, over the past 10 years, our company has done quite a bit of consulting with leading event technology providers. For consulting clients who host conferences and tradeshows, we often advise them on their event technology choices and help them short-list vendors to investigate.
Here are some of our key event tech strategic learnings:
1. Anchor Systems
The three most critical technologies in events are the ones that catch the data. These include registration, exhibit and session/speaker information. Choose these wisely and for the long-term.
Business Results - All event technology choices should deliver improved results in at least two of four areas: 1) attendee experience 2) amplification 3) customer intelligence 4) processes and efficiencies.
3. Not Aligned - Conference/trade show business models and processes are usually very different than the organizer's core business. If you have one large event a year, the benefits of a deep integration with your core CRM or AMS will likely never be realized.
4. Don't Customize - If you customize an anchor system (vs. configuring), you're screwed. Switching cost is going to be long, painful and expensive.
5. Decision Making - We've seen plenty of CIO and IT professionals, responsible for tech choices, totally not get items 1 - 4 above. Make sure your choices are made by an event business owner with a technology advisor, not the other way around.