With Event Tech Live — Europe’s first dedicated exhibition and conference for event professionals — just over a week away, we caught up with Adam Parry, the event’s organiser and editor of Event Industry News to talk about the 2016 instalment, key event tech trends, and where he sees the world of event technology headed.
Q. First things first, what can we expect from this year’s Event Tech Live?
The event will build on last year’s edition, bringing exciting new technologies and suppliers from around the globe together under the one roof — from augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) suppliers to event management platforms. The technology on show will cover all event disciplines.
Highlights of the educational programme include Scott Wilcox of SXSW, who will deliver the keynote sessions and an in-depth Q&A, so that attendees can ask him their most pressing event tech related questions.
We also have a new hall this year called The Launchpad, which will host 22 new exhibitors from around the world. They will showcase their technologies in a pitch competition hosted on a dedicated stage.
Q. Event technology means different things to different people. How would you define it?
I am not sure you can! When I first set out in the events industry the term didn't really exist – event technology really came down to AV, lighting, registration and ticketing.
Today the term covers that and more, from tools to market an event through to behind-the-scenes platforms that are helping to streamline how an event is organised. Technology is definitely an integral part of our industry now.
Q. What are some of the key event technologies being used at events in 2016? How do you plan on using them at Event Tech Live?
We are using a lot of key event technologies at Event Tech Live. It starts off with our event website, which hosts our visitor match making system and allows attendees and exhibitors to book meetings. This extends through to the Konduko smart reader, which will enable visitors to digitally collect information from different exhibitors, sessions and speakers without having to carry a plastic bag around all day.
We also have event technology company Forge SP heat mapping the entire event, which will allow us to see how attendees are flowing through the space, so that we can curate next year’s instalment.
Q. What are some of the benefits of incorporating technology into an event?
There are three main benefits:
- The visitor experience: attendees now have easier access to information at events, and they are able to connect with other attendees and exhibitors that are of value to them.
- Exhibitor ROI: the technology we have implemented at Event Tech Live this year and over the last few years for example, enables our exhibitors to meet more of the right attendees.
- Data: event technology provides organisers with lots of data, so they can see where to improve the event in the future.
Q. How can technology be used to personalise the attendee experience?
Technology can be used in a number of engaging and exciting ways to personalise events for delegates.
Digital, interactive interfaces that allow attendees to create their own goodie bags are a great place to start, meanwhile other more complex examples include combining registration data with technologies such as apps and AV, and then using pre-recorded audio to create personalised welcomes for people as they arrive at an event.
Q. What advice would you offer an organiser looking to incorporate technology into their event?
Interview suppliers as if you were offering them a job within your own organisation. Technologies can be provided by many suppliers, but for me it's about finding those individuals who will be able to work with you as an extension of your own team.
Q. Where do you see the future of event technology in 2017, and in five years from now?
That's an interesting one. I don't think I can predict so far into the future, as technology is advancing so quickly.
What I do think is that some larger players will become more predominant in our sector, such as brands like Salesforce and Marketo. I predict that in five years, the industry will have further adopted technologies for their organisations and events, and the cost will be more affordable, making it accessible to a wider range of event organisers and exhibitors.
Event Tech Live 2016 is taking place on 9 November at the Old Truman Brewery in London.