At the interactive ‘Stay grounded or stay face to face' session, panellists discussed the place of new technology in the live events industry.
Eventia chief executive Izania Downie told delegates: "It is a question of digital and live events supporting each other. It depends on the objective of the event - if it is being held to encourage making contacts, for example, then it needs to be live. It is about the integration of the two."
C&IT senior reporter Leanne Bell predicted the use of ‘hybrid events' in five years time, using technology to support live events. She added: "People need to consider the demographic of their audience and what works best for them."
Downie said: "In five years, there will be a marriage of virtual and live events. To make this happen, there first needs to be education and investment - a lot of investment to get the technology right."
Green Thing chief executive James Alexander told delegates: "The next step is to start doing it. It is a technological and behavioural issue."
Carbon Disclosure Project chief executive Paul Dickinson said Cisco's Telepresence system was "unbelievably good and unbelievably expensive", but added that there is a plethora of products between this and those products that do not work well.
Technology also has a place in the wider events process, according to Alexander. He said: "It is now acceptable to say you are not coming to a pitch, but will use Skype instead. It is a true exhibition of your values."