Technology. (cue menacing music…) Joking aside, event technology does not have to be scary. You just need to know where to start and what technology is the best fit for your event.
The growing buzzword throughout the industry over the past few years has been “technology.” This push for more and more technology in our events stems directly from the fast pace technology is expanding on our everyday lives. Like it or not, technology is here to stay, and it is no longer a luxury to have for your event. It is required and attendees expect it.
To be, or not to be...overwhelming!
Adding technology into your events should not be scary or intimidating. There are a tremendous amount of ways to integrate technology into an event successfully, regardless of you or your attendee’s level of experience with it. To begin with, focus on the basics. For now, forget about the cutting edge immersive technology demonstrated at SXSW each year or when the UFC completely takes over all of Las Vegas. While fun and amazing, the technology demonstrated at these events can be overwhelming, and may not even fit into your budget! Adding event technology into your event should not be intimidating. It should be a fun, painless, and successful new venture. To begin with, forget about everything you see the technology companies advertising. Forget about the bells and whistles for now. One of your first goals should be to determine what technology works best for your audience that can create a memorable experience, while still fitting into your current budget. Look at your individual event and determine what your goals are for that event. Can technology play a role anywhere? (HINT: This answer is yes!)
There are many options available to you, as technology can play a role in many different ways in the meeting and event industry. From easy and intuitive online registration systems, database management, reporting tools, and email communication software to on-site solutions such as mobile apps, streamlined check ins, attendee engagement tools, and immediate customer support options, there is technology available to help you in any aspect of your event. From basic to expansive and cutting-edge, there is something out there for you can help make your event smoother and more memorable.
A key aspect to remember when integrating technology is finding what is right for you and your audience, and being able to manage it properly. Whatever you choose, be sure to give your attendees a chance to learn and embrace whatever technology you implement. Here are a few questions to consider when looking to implement technology:
- What type of experience do you want your attendees to have?
- Do attendees have concerns with any particular part of the event process?
- Are there any tasks that are time consuming and tedious? Can some type of technology assist with this to simplify or speed up a process?
- Do your current technologies work well with each other?
- Are your attendees ready for new technology? Do you have a technology implementation plan in place?
- Where can technology help? Is there anywhere it should be avoided?
- Do you have the staff and/or time to add any additional technology and implement it effectively?
- Do you know enough to answer these questions or should you seek advice?
If you are just starting out with technology, don’t get distracted by all of the shiny add-ons. Look at the basic product and begin by implementing it smoothly and seamlessly. Don’t forget about the additional time and learning curve that always comes when adding something new. When done correctly, the right technology can be a wonderful addition to any event, and will have your attendees talking and ready to come back with friends!
Tune in next time - same Tech time, same Tech channel….