Having the correct integrated event technology is vital to the success of your global events program in the hybrid event future.
As we emerge from the global pandemic, in-person events are cautiously returning. And the events industry has been forever changed. As a result, event technology is taking center stage and will be a crucial component as we move forward into a hybrid events future.
Over the last 15 months, the event technology industry has delivered extraordinary advancements in capabilities and vision. They have been pivoting, partnering, innovating, and integrating at levels never seen before. Thus, the event planning community has been provided with an amazing selection of platforms, apps, and engagement tools at all price points. Some work better than others, but overall, it is an exciting time for event technology.
There will be those in the industry that will say, “why do I need new technology, my spreadsheets work great” or “after 2008 everyone said hybrid was the future, but we went back to business as usual.” Comparing the recovery from the economic crash of 2008 and today’s reemergence from the pandemic is a false equivalency. Technology and the adoption of technology are so far advanced as to be not comparable. Consider that the first iPhone was released in 2007, and the first generation of Android devices were debuted in 2008. Technology has come so far from then, and so has our audience.
Assessing your event tech stack
So now it’s time to start clearly focusing on the future of our events and identify the solutions that will best meet our needs in this new world. A holistic view of your program is imperative when determining if you have the right technologies and processes in place. Consider conducting a complete needs assessment. In your evaluation, you should be looking for process redundancies and tasks requiring manual steps to complete. Look for communications that become roadblocks to the success of your workflow and, by extension, your event. You are looking for roads that go nowhere or overly complicated or convoluted paths to achieve the desired outcome. Streamlined and integrated flows should be the benchmark. A complete assessment includes workflows, metrics and reporting, branding, access requirements, approvals structure, event requests, and technology requirements, as well as reviewing your sales and marketing processes. Finally, take a critical look at how things are being done to find new efficiencies. Take the time to map out your workflows and processes, looking for opportunities to streamline or add automation, remove manual tasks by adding integration. Remember to evaluate both technology and human process flows.
When you’ve completed your needs assessment, take all the valuable information and use it to architect new and improved workflows, integrations, and processes. Including internal, risk and compliance, and security policies in your documentation will help you select event technology solutions that comply with your corporate requirements.
You are now armed with the holistic vision of your future events program and your workflow, process, integration, and technology requirements. With this information in hand, take the time to educate yourself about what’s available, learn about the latest innovations by going to trade shows and demos. If possible, find a free event using a platform you are evaluating. The event doesn’t even need to be in your industry, but it will allow you to see how the platform performs in a real-world environment.
Taking your new knowledge of what is available, update your program with your needs, wants, and wishes to realize the complete budgetary picture.
Implementing what you have learned
Using the requirements identified during the assessment and process architecture and the needs, wants, and wishes established from your research, evaluate the event solutions currently in your technology stack. Do the current technologies match up? Do you need to add integrations? Update workflows? Does it have the analytics you require? Or is a current technology no longer a fit for your future? Going through this process, you may find that some of the solutions in your event technology stack are compatible with your future state, and some are not. Also, remember to look at the interconnectivity of all the systems you use throughout your event cycle. These include non-event-specific related applications like marketing automation and sales pipeline solutions.
Whether filling a gap in your technology stack, replacing an existing solution, or creating an entire solution from scratch, using the insights you have gained from the process you will be able to create succinct RFPs and streamline your evaluation process.
If you are interested in more information about evaluating your technology stack or would like to supplement your team to assess your clients’ event tech, we are here to help. Our team at Event Analytics & Design has been in the event technology industry for over 20 years. We have designed and deployed proprietary event systems from the ground up, sourced and implemented client event technology, and created and executed complex Strategic Meetings Management Programs (SMMP).
About Event Analytics & Design
Event Analytics & Design (EAD) is an event project management, event support, and technology management company specializing in virtual events, hybrid events & in-person/live events, registration services & attendee management, event technology, and event data analytics & engagement metrics. EAD excels in using data and technology to deliver exciting and innovative event experiences. Event Analytics & Design is a sister company to Typ A Marketing and a subsidiary of Video Illusions, Inc., a full-service production company focused on video production, web development including site design & online application implementation, brand development, multimedia creation, and corporate consulting. See all the ways that the Video Illusions, Inc. suite of properties (VIIP) can deliver a one-stop destination for all your branding, marketing, and programming needs. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Event Analytics & Design is the brainchild of two industry experts with the mission to revolutionize the event management industry. For more information, visit www.eventanalyticsdesign.com or follow @EventANDSF on Twitter or Instagram.