The role of an event organiser has become mind-bogglingly broad in its scope. From selecting venues, food, speakers, room layouts, DJs, and managing the budget to laying out an effective marketing plan, event organisers must ensure all aspects of the event come together.
This means long hours of slogging it out, dealing with multiple clients and stakeholders, with endless meetings, pre-cons and phone calls. This invisible workload of the event planner leaves you in no doubt as to why the role ranks among the most stressful jobs in the world, year after year.
With all that said, the list above doesn’t end there. There is also the question of handling all the technology required to support various aspects of your event. Your attendees are not living in the stone ages. They, like you, are living at a time when technology is continually providing solutions to problems you didn’t know existed. Technology delights us, keeps us informed and manages everything from our diaries to every single communication channel we have with the outside world.
Your attendee’s expectation, therefore, is that you would keep up with the latest and greatest technology to make their lives easier and to keep them excited at your events.
This leaves your event planning team in the position of fight or flight…you either keep up with the demands of technology or retreat from the game. As the recent US democratic elections prove, no app may be better than a poor app! But no app also leaves you in the dark.
Technology for Events
Let’s face it, the only real choice available is to get to grips with the technology needed to attract and keep your attendees happy.
The technology you need for your events could include:
- Creating an event website
- Setting up event registration software to ease the reg process and gain the maximum number of attendees
- Acquiring the right onsite tech for the day of your events, e.g. payment processing, or mobile event apps
- Getting high-quality leads through lead capture solutions
- Generating reports to prove your event ROI
Add to the mix emerging event technologies like facial recognition, augmented and virtual reality, projection mapping, and blockchain. You might be better off studying rocket science!
This is where the role of an event technologist could become a crucial asset to your team.
What on Earth is an Event Technologist?
When you hear this term, the first questions that pop up in your mind might be:
- What are you talking about?
- Who is an event technologist?
- What does this person do?
- Do I really need one for my events?
An event technologist works alongside event organisers to select the technology tools and to create the technology strategy that helps the team deliver on event objectives. The responsibilities around event technology are no longer restricted to analysing spreadsheets, making the WiFi work properly, or creating a basic mobile app. An extreme level of digital transformation has occurred.
You need experts to navigate an entire technology suite, analyse the complexities of your event platform, improve experiences analyse data and generate reports. Think about the marketing technology your organisation uses. Once upon a time, these tools were acquired and run by your IT team. The IT department has very little understanding of how or why the technology would be used. For many organisations, it is now only natural to hire one or more people to look after the marketing tech stack or to rely on the marketing team to manage their own tech. A 2019 Gartner survey revealed that 74% of the respondents’ martech is primarily controlled by the marketing department.
A similar case can be made for your event technology which has a very different purpose from your traditional marketing technology. You also need to ensure both forms of technology integrate seamlessly with one another to provide a rich, immersive experience to attendees without leaving your internal teams frustrated at the overwhelming amount of information.
It’s for these reasons that this has given rise to a new role. The Event Technologist – a dedicated tech person who has in-depth knowledge of various tools and technologies required to execute successful events. A person in this role can easily monitor trends, understand data flow in an integrated tech stack, set up back-end processes and systems correctly, and troubleshoot your event tech before, during and after your events.
Why Hiring an Event Technologist is Necessary
Event technology has opened a slew of new opportunities to interact with attendees. Your guests often have to make sacrifices to come to your event: the travel time, missing work, the cost to their business. So it’s your job to help them maximise their time at your events. In doing this, you will help them to justify the benefits of attending and give them the impetus they need to return to more of your events.
The best way to achieve these goals is to make the experience as seamless as possible. Give them a speedy check-in, put content in their hands, personalise their experience and leave them saying “wow”.
As the event organiser, technology enables you to track the engagement of your attendees throughout their event journey. You can keep the communication channels open to provide regular updates to your attendees and to understand what is working and what needs improvement.
The role of the event technologist is vital to optimising different technologies and maximising their effectiveness for both you and your attendees.
Recent research shows, only 38% of event organisers consider themselves as confident technology users, while a mere 20% are tech-savvy. With technology playing an increasingly important factor in executing successful events, you might find yourself needing to hire an event technologist. This is especially important if you organise large-scale seminars, conferences and trade shows.
How an Event Technologist benefits your event
Even if you are well-versed with event technology, there are several benefits of hiring an event technologist. Here are five of them:
#5 Bringing exclusive insights – and improved data analysis
An event technologist has expertise in particular areas of technology that a traditional event organiser might not be aware of or have the time or inclination to work on. Their skillset is also helpful in collecting accurate data, analysing it through different metrics, and providing actionable feedback for further improvement.
#4 Reducing workload
Dealing with technology is undoubtedly a significant component of event planning. If a dedicated person manages all the technical aspects of your event, it’s undoubtedly a considerable load off your back and for the rest of the team.
#3 Bridging the tech gap
Technology plays an inter-connected role in business. The event organiser, the clients, the stakeholders and the C-suite all need to be on the same page when it comes to event tech, as any lag or delay in communication related to various tech updates could become a cause of friction. An event technologist helps bridge any gap by bringing everyone on the same wavelength.
#2 Ensuring logistical streamlining and administrative efficiency
With an event technologist at the helm of affairs, the purchase decisions are made on an organisational level instead of per-event basis. This reduces costs and simplifies the tech stack, thus streamlining the supply chain and improving administrative efficiency.
#1 Providing real value that resonates with stakeholder expectations
You might have a lot of ideas to show and goals to achieve through your event, but it won’t amount to much if you can’t back it by reliable, measurable data. An event technologist can help quantify the benefits of each aspect of your event against different metrics, such as registrations, leads captured, time spent at various stands and sessions etc. Your clients and stakeholders gain clear insight to plan their events by including recommendations based on reports generated by the event technologist.
Read more about event technologists and why this will be the job of the future in the events industry in our latest free eBook ‘The Rise of the Event Technologist’.