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3 D's to Justifying Event Technology

Blair Pettrey

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With the advancement in technology – especially event technology – it’s hard to imagine a time where conference calls and printed event and seminar agendas where all the rage. Where screen-printed swag bags where filled with pens and business cards from every vendor, exhibitor and the 300 fellow attendees that you may have ‘met’ (but hardly connected with of any true quality).

Now, when event professionals plan an event – they are trying to compete with the ‘Titanic Syndrome’ expectations of event attendees. Where event attendees feel as soon as they walk onsite to an event, they have stepped into an ‘out of this world experience’ with all the latest audio/visual tech – including social media walls, the coolest mobile event app, and a keynote speaker whose presentation of course includes interactive polling.

However, even with the advancements and even the expectations of today’s event technology, it’s not uncommon that event professionals run into that ‘One Client’.

That ‘One Client who refuses to incorporate a budget for the mobile event app (even though they know their attendees want it). They refuse to see the importance of real time event reporting and analytics. Every event professional knows that ‘One Client’ who absolutely refuses to incorporate the many advancements of event technology, and yet we as event professionals diligently must find a way to nurture the path for (comfortable) advancement for that ‘One Client.’ But how?

1. Data in Event Technology

They say “73.6% of All Statistics are Made Up” and yet “300% of sales are closed when presented with data from previously successful clients.”

While the numbers may vary depending on what as an event professional you are trying to accomplish and how strong minded your client may be – but the power of case studies and previous success stories is strong, especially if they are in relevant industries.

If as an in-house event professional, you must ‘defend the spend’ showcasing previous event ROI, case studies, white papers, or actual examples from other events can be extremely helpful. Pudding is delicious and receptive – and when it can be tangible, what was once hard to swallow, becomes easier to receive and welcome.

2. Demos of Event Technology 

If you are an event professional trying to showcase or present your product to a potential event planner or client, there’s no better way to ‘convince and convert’ than to show them an actual example of what your product can do. The age-old saying is ‘don’t tell me – show me’ – and event technology demos are the perfect way of accomplishing that.

If you’re an audio-visual company – show a reel of past events where you have incorporated impressive lighting design, audio set up with your experienced tech experts, and how it all began with a CAD design. If you’re a mobile event app company – showcase a demo of one of your event apps you’ve developed for a client in the past – focusing on some of the most impressive features that might benefit this client as well.

Demos are greatuse them!

3. The Disney Effect 

Walt Disney once said ‘I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it all started with a mouse.’

The event industry is no exception. Perhaps as event professionals, we don’t have mice (or at least we hope…), but we do have the original, ‘old school’, expectations and anticipations that stem from that original mouse (or event). However, nurturing potential clients or event tech partners along the path can go a long way.

Today, that event planner or host may refuse what you should offer, or not understand the value in what event tech can do – but by showing a willingness to not remove the mouse, but add ways and possibilities to enhance the mouse – a new opportunity and client can be found!

In Conclusion

Event technology is an ever-changing world. The conference phone calls and car phones of yesteryears are today’s email and social networking integration’s, mobile apps for events, and rock show lighting & a/v event setups. As we push event technology forward - don’t be discouraged when running into the ‘One Client’. Just remember the 3 D’s!