What technology is crucial for a successful event?

Part two of our State of the Industry: Corporate Report reveals which tech is most important for events to run seamlessly.

Event registration and AV set up lead the way among the chief tech concerns for corporate event planners, according this year's survey for the State of the Industry: Corporate Report 2019.

Some familiar concerns were raised among event planners – but perhaps surprisingly, no one surveyed mentioned VR, AR or AI as tech that was important for a successful event.

Top tech issues for corporate event planners 

  • Event registration 70%
  • AV set up 63%
  • Event apps 52%
  • Social media 33%
  • Customer feedback tools 26%
  • Special effects 7%
  • Event analytics tools 5%
  • AR/VR/AI 0%

Event registration was highlighted as a key tech concern for more than two-thirds of corporate planners.

When asked what the top concerns were, Carla Hallmark, Nesta's head of events said: "Registration, as this is the attendee's first impression of the event. AV set up that is appropriate for the look and feel but also the technical requirements of the event and event feedback so that we are able to measure the impact.

Jayne Scott, head of events at Nucleus Financial, said: "We use feedback tools to both prove the effectiveness of our events, develop ideas for future events and to follow up with prospects.

"Our customers and prospective customers are put off by unreliable and inefficient registration processes and won't bother if it's not smooth. AV has to be super slick as we're a FinTech company so it's assumed that all our event tech will be to a high standard and it's distracting if anything goes wrong."

One event planner said: "If onsite reg is bad, the customer's experience gets off to a bad start. Good AV is vital for the retention of sponsors etc."

The importance of AV setups was highlighted by 63% of event planners, while more than half spoke about event apps.

Another planner said: "Event experience starts way before the actual event, so event apps and social media are the best way to excite, promote, experience and then follow up once the event is finished." 

Social media was highlighted by a third of event planners, while a quarter mentioned customer feedback tools.

Kate Conway, Hyundai Motor UK's events manager said: "Social media leads to event amplification and promotion. If you don't get the registration right then you upset a lot of people."

Amanda Hoffmeister, head of group events management, Amadeus IT Group said:  "Social media – visibility, targeting the right demographics for effective promotion.

"Event design [is important], as a well-constructed and thought out event can be retained for the customer experience. AV, as impactful visuals always help with engaging the customer. Feedback tools as these are the most important way of measuring success and ROI."

Peter Short, head of events at The Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, said: "Delegate journey and experience and measurement to allow us to improve and be informed on what works and doesn't for future events. This provides us with data to help us make the right informed decisions."

Other observations 

  • Bob Postins, head of events at Amway Europe Ltd said: "For our tiered business data needs to be seamless if we are to provide the correct service level to each attending business."
  • One event planner said: "Needing the correct set up is key, event apps are great for participation and social media gets the word out there."
  • Jessica Badminton, senior events manager at Quilter Financial Planning said: "You need to get the basics right before the fancy stuff. If the basics fall over it's detrimental to user experience as well as effective event management."
  • Another event planner said: "Staging, AV, production are key to showcase your products and message, event reg is the first touchpoint and best way to track attendees data and revenue."
  • Emma Copping, UK event manager at St. James's Place, said: "People only attend if it is made easier and we have listened to previous feedback to change."

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