Getting your events team to adopt a new technology system should really be a no-brainer. After all, you invested a significant amount of money in something you believe will produce great results in the form of increased productivity, improved attendee experiences, more ticket sales, better engagement and more successful events. But even the most exciting system can quickly turn into disaster if your events team don’t end up using it. And if this happens, where is your return on investment?
New technology being bought into an organisation means change for everyone involved. And how these changes are harnessed to ensure you’re getting the most out of your technology investment is something that needs careful consideration.
Have a look at three key things you need to look at to make sure the adoption of your new event tech system goes without a hitch:
1. Make Sure You Have a Plan
It has been decided that a new technology system is going to be brought in to your events to improve or replace what has been used before. The technology will be even better, even faster and even more productive. It also solves a problem that the organisation has (if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be needed). Which all sounds terrific.
Driving adoption of your new technology using a large stick with a compliance approach (ex. setting targets and telling managers to make people do it) will only get you so far. Generally, staff will only do what they have to and not much more. Discovering whether they are actually using the technology can be a challenge. But don’t worry we have some ideas to help you. Don’t forget, if you get the engagement side wrong then you will not reap the business benefits as quickly as you should.
To really maximise the potential of the technology and leverage its full functionality you need to build engagement. Therefore, before it is rolled out to all staff, there has to be plan for implementation and engagement.
2. Engage Your People and Test, Test, Test!
Some staff are going to love the new technology. They will be all over it like a rash. Others may be less enthusiastic. It’s a normal reaction in any group of people. They will be assessing ‘what does this new piece of technology mean for me’? Is it going to make their life easier or harder?
Training staff to use the new system and involving them in testing is good but not sufficient to tackle the underlying concerns that people will have. They are unlikely to volunteer these fears, because they may not feel safe to do so or they do not believe there is any point (because their boss has told them the technology is coming whether they like it or not).
So aside from the onboarding and training services provided by your event tech provider, we recommend that organisations also build engagement and involvement. Below are three activities that make this possible – which can be carried out before and after the implementation. In fact, before the technology is bought, it is always important to ensure that the key users are fully involved and can have their voices heard. Once the technology has been implemented, the activities can be used again.
- Collect insights by hosting workshops and conversations so you understand the employee problems that the technology could help solve.
- Create large visualisations (on a wall with post it notes) of the implementation plan and how the new technology will play a part in the overall business. This makes it possible to involve users and the different stakeholders about how it will or could work.
- Provide a visible, anonymous feedback wall to allow staff to raise questions and concerns.
Unfortunately, if staff don’t use the system, or maximise the functionality, you will not receive the true value and benefit of the new technology.
Let’s take the example of testing an event management system. You could use an existing event and then go through all the steps and functions of the new system to see how it works. Does it meet your expectations? What changes will need to be made to existing working processes and practices? Are there any gaps that you have identified that need to be raised with the new provider? How well do you really understand what it can do for your organisation and events? How does it differ to what has been used previously?
Be honest in your answers. Because only then, will you be able to decide whether you are using 30% or 100% of the technology. Your answers also need to be based on the role that you carry out. Some users will have less impact than others. The intelligence that comes back from asking these questions across staff in your organisation will help you build a picture of true ‘engagement’.
3. Stay Close to Your Technology Provider
Any technology provider that cares about delivering excellent customer service understands the importance of listening to and acting on feedback. They want to know what is working well, what needs attention and what would be nice to include as extra functionality in the future.
In other words, your feedback is invaluable as it will be plugged into their research and development activities.
As well as you providing feedback, keep asking them about the changes they are making. Updates come out on a regular basis and you will want to make the most of them. Also establish what ‘short –cuts’ in ways of working they may have up their sleeve that could help you. You can be sure that there will be things that will be obvious to them that you can use – after all, they did develop the technology.
Keep asking questions, listening and challenging when needed and you will be on the right track to squeezing the juice out of your technology investment.
Adopting new event technology is rarely a simple process! Find out how Eventsforce can maximise your technology investment through a personalised ‘partnership’ approach that covers onboarding, training, dedicated account management, support and a customer-led software development programme. Learn more by getting in touch here.