July 23, 2015  •  by Sean Burke

Event Tech Isn't Your Savior

Back To Basics, aka Ignore The Chrome I see a lot of people raving about new developments in event tech, but invariably people stop focusing on actual needs for the event and get more focused on the shiny things, the “chrome” of the event. Heck, even things like WiFi can be forgotten for basics such as check in apps. At Ticketbud, we ran into this several years ago for an event we did checkin for. You can read all about that hectic day here! Tools like conference apps, such as those marketed by Double Dutch, can be legitimately useful when used for the right purpose. And some of these tools are almost required nowadays for purely convenience sake. However, there aren’t a lot of these. The Crutch Isn’t A Banner When you’re looking to wow attendees with the newest digital gif creator while recording it on Periscope, you need to craft a plan around how to implement and what you are aiming to achieve. With great power, comes great responsibility. What do I mean by, the crutch isn’t a banner? You’re not going to have more attendees just because you have an interactive RFID chip. However, there are always exceptions if you know what you’re doing – when Disney began implementing RFID chip wristbands, they had a strategy behind it. They had a plan and they took a deliberate course of action. This Emperor had clothes. Disney’s RFID chip wristbands, known as Magicbands, give visitors complete access to the park. They’re connected to credit cards for seamless purchases (I’m sure parents will love that!) and convenient access to skipping lines. All done with the goal in mind of helping employees serve their guests better. Overall, it creates a personalized experience for the visitor. People already loved Disneyland and this new innovation made the whole experience even more “magical”. But do you really think that Disneyland will increase attendance through this wristband? Perhaps, but they’re a worldwide, well known brand. They also have near-monopoly power in their theme parks. If you’re using event tech as a crutch to grab attendees and you wave your crutch high, you’re going to fall over and hurt yourself. Make it Seamless The best event tech, in my eyes, is the event tech that is seamless with the guest’s experience. They shouldn’t have to go out of their way to take advantage of it. Event Tech should be perfectly integrated with your brand. There shouldn’t be an interruption in the mindset of guests. I remember last Halloween, I was at a bar and Dos Equis had this virtual reality “masquerade” you could watch. But even before I knew of it, I was handed a free token for a Dos Equis beer and a masquerade mask by some women wearing masks, and then invited to take part. This is an experience that sticks out to me almost 9 months later because of how well done and smooth it was. As always, make it focused on the actual human portion and make it interactive. Oculus Rift is really cool, and I’m curious to see how it will play out in events because to me it’s more inherently focused on a single interaction rather than the entire event. We will see, though!]]]]> ]]>