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#eventtech Insights - continued

Date: Thursday 24th November 2016

Eventtech Insights

25th October, The Tower Room, London & Partners

Speakers: James Morgan – presenting & moderating; Chetan Shah, micebook; Aifric, Event Advisor, Laura Stembridge, Jambo

In our #eventtech series we look at the trends in the industry and talk about latest technology that revolutionise the industry. We invited our good friend and pronounced leader in the industry, James Morgan to present at and moderate our October members’ event.

James Morgan is the principle consultant at James Morgan Associates, a brands marketing and communications consultancy based in London, United Kingdom. He is also the affiliate chair of the International Special Events Society EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Nigeria, Turkey and United Kingdom), a Senior Lecturer in Events at the University of Westminster and managing director of Event Tech Lab, a virtual marketing and communications accelerator for event technology start-ups. James recently launched his own #eventtech start-up called SharedXP. As the name suggests, SharedXP facilitates crowd sourced content ideas for meetings and events. It uses a basic contribution, comment and like system that most users will be familiar with from platforms such as Facebook. The system is based on social intelligence and the construction of social spaces. The idea emanated from researching theories put forward by philosophers Lefebvre on 'The Production of Space' and Levy’s 'Collective Intelligence'.

Current state and #eventtech trends

James shared a presentation outlining that the MICE industry was worth $565 billion in 2012 and that the world’s largest companies cumulatively spend $396 billion on meetings and events per year. Moreover, according to these stats, the global event technology market is expected to grow to 9.28 billion by 2020! Wow! With the development and constant birth of new business ideas we are very curious to see how this market will grow and advance. In terms of the current trends, there are quite a few methods that have been used by professionals all over the world:

  • Beacons – their use has been particularly popular in the last few years with the personalisation of information and tailoring of offers and feeds:

 

  • Live streaming – live streaming is a great way of sharing the experience with the online community in an authentic way. Facebook is really good for live streaming as it allows the viewers to comment and stimulates a conversation. Periscope is another app which allows live streaming and also gives the user the opportunity to search for topics they are interested in and watch live or recorded videos. You don’t have to be ‘friends’ with the person streaming to be available to view or comment. Industry experts argue that Facebook has achieved highest recognition in the last year or so, due to the high audience engagement numbers it has reached.

 

Crowdsourcing is a collaborative method which involves a larger number of people into the process, collating and considering information from past, present and future and from various stakeholders, as shown below.

 

  • AI applications – artificial intelligence is a powerful tool in various industries and disciplines. AI works with the help of machines. It sounds a little scary but thanks to machines we are experiencing many of the advancements in medicine, Aeroflot, and events, too. Google, Facebook and Microsoft also use AI to reach higher heights.
  • APIs – application programming interface – through APIs we integrate various programmes with one another and can build the so called ‘all in one packages’ when we talk about registration systems. APIs present companies with the unique advantage to reach wider audiences, collect further data and allow greater personalisation and data segmentation.
  • Robotics – using robots in events is becoming more popular in the need of bodies running the floor, giving information and advice and connecting the online audience to events at the moment they are happening.

 

James was joined by 3 event tech start-ups to share their stories, present their ideas and talk about where the industry is heading. This is who they are, below, together with their contacts should you wish to get in touch!

EventAdvisor

One of the newest eventtech start-ups we wanted to present to the audience is called EventAdvisor. What the company does is it creates a platform of business events taking place all over the world and provides feedback collected by the attendees at these events. This is TripAdvisor for events – what a brilliant idea! Attendees rate the events by filling out a questionnaire and this gives an objective overview of the event.

Founder: Aifric O’Byrne
Email: aifric@eventadvisor.com

Jambo

Jambo means Hello in ‘Swahili’ – Jambo is a platform allowing you to connect with other professionals and find local business events which you can attend. Spending so much time in travel has finally become a pleasant way of meeting new people who we share interests with.

Founder: Laura Stembridge
Email: laura@jamboapp.com

Micebook

Most of you may know of Micebook as being one of EMA’s partners. Micebook is a supplier management platform which was born out of frustration that eventprofs have so much knowledge about hotels, suppliers, destinations but they don’t share it with their colleagues from the industry. And how do you know which is the best DMC in Malaysia? By being member of Micebook. It doesn’t only give, it requires you, the eventprof, to give, too. This is a platform where event organisers can access and read about the recommendations of other eventprofs. Micebook is launching its 2.0 version in the beginning of 2017, watch this spot.

Founder: Chetan Shah
Contact: chetan@micebook.com

Outcomes

During the conversation with the audience the common agreement was that the main challenge still remains adoption – getting people to use the technologyseems to be a difficult task. Reasons? Lack of time; not easy to use; interface that isn’t appealing to the user visually – what else can you think of #eventprofs? One of the suggestions was that it sometimes comes down to who the audience is, what generation are they. Younger professionals are more keen to use technology and smart phones which are compatible with apps, whereas the older professionals aren’t interested or don’t know how to use event technology. It does take a great amount of effort to educate users and to try to convince them in the benefits technology brings.

Some of the other challenges we have discussed in the past were - who buys the technology and why? If a client was given the wrong impression that the certain piece of technology will do wonders for them without being used properly or communicated how to be used, then the results will most certainly be disappointing. It is important to know why you want to use technology, what you want to achieve and whether it makes sense to use the specific technology.

When it comes to trends in event technology there are a few event tech advancements that have been in the spot light. The most talked about is VR. Virtual Reality is the proof of technology growth and development, plus it is a great fun to use. Is it always the best solution and does it help audience engage more? Not always. Think about the levels of engagement at a conference where everyone is wearing a headset – it limits the interaction in its real and authentic human-to-human connections.

This topic is one of those that can be discussed till the end of time because the market is highly saturated with new and exciting event technology ideas and is in constant change. At last, the piece of advice we can share is to do your homework when choosing event technology for your events. Even if you are using a professional advisor, consider how your brand relates to the technology used and read about it in depth so you make sure that the objectives of your event will be achieved.

 

 



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