Technology for Events

The Missing Piece of the Puzzle for Event Planners and Marketers

Event planners can not only iron out cost, time and organization setbacks by using technology but can also get competitive a pace.

Events are binary. They are either the source of huge stress or the source of a fresh branding advantage. Done wrong, and they can only add to a marketer’s list of heavy bills, undue hassle and operational nightmares. Done right, they can deepen your brand’s positioning in a first-hand and hard-to-erase manner.

Amidst the clutter of brands and events, it is not tough to notice those that stand out. And more often than not, the small differentiator that makes a colossal difference for a brand is an event that could wield technology smartly and timely.

Events are a must. If we look at a global survey of 700 business executives by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services[i1], we can spot that 93 percent of the respondents had organizations placing a priority on hosting events and for 57 per cent, it was a case of high priority.

And events must deliver value. Event marketing happens to bring in more business value than any other marketing channel (as seen by 52 per cent respondents) in a Harvard Business Review Study[i2]. But not all marketers are tuned in to this new minefield of power. For those who have been early birds, event technologies are arming them with a slew of reasons to invest more time and attention than they did before. There are two categories of these reasons – fundamental and boosters.

Fundamental:

1. Technology can be a sure-shot way of bringing costs under control. With the right set of tools, apps and automated planners; marketers can keep a good grip on unnecessary and invisible expenditure, thus, making an event a profit centre instead of an unwelcome burden. If you think about it further, with all these saved costs and resources, a marketer can easily invest more in promotion and outreach areas of an event instead of cutting back on them due to budget/time constraints

2. With the right technology, a marketer can inject an event with results and goals. It ceases to be a random and disoriented exercise when technology is there to guide and rein in the direction of an event. The simplicity and result-orientation[i3] that technology imparts through event management tools, make an event fruitful in every sense. These changes help your events align very close to the overall and big-picture strategy that you have for an event.

3. Manual costs and management weight can be drastically reduced by investing in the right event tools. These can eliminate the cost and footprint of manpower while also making events more streamlined and predictable in terms of output

 Boosters:

1. Most event software and tools are embedded with the ability to chew and slice data. Analytics is a by-product of any good event planning system. With all the data about attendees, their movements, their preferences and their feedback, you can dig into interesting insights. These insights, in turn, help you make smarter branding decisions and get closer to customers.

2. Well-placed tools help a marketer galvanise not only more attendees but with precision too. This ensures that an event gathers high-quality footfalls and eyeballs and then showers these guests with inimitable experiences, thanks to all the precision and knowledge that technology has already equipped it with.

3. Digitisation[i4] ushers in the never-before chance to truly stitch an event around a key experience or brand goal. This morphs an event from a routine and stress-heavy job to an opportunity where brands leverage creativity, personalization, engagement and proximity for their customers.

4. Effectiveness is a straight outcome that convention and exhibition producers have been harnessing by using technology tools to communicate with attendees. The advent of new technology allows them to dig into event data and use it for future improvements in strategy and planning.

5. Badges, wrist-bands, barcode on-person trackers, heat-planners etc. help marketers to truly understand what worked and what did not work during an event. All the guess-work and bias is removed with the availability of quick, real-time and rich data. The next set of events can be a leap of improvement when one can learn out of well-nailed gaps[i5]  in the previous events. The industry still ails from too much quantitative[i6] data and too less qualitative data and this is where new-age tools can really help marketers.

6. Versatility is something that technology allows in an unprecedented way. A marketer can cater to unique attention spans, learning approaches and needs of attendees and then create an event that satisfies everyone without spiralling costs and clutter.

7. Wait till AI, virtual-reality, augmented-reality, facial recognition[i7] and chatbot tools blossom properly and you will see that the possibility of deep engagement, real-time feedback and experiential branding are virtually infinite.

8. The right mix of technologies allows a marketer to create engagement at all stages of an event lifecycle compared to the boxed and limited approach of manual event management. They can tap pre, during and post-event stages with personalised follow-up event interaction and information tools. This can also help sales teams to have a granular understanding of hot leads to go after instead of spraying their efforts all over.

Events are no more a ritual or a headache. Most marketers have realized that events are a top engagement tactic and, often, for all the stages of the funnel. As a research report from Demand Gen[i8] unveils, events have surfaced as a leading tactic for generating qualified leads. This was a number for the top of the funnel in 2018 and seen in 76 per cent of respondents. Events were also seen to be the most successful tactic for lead conversion in the middle and late stages of the funnel for 64 per cent of respondents. Even for driving early-stage (46 per cent) and late-funnel engagement (44 per cent), events turned out to be the second-best channel.

It is time to join the smart league of marketers and let technology do what a brand always aspired for– get close, get clever and get curious but without wasting time, energy, money and sweat. Hand it over to technology.


 [i1]https://hbr.org/sponsored/2018/09/the-event-marketing-evolution

  [i2]https://splashthat.com/resources/event-marketing-evolution-hbr-report

[i3]https://www.eventindustrynews.com/news/guest-blog-why-event-planners-need-to-embrace-technology-to-stay-ahead

[i4]https://www.eventtia.com/blog/top-10-reasons-why-you-should-embrace-event-technology

[i5]https://skift.com/2019/08/22/why-technology-isnt-being-used-to-track-engagement-at-events/

[i6]https://skift.com/2019/08/21/the-events-industry-has-a-blindspot-when-it-comes-to-attendee-engagement/

 [i7]https://www.raconteur.net/business-innovation/technologies-change-events

[i8]https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/industry-insights/what-s-working-in-event-marketing-4-tactics-driving-event-success-at-all-stages-of-planning

ARTICLE COURTESY: BUZZNATION

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