David Chalmers, Marketing Director for Europe at event management software provider Cvent on how technology has revitalised the events industry.
Fifteen years ago, organising events was a labour-intensive affair. As a senior marketing manager at Cisco, I remember only too clearly registrations coming in by fax, long nights manually checking registration lists and printing and stuffing badges. I also remember the pressure of trying to meet the board’s demands for reports immediately after an event, involving frantic cross-checking of lists and spreadsheets.
Today, technology has transformed the events industry beyond recognition. We now take for granted the ability to register delegates online or for exhibitors to scan badges, and accept as normal the ability to send out personalised communications to our target audience and establish online relationships with participants before, during and after an event.
Yet still the changes in technology are continuing at breakneck speed, which is what makes this such an incredibly exciting sector. Mobile technology, for example, means that people can register easily and quickly from their smartphone while speakers, exhibitors and delegates can engage with one another via a range of applications and connect with their social networks with just one click.
The result of so many applications is to provide a wealth of data that is of enormous value. Organisers can find out – instantly – who came, who didn’t come, and why. We know what people enjoyed, what they talked about and which parts of the event need to be revised, and can measure ROI more easily.
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