At this time of year in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year there are many predictions being made about what the events space will look like and what issue is likely to dominate the thoughts of event people everywhere. But I don’t want to make a prediction here, I want to make a wish for the events space that I enjoy being part of. And my wish is this.
For the coming year and beyond I would love to see event organisers helping their delegates and other stakeholders get the most from the technology that is available to them at the event. To help, this post looks at three questions for planners when it comes to technology.
How is this technology helping?
I love technology. The energy that comes from technology providers displaying their latest products is brilliant. They have spirit and are convinced that it will be the best for your event.
Event planners are faced with a huge amount of choice when it comes to technology that can be used at events. That is good, after all everyone wants choice. But, is there a problem with the technology? Well In my opinion, there is only a problem when the technology gets in the way of the message of the speaker, disrupts the event or generally doesn’t add anything that could have been achieved by using a low-tech alternative.
First question, how will your chosen technology help with better event outcomes?
Can your attendees Use the Technology?
Having decided on the technology to be used, how are you going to make sure that everyone can understand what they need to do to get the most from it?
The amount of time I have seen technology fail at events is too much and it simply came down to people not understanding what they needed to do.
It reminds me of a number of years ago when I went to buy my first IPAD. I was very excited but the sales girl was less enthusiastic especially when I asked her for the ‘How to’ instruction guide. She looked at me with a sneer and told me that the device was intuitive. How very helpful I thought. Up until then all technology that I had needed had come with some set of instructions but not so for the IPAD. Looking back maybe she was right as I now I zip around the IPAD with no problem at all. But at the time I was frozen like a Deer caught in car headlights. And I am sure that you (the event planner) don’t want your delegates to have my experience.
Second question, how will you make sure people understand how to get the most from the tech?
How objective can you be with your technology choices?
There are times when I get swept away by the buzz of the latest vibe around technology. The possibilities seem endless (and maybe they are) with some of the technology that is going to enter the event space. You would be mad to miss it. Then you have to put your critical thinking hat on and really examine what the technology will do for your event outcome.
As I write this post, a number of pundits in events are going full steam ahead with their prediction that events need to be incorporating Virtual or Augmented Reality.
And this leads me to my final question, how objective or emotional are you when making your technology choices?
Go on make my wish come true by answering honestly my three questions and let technology help your event. If you don’t need to change anything then that is great but if these thoughts have triggered an idea that could help you with an even better event outcome then that is good as well.
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