Event tech is a minefield. Whilst you will not be blown to pieces, it is so easy to make a mistake that could cost your company a lot of money. Beyond money you could face other issues such as data security breaches and poor satisfaction ratings if you take the wrong step and end up with poor tech.
A key challenge is that event planners are faced with is so much choice it’s hard to know what to do that’s going to be perfect for your situation.
Help is on Hand
To help, there are some really useful comparison guides. The guides that are produced on a regular basis from the team at Event Manager Blog are well researched and get to the heart of what works and what doesn’t.
But once you have done all the hard work of evaluating what is best, there are three questions you have to answer (honestly) before you sign up with the technology provider.
1. How is This Technology Helping?
Technology providers are convinced that their product will be the best for your event. After all, they have spent lots of time in developing it and bringing it to market. How can you resist? It can be easy to get swept up in their enthusiasm. This is fine as long as you keep an objective stance.
You have to ask whether the proposed technology will add anything that could have been achieved by using a low-tech alternative.
Hence, the first question is, how will your chosen technology deliver better event outcomes and stronger ROI for all your stakeholders?
2. How Easily Can Your Attendees Use the Technology?
How are you going to make sure that everyone can understand what they need to do to get the most from the tech? In this ‘everyone’ is down for you to define but don’t forget speakers, sponsors and exhibitors. It’s not just delegates that will be using it.
The last thing you want is for your technology to be difficult to use. But even if it’s simple to use you need to do a lot of ‘hand holding’ to ensure that people know what they need to do. A number of years ago I went to buy my first iPad. I was very excited and so too was the sales girl until 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. 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. I now zip around the device with no problem at all. But at the time I was frozen like a deer caught in the glare of car headlights. I am sure that you wouldn’t want your delegates to have a similar experience to mine. Hold their hands it will help.
My second question is, how will you make sure people understand how to get the most from the tech?
3. How Objective Are You Being?
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 the tech that is in the events space and technology that you can see coming in the near future. After all we have VR, AR, beacons, facial recognition and all sorts of streaming services to name but just a few of the event tech options available.
You would be mad to miss the latest innovations surely? But, this is when you have to put your critical thinking hat on and really examine what the technology will do for your event outcome.
Third question, how objective or emotional are you when making your technology choices?
Everyone has a bias especially when it comes to tech. Some planners want the latest with all the ‘bells and whistles’ whilst others are happier with straight forward tech which gets the job done.
Whatever your bias is, don’t let it get in the way of your event tech decision making. After all, it’s all about the event outcomes and there is nothing worse than trying to impose tech on delegates that just don’t want it.
Therefore and this is critical, you have to be honest in answering these three questions before you buy. If you don’t you could find yourself stepping on one of those horrid land mines that were mentioned at the start. But, if you are objective and have all the answers to your questions, you will be on your way to navigating a path that makes sense for you and your client.
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