EXHIBITION NEWS July 2017 - Page 28

EN ROUNDTABLE Event tech: Fad or the future? On 6 June, 12 event profs braved unseasonably apocalyptic weather to come along to the third of the EN Roundtable series. This month’s topic? Event tech 28 In association with: July 2017 | exhibitionnews.co.uk Defi ning event tech Katy Roberts: When I think about event tech I immediately think of things like apps and iBeacons; things which are more revolutionary in terms of how they are already starting to change the experience for those different sets of people. However, I often have question marks as to how valuable it can be to me. For example, I run a consumer event and when I look at my budget I question whether I need an app. Waleed Jahangir: I think with technology in the events sector it depends on how the technology is being used; whether it’s being used for visitor engagement, client management or for everyday running or marketing. I agree with Katy; there’s a big question mark with regards to consumer events. I think the fi rst question is, is there a budget and is there an actual need for the consumers for this app? You don’t want visitors to walk around your event on their phone. The face-to-face element has to stay there. Sophie Ahmed: I would segment it into pre-event and onsite technology; you have to think about what the customer wants, that drives the event strategy and drives what you need technology-wise. For pre-event, there’s two things: one, to get revenue from it and two to increase visitors, and then you have to have set KPIs about how you measure it to make sure you want to spend that budget, and if you’re going to spend more next time then how do you justify it? Kevin Jackson: I’ve got some real issues with even the phrase ‘event tech’, because I