After pulling an all-nighter to make changes to an Edinburgh Festival programme, after a speaker pulled out at the last minute, Thorben Grosser thought "there must be a better way of doing this."
Fast-forward ten years and Grosser is now general manager of EventMobi, a provider of integrated event technology. His mission since that late night's photocopying session has been to tell the world about the kind of event technology that can make all our lives easier, and this was the subject of his talk ‘Game-changing MICE technology for your event’ on day two of IBTM World in Barcelona.
The first thing you should consider before deciding which technology to implement, says Grosser, is "what are your pain points?" Which elements of producing an event are causing you the most hassle and taking up most of your time? Once you’ve figured this out, you can then start to look for the tech solution.
Implementing the new tech isn’t always straightforward though, he warns. You’ve got to consider the venue’s requirements, coordination with suppliers, colleagues and event personnel and whether you are still making information easily accessible for all of your attendees.
Make your job easier
"How many of you use Excel every day at work?" Grosser asked the audience. A fair few of us raised our hands. There are tailored project management tools, such as EventCollab, which are specifically designed for event planning.
Similarly, there are staff management tools like InitLive and UCM, which can make getting hold of extra staff "as easy as ordering a pizza," said Grosser.
And talking of pizza, there are also online catering platforms such as heycater! And Caterwings that can provide you with a range of tailored catering options for your event. Tools like this can free up your time and make the whole event far more cost-effective.
Once you’ve planned your event, perhaps artificial intelligence matchmaking software can improve the attendee experience. AI can suggest talks they might like or even make networking suggestions based on your social media profiles.
Digital goodie bags
And after the event, everyone likes a goodie bag, right? Then you consider that "the events industry is the second most wasteful industry in the world, after the oil industry," according to Grosser.
The solution, Grosser suggests, is digital goodie bags. Promotional codes for discounts and special offers on products bought online may not have the immediate tangibility of an object handed out an event but are much more environmentally friendly and will greatly reduce the event’s carbon footprint.
Should you give out a discount code for something to buy online, you can then track how many people have used it and get a measurable and verifiable ROI on your digital gift.
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