What defined 2015 for your sector?
One of the things that’s revolutionised the events industry at Google is free online content. We’ve created such a demand that for every Google I/O event, we have 6,000 people queuing to get into the conference room, which holds 2,000. Everyone else will go into overflow but they still come. It’s all being live streamed but the demand proves that even in a world of tech, where everyone is glued to their screens, these live events are still important and people still want to attend.
What is the biggest challenge for the sector?
The big challenge in the tech sector is just keeping up. People have an expectation that you’re going to have the latest and greatest. They want to come to events and see the future - they want to be impressed. But at the same time I think we need to put things in perspective and not use tech for tech’s sake.
What are the new opportunities for the sector?
I don’t think there’s necessarily that many new opportunities, it’s just about re-evaluating, particularly the role of events. Tech brands really need to maintain that human touch. Otherwise it’s just a screen experience and we need to be careful to move away from that. That’s a continuing growth opportunity for us. We need to talk to customers and suppliers and engage with them to understand their point of view. The thing about our industry is that it creates so much change in other sectors.
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