Top 4 Selection Criteria for Event Technology in 2023
March 7, 2023
What matters most in event technology in the year ahead? Having a partner that knows what the market wants now and which technologies will matter most is important, but with hundreds of options available, how do you find the right fit?
What products are gaining traction? What emerging trends will shape the industry, and how can technology help you make the most of new market realities?
This article answers those questions. It also highlights four critical factors to consider when assessing platforms. Read on to learn how to leverage technology to bypass the hurdles and thrive in 2023 and beyond.
#1. Can the tech provider deliver hyper personalized experiences?
With soaring airfares and flight cancellations, attendees need persuasive reasons to leave home and meet in person. What’s more, virtual presents a price-friendly alternative for events where education is the goal.
Attendees today want inspiring in-person experiences that make their trip worthwhile.
To this end, savvy planners are being more intentional with event design. They’re creating welcoming environments and giving attendees tools to choose their own experiences.
Personalization matters more than ever, according to a recent report by McKinsey & Company. Seventy-one percent of consumers expect companies to provide personalized interactions, and 76 percent get frustrated when they don’t receive them.
Tip: Use machine learning to deliver hyper personalization at large-scale events.
Take a cue from Netflix and let machine learning provide unprecedented personalization. Your attendees won’t need to sort through scores of options. Machine learning analyzes behavior patterns in real-time to determine where people are and predict where they want to go next. Just like Netflix, event recommendations powered by this technology reflect people’s preferences as they evolve.
Delight attendees with insightful suggestions for sessions, exhibitors, and networking opportunities they would likely have missed on their own. We find machine learning makes networking more meaningful. Plus, attendees tend to stay longer in sessions, and exhibitors attract leads further down in the sales funnel.
#2. Does the platform seamlessly blend physical and digital formats?
More than a third of marketers say virtual events are one of their main engagement tactics, according to the 2022 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey.
Although in-person events have made a comeback, expect growth in mixed formats this year – specifically onsite events enhanced with engaging digital elements.
Virtual amplifies in-person events in many ways. It can:
- Expand audiences
- Increase revenue
- Elevate and measure engagement
- Deliver customer insights to improve future marketing
Tip: Create immersive in-person events.
Look for a provider that can add exciting digital interactions to optimize in-person experiences.
- AI language translation expands audiences by providing real-time interpretation services. Make events more inclusive for attendees who aren’t fluent in the gathering’s primary language.
- Advanced video production software captures and keeps the audience’s attention. The latest solutions put a complete virtual production studio at your fingertips. Deliver the magic of television-quality productions to live, pre-recorded, and mixed-format events.
- Next-level mobile event apps drive meaningful connections. Encourage attendees to start networking early through the app. They can talk via live video conferencing and arrange to meet onsite. Use schedulers and AI matchmaking to connect attendees who share interests.
- Facial recognition self-check-in powers speedy, contactless onsite registration. State-of-the-art kiosks recognize facial features and print badges in seconds. They can also greet attendees by name and offer networking recommendations to personalize the arrival experience.
- Badges with QR codes for events prompt networking and capture attendee engagement data. Let QR code badges personalize the journey and measure results, which can be challenging at physical events. Also, combine data with your CRM system to enhance event follow-up.
#3. Is the platform agile and efficient?
Organizers need more resources across the board, from supplies and staff to experienced partners, according to Skift’s 2022 State of Business Events report. Adding to the challenges, 75 percent of planners say they have shorter lead times than in 2019.
Bottom line: Organizers don’t have the time or staffing to master multiple platforms, hop back and forth between systems, and battle with solutions that don’t work in sync.
Tip: Accomplish more with less.
You need flexible event management software that delivers fast in every format, before, during and after the event. An all-in-one event platform fits the bill.
It provides a one-stop shop to plan, manage, and measure virtual, in-person, and mixed-format events. Use these flexible solutions to map a seamless attendee journey from marketing and registration through engagement and reporting. You’ll reduce costs, skyrocket efficiency, and capture more data to enrich customer profiles. Because all-in-one event management software consolidates technology on one platform that keeps attendees engaged and moving forward in the buyer’s journey.
Tip: Measure return on investment.
In the current environment, measuring ROI is more crucial than ever. Meaning, powerful analytics are vital for successful events in 2023.
A significant advantage of all-in-one event platforms is their ability to capture real-time data throughout the event lifecycle. No more spreadsheets or hunting for missing information.
Using an all-in-one platform with robust analytics, you’ll gain deep insights at-a-glance to:
- Share the complete ROI story
- Keep up with customers’ evolving preferences
- Understand how to tailor experiences to attendee needs
- Improve your events in real-time and for the future
#4. Can the event tech partner help you generate revenue and control costs?
With rising costs and tighter budgets, many organizations are turning to Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) to reduce costs and risks, while improving efficiency and meeting quality.
Companies can achieve up to 25 percent cost savings by implementing a robust SMM program powered by state-of-the-art technology.
Tip: Drive savings without diminishing event impact.
These programs realize savings mainly by standardizing preferred vendors and procurement procedures.
For example, uniform hotel concessions and contract clauses add value and guard against excessive attrition and cancellation fees. In addition, modern budgeting tools gather financial information across your organization. You gain real-time insights to manage spending on events of all sizes and keep your program on track.
A new generation of SMM technology is easy to use. Create comprehensive reports in a couple of keystrokes and answer ROI questions before your CFO even asks. You’ll support your organization and stakeholder’s meetings investment, using hard data to showcase the value you add.
Tip: Win lucrative sponsorships.
There’s no doubt about it. Trade shows and exhibitions require a lot of preparation, which can present an obstacle to sales. To score valuable sponsorships, look for a provider with exhibitor management software.
For example, Stova’s Exhibitor Management automates communications, tasks, content collection, and approvals. Now, preparation is simple. Everything exhibitors need to manage tasks is instantly available in one place.
Exhibitors also get recommendations on attendees to connect with based on AI matchmaking. Stova does the heavy lifting for organizers, too. Track exhibitor prep progression on one dashboard and rest easy that nothing slipped through the cracks. You’ll stop chasing overdue items, so you can focus more energy on achieving your event goals.
Make the Most of New Possibilities
Although in-person events have come back, organizers face new challenges like shrinking budgets, rising costs, and shorter lead times.
But if the past three years have taught us anything, it’s that our industry continually adapts. And technology keeps racing forward with advances to meet attendees’ changing needs.
When evaluating event tech partners in 2023, use selection criteria to help you:
- Delight attendees with hyper personalization
- Elevate in-person events with exciting digital enhancements
- Reduce friction and deliver seamless experiences for all participants
- Pump up ROI with solutions that drive more revenue and reduce costs
Eager to produce epic events in 2023 and beyond? Schedule your free demo to learn how.
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