Speaking during a panel session today (5 August), Tim Bull, managing director of etouches, said one of the key issues when it comes to integrating new technology, is data protection. "A few years ago, everyone was bringing in technology to get data. But what do you do with that? Where do you house that? There’s lots of talk about globalisation of data. My advice would be that if you’re based in Europe, keep all your data there, due to differing rules in other parts of the world on how it will be used and stored."
Nick Riggall, head of digital strategy at George P Johnson, added that every agency and company should know exactly what they’re collecting data for. "There’s no point getting it if you have no real purpose for it. It has to add value and you have to be careful about how and where you’re storing it.
Engaging with technology
For Bull, another key challenge when it comes to using technology at events, is that the lines between generations can become blurred. "The older generation often want a more personal touch, while the younger generation are keen to use apps and iPads to get their information - this can be a major challenge."
He added that not everyone is ready to embrace change - whether it's delegates or organisers. "My biggest competitor is still a person in a back office with a highlighter. You can save so much time and resource by utilising tech properly, but there’ s a lot of people who are still resistant to it."
For those who are ready to look at new ideas, the advice from experts is to make sure objectives are clear before jumping in. "Using technology productively and moving it on to the next step is still a challenge for the industry," said Riggall. "For example, we’ve used VR to help brands engage with their audience and tell a story. But the question is, what comes next? How do you use that to integrate sales or new products?"
He added that 360 degree video was likely to be an up and coming trend . "We’ve started using it at events and it’s a great tool for interaction. Pokemon Go is another thing that’s really taken off- initially I don’t think they expected this kind of uptake, but now brands are getting onboard. It can be great if you use it in the right way."
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