MICE industry Event season is in full swing. And what a season it has been so far. But before we get carried away with the fascinating new event technologies and amazing booths, let’s remember why we attend in the first place. These events are not just opportunities for event professionals to wax lyrical about their products and services before dashing off to rub shoulders at the networking nights, but one of the best opportunities to
gain first hand insight into the movements that affect the industry and the ever developing needs of clients.
We connected with Poken CEO Stephane Doutriaux to hear his thoughts on what’s happening in the world of events, trade shows and conferences.
In the last twelve Months
We’ve observed a change in the type of requests received from prospective clients, in that many are more knowledgeable about what tools are available to them. While even just a year ago we would receive many broad questions and general requests about how to enhance the visitor experience with digital, clients seem better versed about the different types of use of technology in an event. Two factors influence that: An increasing number of event managers have used some form of technology in their events in the past, so they have a basis for comparison; and in general, the event teams we’re dealing with are more technology savvy, possibly because they’ve taken on fresh new team members, who are digital natives.
Technology in the Event Space
While technology isn’t always expected, it is essential: An event should not be about the technology, it should be about content, about the people that are present, and about a great experience. Technology is simply essential in ensuring your event runs smoothly. From planning, to registration, to on-site arrival & badge issuance, to personal agenda building, match-making, and post-event follow-up: You will have a much easier time providing your stakeholders with even the most basic things they need, by embracing a set of event tools that can help you maximize your output.
The Next Big Thing
Here’s the thing, it’s not about just one thing. Clients are no longer just looking at adding one piece of technology (a mobile app, for example), in isolation from the rest of the event experience. What you see with most of the leading event technology providers, both the incumbents and the newer players, is that their technology offering has broadened, either in terms of the number of event services they provide, or at least in terms of how they connect (via built-in web services, or APIs) to other systems. Many will speak of “platforms”: Mobile will now encompass social and lead-management (doing away with the old clunky lead generation scanners), registration will extend into meeting scheduling and match-making, and some will offer an visitor engagement experience that extends beyond the event, with pre-event outreach tools and post-event community building features.