Eventtech: No More Event Attendance as Zebras
A few weeks ago, there was a sad announcement from the creators of Skittish, to say that one of the most unexpected, and glorious event platforms to come out of the pandemic would be closing down. Sadly it will no longer be possible to attend an event as a zebra, or a wildebeest, or a penguin. (You’ll just have to wait for the metaverse, I guess).
Skittish’s announcement is not alone. Other event tech platforms (although, many less celebrated and delightful) have not been able to weather this current phase that has been hitting technology, and eventtech, by extension hard.
I say “current”, because as I see it– since the pandemic forced the event industry’s digital turn in 2020, eventtech has gone through three distinct phases. First, event technology moved to rapidly replicate in-person event models, and find a solution for gatherings that could no longer take place in person.
The next phase came shortly after, from late 2020 to 2021, characterized by rapid growth in the market, as investment in eventtech solutions flourished. Our eventtech landscape grew exponentially during this time, as we added dozens of new companies each week.
This rapid expansion soon became a victim unto itself. The third phase of eventtech transitioned from late 2021 to now, with consolidation in the market. The early part of this third phase was marked by mergers and acquisitions, as eventtech players looked to grow to compete against one another, buying competitors and functionalities. But as time has gone on, merger activity has slowed, and with it, the contraction has set in. The tech industry has experienced shocks and contagion, with eventtech companies hemorrhaging employees, and resetting themselves in alignment with the event industry as a whole.
As attendees returned enthusiastically on-location, event technology moved into a hybrid phase, becoming leaner, less bloated by features, and more tailored to arm event professionals with data and insights. Some eventtech companies pivoted, leaving events behind. Those who stayed, focused, became strategic around analytics and event optimization.
The result of the third phase of eventtech– is decidedly more professional. But it’s certainly less fun. The solutions on offer are all more client friendly and robust– all necessary requirements, but a majority are a bore– and leave me feeling less excited for the future of virtual events– when I should be more enthusiastic than ever. It’s been a long time since I’ve been surprised or delighted by a new digital offering from an eventtech provider (the last one recently was orbits.live).
So where does this leave digital events in 2023? As event organizers, you’re always looking for that “wow” moment. But the eventtech on offer is largely missing that. This means, your attendees are missing that as well. They’re looking for an escape and an experience that compliments and enhances the content. There’s a lot of work left to do.
Who’s ready for the fourth phase of eventtech to begin in 2023? I’m here for it. And if you’re using an eventtech platform that gives you butterflies of delight every time you use it– let me know about it!
Here’s what I’ve been catching up on:
The Events Industry
Lessons We Learned About the Event Industry in 2022
2022 has remained a year of transition for the industry, continually teaching us to continue to be agile. Virtual events have changed considerably, and content no longer rules when it comes to moving the needle on your event attendance. This year has also shown the necessity of building events with greater equity and inclusion at their heart.
Messe Frankfurt nach Corona-Flaute im Aufwind
After the pandemic years, the large venues are decidedly back in business. Messe Frankfurt looks back on the past year, announcing a nearly tripled revenue for 2022 and a 2023 that looks brighter than ever with the opening of a new event hall.
Im Interview mit der Wellfairs GmbH: “Jede durchgeführte Messe war nach den Corona-Jahren ein Highlight”
An insight from the client side on the lessons of the 2022 trade show season: while celebrating the joy that events were held at all comes accompanied with a necessary retooling. For sustainability purposes, fewer events will be held in 2023, with a focus on profitability.
Widespread dissatisfaction in diversity, equity and inclusion in the events industry
Despite the late focus for organizers and efforts to make events more inclusive as possible, it appears the event industry itself has some work to do when it comes to DEI efforts. According to a new study by the Events Industry Council, there is considerable dissatisfaction across the industry when it comes to efforts to improve inclusion and diversity. The study also finds considerable examples of racism and sexism in the industry, leading to calls to tackle cases of entrenched sexism and racism.
Digital Event Technologies
Metaverse: from sci-fi to a trillion-dollar industry
Despite everything I’ve tried, I just can’t get into the metaverse.. not just yet anyway. But this sentiment has to change as the industry continues to grow and take hold, especially when it comes to hospitality and venues. I’m assured that the metaverse has the chance to completely disrupt our thinking when it comes to destinations and gathering places. Here’s the view from a venues expert on what we can expect from how metaverse solutions are evolving.
How to work with Event Translation Services
Digital technologies are at their best when they help to elevate our event experiences and bring them to more people. Event translation services are an incredible tool for doing just this– increasing the accessibility and diversity of your event attendance. But using these services is not always as straightforward as it might be. Endless has put together a helpful primer of everything you should know in advance before choosing your next translation service.
How to do it
Using data to boost event ROI
As digital elements have been brought into physical events, organizers must learn to harness the power of the data at their fingertips. As each touchpoint of an attendee’s journey is quantified, valuable insights become available for organizers to enhance each participant’s experience. This piece shows how data can be used to adapt events in real-time, to maximize your return and elevate the outcome of your event.
Why your 2023 marketing strategy needs events
The transformation of events across physical, digital, and hybrid formats has created new opportunities for organizers to use events to nurture customer relationships and build leads like never before. Here, organizers can work with b2b clients to help accelerate their communication and growth through curated event experiences designed to replenish relationships and create new ones. The timing has never been better for the events industry.
Do’s and Don’ts of Making an Event Accessible
Organizers have a responsibility to help ensure their events are accessible to their audiences. This can be complicated by hybrid event concepts and satellite events that may take part in multiple destinations. Here are some key tips to ensure that you are not overlooking anything when it comes to accessibility at your next event.
Don’t miss it
EU defends party in €387k metaverse, claims 300 visitors
There’s nothing worse for an organizer than putting together an event, at exceptional cost– and then not having anyone show up. The EU recently hosted a gathering in the metaverse- environment Journee and the experience– by some attendees— was a virtual ghost town. Despite the cost, the EU defends the price tag for their 300 guests. I’m not sure if this experience says more about the event’s marketing, or the attractiveness of the metaverse, however.
The New Normal: How In-Person Events Have Evolved In The Post-Pandemic World
In-person events in 2023 will need to continue to think hybrid. Digital has made a significant impact in making in-person events accessible and relevant for a wider audience. Organizers should embrace this new normal, and ensure their attendees both on-site and online- are treated with the same care and respect.
The Business Desk
Making the extra step: embracing hybrid events
Hybrid events have been decidedly more challenging to embrace in 2022, as participants enthusiastically returned to physical formats. Developing online and virtual components can be challenging for organizers looking to replicate the physical experience, online. But it’s worth making the effort, as organizations are seeing how hybrid events are paying off like never before. “When it’s planned and executed to perfection, a hybrid event is almost escapism.”
That’s it for this week’s edition of The Lookout! Best wishes from all of us at PIRATEx to you and yours this holiday season. I’m thankful to all of my readers for your continued support of this newsletter.
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The Lookout Newsletter #72
PIRATEx Managing Director