The Lookout #39: How to keep events human despite the tech?
A question I’m often asked, goes along these lines, “What’s the best event platform to use?”
All event organizers will know that this question is impossible to answer.
You’ll know the many variables that go into your final decision, depending on your concept, scope, goals and budget.
The decision is further complicated by the fact that given the amount of choice out there, and the amount of investment into event platforms, there are many platforms that do many of the same things well.
At times you find this convergence where the experience between platforms is so similar; they are almost indistinguishable.
How do you choose?
For us, it always comes down to the people behind the technology.
I don’t think we’ve ever used any event tech platform off the shelf. We’ve always looked at a relationship with a platform as a partnership. Finding the right people to work with, will always be more important at the end of the day than the features on a platform. Technology is in constant development and can always be updated. People can’t change so easily. But if you have the right team to work with, who is responsive and who is there if (and let’s be honest– when) things go wrong, it makes all the difference.
On Thursday, don’t miss The Future Of Events, where we’ll explore the future of the industry with some top speakers from UFI, Swapcard, SXSW and more. You can pick up a free full access ticket here with the code “FELIXINVITEDME”.
I hope you’re having a great week. Here are my top reads:
- Koelnmesse lays foundation stone for Confex and presents new Hall 1 [Koelnmesse] For Koelnmesse, the future of events is definitely physical as they lay the foundation stone for the expansion of their convention and congress site. The groundbreaking for Hall 1 took place this week to build a future proof facility that incorporates technology and flexible use in every part of the process.
- As in-person festivals return, physical and virtual events are converging [Digiday] When a physical and virtual event come together, it doesn’t always = a hybrid event. Digiday recounts some of the different externalities for attendees, vendors and exhibitors of this physical and virtual convergence, and what they mean for organizers.
- Netflix sets ‘Tudum,’ its first virtual global fan event, for September 25 [TechCrunch] Netflix launches “Tudum” its first ever virtual event for fans. The streaming giant’s new event showcases how brands are utilizing online events to bring their community together and provide even more touchpoints for interaction. It’s a trend that has been ongoing since the start of the pandemic, and more and more companies than ever have begun to incorporate virtual events into part of their marketing mix. We’re curious to see what they come up with!
- Microsoft Ignite Free Virtual Event Coming in November [Petri] The tech giants continue to choose virtual events. Microsoft, who brought their Ignite event virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic, will continue to do so this November, when Ignite returns as a fully digital experience. As always, these virtual launches and showcases are a great way to get inspiration and pick up on some of the latest trends when it comes to creating an engaging virtual experience.
- Data from 37 UK ERP pilots proves mass participation events can be run safely [Exhibition World] Results from the UK’s pilot events program shows that mass participation events in person can run safely if certain precautions take place.
Time to lean into virtual worlds and virtual reality?
- Ralph Lauren unveils exclusive partnership with Zepeto [Fashion United] Virtual worlds and avatars continue to blur the boundaries of the event and experience industry. Global fashion powerhouse Ralph Lauren gets in on the game with its new partnership with Zepeto, which allows their community to engage together in a virtual world. Inside Zepeto, the fashion brand will host exclusive events, starting with their entirely digital launch event hosted by K-pop band Tomorrow X Together.
- Facebook’s New Bet on Virtual Reality: Conference Rooms [New York Times] We knew that Facebook was keen on VR when they purchased Oculus a few years ago, but last week’s launch of Workrooms, a virtual reality meeting room concept– showed their dedication hasn’t waned. Workrooms presents a virtual reality office space setup that aims to compete with the digital office space concepts that have proliferated during the pandemic. The jury is out if these concepts are ready to take off– the clients we’ve worked with haven’t been keen to try out a virtual world for their event just yet.
- How to Attend Burning Man 2021 in Virtual Reality [Make Use Of] One event that’s not afraid of going virtual is Burning Man. This year’s event will take place this year in VR, using Microsoft’s AltspaceVR. The organizers have created a complete replica of the seven square miles of the Burning Man site that you can explore and participate in for free. It kicks off this Sunday, August 29th.
Don’t Miss it:
- «Traditionelle Messen sind ein Auslaufmodell»: Nach Corona stellen Ostschweizer Unternehmen ihre Produkte lieber virtuell vor als auf Fachmessen [Tagblatt] With the cancellation of many in-person shoes, Tagblatt investigates companies that have turned to digital channels. They find that for many companies that have gone digital, returning to the physical fair will be a tough sell.
- Please Stop Asking If Attendance ‘Was Down’ at Shows Running Right Now [Trade Show News] Rachel Wimberly encourages the industry to focus on the important questions, rather than trying to read the tea leaves on attendee performance during a pandemic. Where should the focus be? On attendee and exhibitor satisfaction.
- Vaibhav Jain, Hubilo [Recipes for Growth] The inside story on Hubilo’s rise over the past 12 months, told with extreme transparency. Hubilo had no revenue in March 2020. Founder Vaibhav Jain recounts he “had no strategy” at that point. And then the pandemic happened.
- Virtual Events: 18 Ways to Rock at Virtual Engagement and Prove Value to Event Sponsors [Marketing Profs] Engagement is one of the most important outcomes when it comes to maximizing the ROI of your events. And maximizing engagement is always a great opportunity when it comes to experimenting with your event concept. Here are some great tips to explore, when it comes to bringing hybrid audiences together, or facilitating virtual networking.
- Aufbau von Fachwissen wird immer wichtiger [Technik und Wissen] Enlightening interview with Stefan Voegele, Head of Cluster at Easyfairs Switzerland on his perspective of the role of exhibitions and fairs going forward. Its not a time for organizers to be complacent. Building up knowledge, partnerships and networks will continue to be a critical necessity for exhibitions in order to stay relevant.
Let’s stay connected if we’re not already on Linkedin or follow the PIRATEx team on Twitter. If there’s anything you would like to read about when it comes to remote, or digital events, let me know! I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions.
If you know someone who might be interested in reading The Lookout, please share it with them!
Until next Friday!