Last night I attended the Eventopedia UK launch event ‘Event Tech That Works’ interested to learn more about what’s current, what’s new and what’s the future in Event Technology and I didn’t come away disappointed.

Who are Eventopedia I hear you ask?  Eventopedia.com was launched by Toby Heelis and Alan Newton as a resource for event professionals to find venues and suppliers when planning their events.  Their objective is to increase supplier conversion and reduce unnecessary site visits helping to save planners time and money.  The site also allows event professionals to leave quick and easy reviews, could this mean they will become the ‘TripAdvisor’ for the Events Industry?  

Their launch event was held in the stunning Ballroom of 8 Northumberland Avenue, ‘London’s most central venue’ and, was opened with an interesting presentation by Charles Boyd on the venue’s immersive lighting and how this can be linked to Powerpoint presentations to trigger audience emotions.

Event Host Chris Elmitt of Crystal Interactive talked the delegates through the mini iPads which were handed out, geared around audience interaction via which you could view the agenda, speakers and delegates as well as take part in Q&A.  There was also an interesting Mood-O-Meter, now how many of us would use that at our events?

There was an entertaining talk by Ru Barksfield of Gruve on designing event tech around your event objectives to achieve ROI, who claimed “It’s all about that brief”, asked “What does success look like?”, and urged us to “Have an objective and a KPI that can be measured”.

The challenge of the evening had to be getting 100 event professionals working together as a team during the gamification example.  This was followed by a quick interactive brainstorm of the room on how to be a better team.  Some of the top responses included “communication”, “listen” and “have a leader”, as well as “only use smart people” and “drink less”!  Some interesting thoughts!

During the panel session Sue Mitchell of Top Banana suggested we should be using technology to measure the success of our events and Juliet Price from the HBAA described the challenges of implementing an event app for their annual forum, explaining that you should set objectives to drive an event app rather than an app to drive an event.

The highlight of the evening however was certainly the finale – a holographic presentation by Musion Events over a 4G wireless signal!  The first of it’s kind!  Although slower than fibre optic it is claimed to be faster than satellite and will certainly prove to be more flexible and affordable to the live events industry in the future, certainly when you consider the expense of flying in high profile celebrities.

It was interesting to learn that 47% of the event professionals in the room had investigated the use of event tech but not taken it forward and 35% would not use event tech due to cost!  What I will take away from the event is that there is certainly some fantastic event technology available that can help to make your event stand out from the crowd, without eating up too much of your budget.  It’s important however to have clear measurable objectives in terms of what you or your client want to achieve, do your research and, only use the technologies that are right for your audience and will help you to drive your objectives!

Top quotes from the evening:

“Did you feel the light?” – Charles Boyd, 8 Northumberland

“Welcome I’m the MD of Crystal Interactive and those are my iPads” – Chris Elmitt, Crystal Interactive

“The brief quite often focuses upon what the event should have in it rather than what it is trying to achieve” – Ru Barksfield, Gruve

“Innovative clients believe they need event tech – you need to question why?” – Sue Mitchell, Top Banana

“Hindsight means we have set objectives which will be supported by the app not an app driving the event” – Juliet Price, HBAA

“Understand the audience and research before deploying event tech” – Juliet Price, HBAA

“Tap it gently, it’s my iPad remember” – Chris Elmitt, Crystal Interactive

Until next time #Eventprofs…