make the systems you need in-house, which can be costly, keeping all platforms up-to-date can be a time-consuming process and certainly not the best use of anyone’s time. This means there is much more that is needed from event tech today. Chetan Shah suggests that cloud-based systems are more accessible financially and have proven to be just as secure.

Cloud-based software

Cloud-based software has become popular in the recent years. While many doubt the security of a web-based software which holds sensitive information, data protection has advanced to levels that have made these platforms trustworthy to use. Micebook is a great example of a cloud-based platform that will be connecting buyers and suppliers in the industry from all over the world. Similar to this are artegis and etouches, and many more.

The future of #eventtech

The future of event technology lies in simplifying the processes and educating the users. The sharing economy has played a great role in helping businesses share costs for events. Showslice for example is a venue-finding service that helps organisers share costs on events held at the same venue on the same date. AirBnB and Uber were among the first ones who took the lead in showing us how the sharing economy operates and the benefits it brings. An important point about event technology was that companies should invest in software that looks good as it attracts delegate’s attention and is more inviting to the user. Functionalities are most important but they should be simplified and straight-forward that make the user enjoy ‘playing around’ with them. At the same time businesses should define clear objectives and only invest in functionalities or platforms that they need and should know what they want to achieve through using these. There is no point in investing in technology unless it can help us achieve our goals. To back this statement, think about Apple and Android. The main reason why people choose Apple over Android is its simplicity and ease of use. A 1-year-old can easily use an iPhone and have great time giving their parents those 10-15 minutes to put their feet up and enjoy a cup of coffee … Android though is a little bit different and there are phones and other devices running on Android which are not as obvious or easy to use. You’d most probably need to read the manual or online forums to figure out some specific functionalities and this simply serves another segment of the audience. In events technology, we should aim to offer a service that is easy to use, because not everyone is or should be technical, and friendly so it ‘invites’ the user to engage and work with it.

To look into this topic even further, we are continuing the conversation about event tech at our October event on the 25th in London. Come back to read more shortly after that date.