Editors Note: Since the time of publication, Kate has moved into a new role with VMware. Congrats Kate!
We caught up with B-to-B Dream Team member Kate Lechowicz of NetApp to chat about why personalization will be key to future event success, how NetApp makes events special for its customers, and who inspires her creativity. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: Why do you think it’s important to get your customer interacting with NetApp in a live setting?
KL: We don’t operate in a B-to-B environment anymore. Now, we simply operate in a H-to-H or human-to-human environment. Live interactions allow us to receive immediate feedback, helping us to be more authentic and real. Today’s consumers are often anti-advertising, and events are just one of the different channels we can use to engage with them.
Q: How important is personalization when planning your events?
KL: A personalized event experience is not a new requirement for events, but these days we see that more and more participants endeavor to consume “event content” in ways that are much more meaningful to them. We are living in a personalized world, and we expect that most of an event’s experiences will be designed to fulfill our individual needs. I believe that only the events offering a personalized experience will emerge as clear winners in the years ahead.
Q: So how do you personalize NetApp events for your attendees?
KL: We provide better networking opportunities, based on individual choices, thanks to event apps and other mobile solutions like interactive games, QR codes, and wearable technology. We think a personalized event view is a must, as well as allowing attendees to fully customize their agendas and choose their topics of interest. We also tailor multimedia experiences for attendees, based on their indicated preferences.
Q: Tell us more about the role of technology in enabling your success.
KL: If technology has done anything to the events sector, it’s raised the expectations of event attendees. There is so much change happening. In the Internet of Things era, we have access to wearable technology, mobile apps, tracking systems, content syndication tools, and more, all of which can help us to increase consumer satisfaction and networking opportunities, boost knowledge exchange, and showcase the latest innovations. Of course, for events this also means bigger, better, and more inspiring ways to communicate content.