Category: Event ROI

COVID-19 and Event Insurance: What You Need to Know

COVID-19 and Event Insurance: What You Need to Know

Our industry is going through unprecedented times. The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted every aspect of our lives, and with the number of worldwide cases still rising, it looks like things will stay this way for the foreseeable future.

In fact, a new research study investigating the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the events industry has found that the majority of 2020 events have now been cancelled or postponed with 47% of event planners moving them to the end of the year and another 21% to the following year.

Social distancing regulations put in place for our safety and well-being have meant that organisers all around the world are having to make difficult decisions in a constantly changing environment.  Many are also having to deal with the financial consequences of cancelling and rescheduling events – which adds another level of burden especially when it comes to dealing with insurance cover.

So what are some of the critical things organisers need to understand about event insurance in the current climate?  What should you realistically expect from your insurance provider if you’re cancelling an event and how can you prepare for the future?  We spoke to insurance expert, Kris Barnfather from Eggar Forrester Creative to find out.

Cancelled Events: What Can Your Insurance Do for You?

This Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it an extraordinary set of circumstances, there’s no disputing it. With the unprecedented size and spread of this outbreak, insurers are currently being faced with a dilemma. Generally speaking, pandemics of this nature would usually be excluded under normal event insurance policies. It would, however, be written under the optional ‘communicable disease’ extension which is made to cover event cancellations due to contagious diseases preventing the use of venues or the gathering of crowds.

Unfortunately, given the severity of the pandemic, events have now had to be cancelled en masse. The risks posed by the Coronavirus spread consequently means it’s unlikely for any insurer to be seen writing additional cover for event cancellation due to COVID-19, or any other strain of Coronavirus, at any point in the foreseeable future.

This means, for event insurance to cover cancellations due to Coronavirus, the initial policy and additional communicable disease extension would have to have been taken out prior to the current outbreak. A recent example of this is the Wimbledon Championships. The tournament unfortunately had to be cancelled this year due to Coronavirus, however, long before the outbreak, organisers had taken out the communicable diseases extension alongside their policy – effectively insuring them against this pandemic. Consequently, they were able to claim for the cancellation and are poised to earn a substantial pay-out as a result.

As it stands today, the general consensus amongst insurers is that they will continue to offer a communicable disease extension to their policies – however, this will likely come with stipulations. From now on, the communicable disease extensions would only cover a specific list of diseases – and COVID-19 or other Coronavirus strains are unlikely to be included.

Related read: 10 essential tips to reduce event risk

Force Majeure: What is It?

Given the information included above, the question is if there is anything at all in your insurance policy that can protect you from Coronavirus related cancellations. The term ‘force majeure’ may be familiar to some. Its literal translation means “superior force” and it is often used as a sort of get out clause in certain contracts. The term itself describes any event that happens outside of your reasonable control that goes on to disrupt your ability to fulfil a legal obligation.

To qualify as a force majeure, an occurrence must be unexpected, external and genuinely impossible to overcome. If proven, this clause will allow businesses to escape from contractual obligations without being penalised – which is why many event organisers may find themselves looking for this in their policies.

Force Majeure and Event Insurance

A ‘force majeure’ clause may cover a number of things, including natural disasters, civil unrest or even infectious diseases. However, it is not a failsafe option. Even though many see force majeure as a simple ‘get out of anything for free’ card, this is ultimately not the case. A force majeure event always has to be proven, which is a challenging feat in many cases. The unforeseeable event has to be clearly shown to make it impossible for you to carry out your obligations as stated in your contract – and this is often hard to prove.

More so, many find that if force majeure is used in the context of legal contracts or insurance policies, it is no longer done so in such general terms. In fact, it is entirely commonplace for contacts to be very specific when outlining the parameters of a force majeure. In other words, a force majeure can only really take on the meaning of whatever is specified in your contract.

With all this in mind, it may not spell out good news for event organisers who are currently being impacted by the Coronavirus spread. For force majeure to be of any legitimate protection for you during this time, your insurance policy would have to include communicable diseases and pandemics under its terms. The likelihood of this happening will vary case by case but is fairly uncommon. In fact, since insurance policies are created to be as accurate and specific as possible, it isn’t unheard of for epidemics of infectious diseases like SARS and Coronavirus to be explicitly excluded from the terms of coverage.

It is an unfortunate fact that insurance policies may not be of much value to many event organisers right now. There is good news, however, for the organisers who took out insurance and also chose to add a communicable disease extension on top before the COVID-19 outbreak. In these cases, policies should cover them for cancellations and other issues that have happened as a result of this pandemic.

Looking Ahead

This is the consensus as it stands right now. However, it is an ongoing situation that we are monitoring closely. It’s unknown how long Coronavirus will continue to affect event organisers, but what we do know is this: when the time comes for events to go ahead once more, it’s prudent to enlist the help of a specialist event insurance broker who can discuss and advise on the available options. And when dealing with specific notifiable diseases, it is important to remember that insurers will constantly update their cover.  Your insurance broker will highlight how cover can be sourced and what specifically cannot be covered.


Enjoyed reading this article?  Why not sign up to our weekly EventTech Talk newsletter for tips, updates and research reports on all the latest event planning, marketing and technology trends shaping our industry today.

Coronavirus – How Event Planners Can Use This Time to Stay Competitive

 

COVID -19 has impacted event planners across the globe with many cancelling and postponing – and many more making the move to virtual events. The current situation is also changing the way organisers spend their time.  In fact, a new research study has found that 70% of event planners now have more time on their hands with many focusing on education and making improvements to their planning and marketing processes.

We have seen many organisations scale back activities in these uncertain times.  But this can also be a great opportunity for people to step back, re-evaluate strategies and do things even better once the crisis has moved on.

With that in mind, let us look at some of the things you can do with your time now to improve your events in the future:

1) Make Your Communications Crystal Clear         

This is the perfect time for you to re-evaluate your communications. Take this opportunity to refresh your marketing and messaging. Discover any gaps that need addressing. Look for new ways of getting your message across. Seek new channels to use.

It is important to keep an open line of communication with delegates and keep them engaged with email comms, your event website and by using the relevant social media channels. If you have an app for your event, use the app as an engagement tool. Even though your event may be cancelled or postponed, you can still push content through the app to keep the delegates interested and let them know of your future plans.

Engage audiences with content marketing. Don’t stop creating content. Use some of your historic content, create webinars and deliver other virtual events. But, above all, keep communicating and most of all, communicate content of value.

Related read: Coronavirus – How to manage delegate expectations

2) Review Your Data     

The research findings show that more than 1 in 3 event planners are currently spending their time making improvements to the way they collect, manage and use their event data. And this is something really important.

Event data is gold dust. The more you use it in the right way, the more value it can bring to your organisation.  Yet many organisers have typically not had enough time to manage it as well as they’d like.  They haven’t been able to get insights they need or do anything useful with it.

Taking this time to ‘get your data fit’ can bring enormous business opportunities for your virtual events or your live in-person events when things eventually pick up (and they will). Use the time now to analyse past events. Dive into the data held in your event management system and understand your delegates more. Look at what worked, what didn’t work, where you made money from your events and more crucially, where you didn’t.

Event data is vital for helping you to make insightful informed decisions to develop your events strategy. Use this time to take a good long look at your data and work out what it is telling you so you can remain competitive and improve things in the future.

Related read: COVID 19 – Look at your event data now to run better events in the future

3) Segment Your Audiences  

Once the crisis has ended there will be a huge amount of competition as event planners scramble to make up for lost time and lost income. But with even more competition taking place, you are going to need to stand out and attract people to your events like never before. What will help you, however, is having a clear idea on who you will be targeting and how. And the time to start looking at that is now.

Who do you target as buyers? Are they the right buyers for your events? Is the category of buyers too wide? Should you segment them further? It’s usually a good idea to do so. For example, if you target associations and have segmented them from corporates then that is a good first step but it doesn’t go far enough.

There are hundreds of associations – so which segment are you after? Maybe it is medical associations, maybe it’s event associations or maybe it’s a completely different sector. It doesn’t matter as long as you know why you are targeting the sector. The more specific you are, the better. It will help you focus and come up with new products and services for them.  It will make event personalisation a lot easier too.

4) Evaluate Your Event Technology   

Technology is another area that organisers are currently focusing on with 37% of organisers using this time to evaluate the systems they use (or want to use) around their events

If you do happen to have more time on your hands because of everything that’s going on, then it makes sense to do this now. If you rely on event management software or any other tech solution you use around your events, you’ll know how important it is to do your due diligence and keep things in check.

For example, if investment was made to save you time and money, then you need to make sure that it’s still delivering on that promise today.  If it was meant to create a better experience for attendees, then you should have a good idea on how effective it is in doing that.  And if your management team asks if the technology is helping meet business goals set around your events, then you also need to have an answer. A good one. Otherwise, where’s the ROI?

Related read: 6 signs your event tech is NOT working for you

Whilst you should be periodically reviewing your technology, having an enforced period due to the crisis, means there is no excuse not to re-evaluate your tech. Perhaps you can now undertake those tech integrations, that you didn’t have time for previously, so you can do things even better next year.

Talk to your tech provider and get the training/tutorial on aspects of the solution that you don’t use as much as you’d like because you never had the time. Learn new ways of using the tech so that you can improve efficiency.  Maybe see what other options there are in the market or evaluate new tech you’d like to use but never had time to think about before. For example, you may have always wanted an event app, well this could be a good time to really look at making that a reality.

5) Map Out Your Event Planning Processes    

When you are super busy running events, your goal is always on making them as good as they can be.  And as everything moves at high speed, there is little choice to do anything other than complete the tasks and tick them off.

If you have more time on your hands as a result of everything that is going on, then it is the perfect opportunity for you to sit down and review your event planning processes. Why? Because events have become more sophisticated and delegates have become more demanding. And this will only become more so the case when things go back to normal. More is expected which means you cannot be running your events in the way you would have done a few years ago.  For example, think of the new health and safety guidelines you’ll need to implement at your events when things go back to normal.  Or whether you’ll always have to have a virtual element for all your events in the future.

You need to ensure that your event planning processes take into account the ‘delegate journey’ of today and beyond. What’s coming next that you can factor in now?

6) Test Your Data Management Protocols    

You could be forgiven for thinking that as businesses have closed and people have been told to stay at home, (other than for essential journeys) that other important issues have gone away or been forgotten about. However, that is far from the truth and in fact more emphasis needs to be placed on keeping those ‘invisible’ issues front of mind.

Take for example, the issue of ‘data security’ and protection. The requirements of the GDPR (in place since May 2018) have not gone away because of the coronavirus. In fact, if anything, you need to be checking just how secure the data you hold actually is. Can you still depend on the companies you were using prior to the outbreak, have any gone bust and do you need to source alternative providers?

As well as checking providers, it’s also a good time to ‘test’ your protocols. Do they need adjusting? If you received a Subject Access Request, what would you do, where would you go? How would you deal with it? Now is a good time to look at how securely you are managing your data.

Related read: 8 bad data security habits event planners should quit

7) Invest in Your Own Personal Development    

Personal development should always be on your radar of things to be done. Often it can be easily overlooked with only the minimum of compulsory training being undertaken. But now there is no excuse. Make the most of this time and ensure that you are keeping your professional development on course.

There is no single route to education, as everyone learns things in their own way. You should find the most effective way for you to acquire new knowledge and skills – some people prefer reading articles and eBooks, some prefer watching videos and listening to podcasts or webinars, while others opt for more interactive learning experiences where they can discuss new trends with other like-minded people.  The event associations offer an array of industry knowledge and qualifications to look at. If you don’t want to do that, maybe adding new tech and language skills to your CV could be useful too.

Have a look at your journey so far. What have you achieved, what skills do you have and what do you need for the next chapter of your career? Once you have made your decision, buy the book or sign up for the course, there is no time to lose.

Watch webinar: How to become a tech-savvy event planner

8) Research New Ideas    

What can you be developing right now that will improve the lives of your stakeholders? Are there new initiatives that will help them right now? If not, what will they need when the crisis is over? It’s a hard question to answer, but the reality is that life will probably never go completely back to how it was before.

Delegates, speakers and suppliers are likely to be cautious for a while at least. With much of the world in lockdown, once the crisis is over and face to face events are back in prominence, how different will the experience be? You could reduce their risk. You could look at self-service check-in to reduce queues and close contact. You could decrease the number of communal touch pads or go cashless at your events. Or you could continue to have hand sanitisers dotted around the conference rooms.

Beyond that, maybe you automatically include virtual events as part of your offering. Get in touch with past delegates and find out what they would want in the future. Call a meeting with your colleagues and brainstorm all that you are learning from the crisis. What new opportunities are there? Research new ideas and start developing them. Once the crisis has ended there will be huge competition for business and you will want to be ahead of the curve and not behind it.

Conclusion – Time for a Reboot     

Your focus right now will be on carrying out those essential tasks. Once that is done, you have a golden opportunity to crack on with those things that you never had time for and as we have shown, there is a lot of work you can do.

We are in unchartered waters, even when the global financial crisis was at its height, physical events still went ahead. You will be forced to reinvent, redefine and revitalise many things. But remember, every organisation is going through this. The ones that emerge in a strong position, will be those that use this precious time to its maximum to get ahead. There has never been a better time to thoroughly appraise your organisation and give it the re-boot needed for future success.


Considering a move to virtual events? Eventsforce can help you deliver your sessions online and engage with audiences in the same way you would for your in-person events.  Click here for more information or get in touch for a chat.

Infographic: The Impact of Coronavirus on Meetings and Events

 

Infographic: The Impact of Coronavirus on Meetings and Events

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation develops, our industry is facing an unprecedented time of risk and uncertainty.  Many organisations are postponing events.  Many are cancelling.  And many more are considering moving their events online.

But how are event planners making these critical decisions? What are some of the latest trends around virtual events? What other challenges are organisers facing as a result of the outbreak? And how are they spending their time working from home?

Related reading: What event planners need to know about Coronavirus

New Research Shows Majority of Events Cancelled or Postponed

A new research study has found that 72% of events have been cancelled or postponed – with many rescheduled to autumn/fall this year.

With feedback from more than 550+ event planners, the results also show 50% are moving their events online – with the majority opting for smaller-scale events with streamed sessions, virtual attendee engagement and networking.

The research study, titled ‘The Impact of Coronavirus on Meetings & Events’ was conducted by Eventsforce in April 2020 and is based on the views of 550+ event professionals based in the U.S. and the UK, representing corporates, associations, government and educational institutions, PCOs and event management agencies.

Other highlights include:

  • Almost half of organisers (45%) have postponed their events – while another 27% have cancelled

 

  • Only 5% of organisers postponing events have rescheduled to summer 2020 – majority have rescheduled to the second half of the year

 

  • Top 3 challenges organisers currently face: Planning things in a fluid environment, deciding whether to cancel, postpone or shift to virtual and changing contracts terms with suppliers/sponsors/exhibitors

 

  • Nearly 1 in 3 (30%) are also having to deal with long-term financial loss and job cuts

 

  • 20% are NOT moving their events online – difficulties in replicating events to virtual models is top concern

 

  • Of those making the move to virtual, only 24% are moving the entire in-person event experience online.

 

  • Organisers now have more time on their hands – main focus on personal development and improving planning and marketing activities

For a more comprehensive look at the results, check out the infographic below:

New Eventsforce Research Finds Majority of 2020 Events Have Been Cancelled or Postponed


Would you like similar articles delivered to your inbox? Why not sign up to our weekly EventTech Talk newsletter for tips, analysis and research reports on all the latest technology and marketing trends shaping the events industry today.

How to Choose a Mobile Event App

Why cost should not be the reason you choose an event app

Event apps are no longer an option for many events today. Tech-savvy delegates expect them. Sponsors, partners and exhibitors dive into the granular data they get from them. In fact, according to a recent research study from Eventsforce, a staggering 81% of planners cited driving attendee engagement as their number one reason for using event apps.

When integrated seamlessly with your events, event apps can help you deliver a personalised experience at scale. But with so many apps out there all offering similar features, how do you choose the right one?

Why Cost is NOT the Reason to Choose an Event App

Whilst research shows cost is the biggest determining factor for organisers when deciding on whether to use an event app, it shouldn’t be the only one. Doing so could lead to all sorts of issues for you and your delegates.  Issues you never anticipated.

With that in mind, let’s look at 8 other important considerations that we believe should be included in your event app decision making process.

1) Functionality  

What functionality will the event app provide? What do you need it to provide? There would be little point in buying an event app that didn’t do all that you needed from it. Review the attributes you need and then find out if they are provided. If they are not, would you be compromising the delegate experience?

For example, do you need functionality that allows delegates to search an event programme, create their own schedules or use an interactive floor plan? What you need will depend on your event but there will be some functionality that is absolutely needed and some functionality that is nice to have. Research from Eventsforce, for example, shows session information and personalised agendas ranked as the most popular app features used by attendees. You would therefore be wise to include such items as requirements. But only you, will be able to decide whether the event app being considered is going to work for you and enhance your productivity and deepen the delegate experience.

2) Ease of Use

Simplicity of your event app is key for two main reasons. One for you as the organiser and secondly for your delegates. For you, the planner, the app should be designed not only to enable you to do more, but also to make your life easier. It should be easy to set up and empower you to focus on delivering the best event experience possible for your guests, not on learning and navigating cumbersome screens that add complexity.

For your delegates, event app design is key to whether apps are downloaded and used. If it’s too difficult for people they will give up and simply not use it. To boost engagement your app needs to be straightforward and a joy to use. Don’t forget that the app plays a part in the overall attendee experience. The app doesn’t need to have all the latest bells and whistles. As long as it has the right features that delegates value, then an event app that has been designed intuitively and is easy to use for attendees, will be spot on.

3) Support       

Event planners understand that there are a lot of things that can go wrong with an event. The stress can be enormous. They certainly don’t want to add event app technology glitches into the mix. The event planner needs to know that if there is a problem, support is readily available to help.

According to research from The Event Manager Blog, 40% of event professionals are still uncomfortable with event technology, and having strong support is one of the most deciding factors in their buying decision. With an attendee-facing tool like your event app, it is crucial to have quick and knowledgeable staff available to help you with any problems that might occur – before, during and after the event.

4) Integration     

Integration between different technology systems is essential. If the technology cannot be integrated, then event planners will just add to their workload. Seamless integration is imperative. Integrations connect your different tools and make them work together automatically. If your technology is fragmented, you will be wasting time, energy and data.

However, most technology suppliers are well aware of the demands of planners and offer integration services. Your event app providers should be able to customise connections between theirs and your existing software to fit your event.  Or you can deal with one provider who manages all your registration and app data on one centralised platform.

Make sure you review what you can integrate from your current event technologies into the app. This could (and should) include ticketing solutions, digital maps and interactivity tools for audience engagement.

5) Time    

Time is never the friend of an event planner. There is always a need to find more of it. An event app should help you with this. You need to be clear on whether the event app can help you avoid duplicating your work load. Running an event requires many programme updates and they should mirror each other on your website and the event app. Having to input changes twice wouldn’t be the best use of your time.

Remember, apps bring value to events only when they successfully connect attendees to the right content and right people at the right time. To do this effectively, organisers need to make sure that the information attendees see on apps is always accurate and up-to-date.

Ask the provider about some scenarios before committing. For example, can the event app block attendees from registering for sessions that take place at the same time, can you define quotas on the number of people per session based on room capacity and will attendees receive notifications to rate a speaker? These are just some questions that come to mind. If the event app doesn’t help save you time, it’s not helping.

6) Security   

The event app you finally choose needs to be strong in terms of security and data protection. GDPR has highlighted the whole business of data protection and mobiles being infected with harmful viruses is one of the ways that organisations can be vulnerable to attack. If you want to boost your event app engagement you need to give attendees reassurance that they are safe and that in choosing the event app you haven’t taken any short cuts at the expense of security protection.

It was pretty devastating for the Conservative party when it was discovered that their 2018 conference app had a security flaw that allowed anyone to access the personal data of attendees. Logging into the app only required an e-mail address with no additional verification being needed. Don’t go down the same path. Make sure your security is top notch.  It’s more important than ever.

Read: The Event Planner’s Guide to Data Security

7) Analytics    

Analytics are super important for event evaluation, the planning of future events and reporting back the hard numbers to the senior leadership team. If the event app you decide to proceed with doesn’t have relevant and insightful reporting, then you will be at a disadvantage.   Also, where is the ROI?

A great event app will help you demonstrate with hard numbers: the who, what, where and when. What sessions did your delegates go to, which downloads did they access etc. It’s invaluable information. Plus you will be able to see and benchmark your event app adoption rate. When data is critical for event success, you definitely need analytics to help you.

Read: How to Boost Adoption of Your Event App

8) Monetisation    

The monetisation opportunities you can get with your event app is another consideration to take into account. Does the app have the ability to monetise your conference or exhibition? Can it drive leads for your exhibitors and sponsors? Helping your sponsors and suppliers connect with attendees in a personalised way through sponsors adverts, targeted notifications, logo placement and information about their product gives ROI to these partners. If the app doesn’t have the capability of helping you increase revenue through monetisation, you could easily miss out on golden opportunities to work more closely with sponsors and exhibitors. Monetisation is also another way in which the investment in the event app can pay for itself.

Conclusion

Event apps entice event planners with their latest features and benefits. If the app is free or low cost, it can become even more tempting for some event planners. Especially those that are under considerable pressure to demonstrate cost savings whilst still delivering an engaging attendee experience. Cost becomes a real consideration, but as we have highlighted it shouldn’t be the main consideration. Just as important are functionality and integration – and these are things that can easily go wrong with free or cheap apps.

What is needed is an event app that will enable you to focus on optimising your attendee experience, without worrying about an event app that only does half the job.

Take a breath before you commit to an event app and think strategically. How will the chosen event app work to help your strategic event objectives? If it will, then great. But if you are buying on cost alone, it’s likely to be an expensive mistake in the long run.


Want to create the app experience your attendees want?  Eventsforce Mobile is an intelligent app designed to engage people and deliver event success.  Schedule demo to find out more!

 

Top 10 Most Popular Stories on Event Tech Talk

Top 10 blogs on Event Tech Talk

Want the lowdown on all things event technology? In your inbox, every week

Event technology has fast become a critical aspect of all event planning activities over the last few years.  Knowing what technology to use and what value it should bring to events and attendees is something organisers can no longer ignore. Despite its importance, however, new research has found that only 48% of event planners see themselves as tech-savvy.

More worryingly, perhaps, is the fact that less than one in two say they have limited skills to make confident, informed decisions around their event tech investments – despite holding responsibility for it in majority of organisations.

The stats also show found that as well as limited tech skills, 75% of event planners struggle to keep up with new trends and offerings in the market. Yet when asked how they try to stay up-to-date, conversations with peers (78%) and reading blogs and news sites (50%) topped the list of activities they found most useful.

With that in mind, we thought we’d share the top event management and tech stories that really hit the mark with our readers over the past year.  They give a good indication of the kind of topics that organisers seem most concerned about too.  Based on unique page views and social media shares, have a look at our top ten blog posts from 2019:

#1 How to Organise Successful Corporate Team Building Events

Corporate team building events are on the rise – more and more companies are realising that you can’t just put random people in the same office and expect them to mesh on their own. What’s more, developing people-skills that go beyond the duty of each employee is essential as well – without communication and collaboration, even the most talented group of workers can fail to achieve their goals. For event departments specifically, running team-building events can be critical to an event’s success.  They can help team members learn new ways to work better with each other in different and high-stress situations. They can also encourage them to be more creative and showcase their unique problem-solving skills. Read more.

#2 How to Collect Valuable Data from Events

Event tech systems help organisations collect important data around their events (registration forms, surveys, apps). And yet the amount of data these systems generate can be overwhelming: from website traffic and social media engagement to registration and attendance.  From the quality of attendees to feedback and evaluation. From generated revenue to conversion rates and sales leads. So which of these data metrics actually matter to event planners and which data collection tools are seen as the most effective for measuring success? Read more.

Read: eBook – The Event Planner’s Guide to Good Data Management

#3 10 Essential Tips to Reduce Event Risk

Whether you’re organising a conference, roadshow or seminar, one of the most important considerations you need to make is the safety of your event and attendees. The bigger and more complex your event, the greater the risk – simply because where there are more people, the probability of an accident or incident is higher. Regardless of size though, event safety should always be a priority consideration. Have a look at the ten important things you need to be thinking about to reduce risk around your events. Read more.

#4 How GDPR Changes the Rights of Your Attendees

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) first came into effect nearly two years yet many organisers are still looking for clarity when it comes to their attendees’ rights and requirements. It’s important to remember that one of the key things that GDPR wanted to address was that organisations dealing with personal data are doing so in a transparent and secure way – and always in the individual’s best interests.  For example, the regulation gives attendees the right to access all the information an event organisation holds on them – for free. They have the right to understand exactly how their data is being used. And they have the right to be notified of any breach to their data within 72 hours. Read more.

#5 How to Make Sure Your Events Show Up on Google Search

Google today acts as both the main gateway and gatekeeper to the Internet.  In fact, it controls more than seven out of every ten searches. It also stores and ranks the links of websites according to certain criteria – and this is where SEO comes in. But SEO with Google Search has changed so much the last few years, that many marketers aren’t sure what’s outdated, what’s important, what will make a difference and what is simply wasted effort. Have a look at this article to understand how Google ranks pages and what planners need to do to ensure their event websites rank well in search results.  Read more.

#6 How to Create Invites That Draw Crowds to Your Events

Invitations are one of the most important things to get right when planning a successful event. They help set the tone of an event and are often one of the first opportunities to make a good impression with potential attendees. And yet research has found that getting people to open that email, click through and sign up to the event is something most organisers struggle with when it comes to event invitations. So, what are the elements of an invite that compel people to click through and register? And how should you look at when measuring the success of your invitation campaigns? Read more.

#7 8 Quick Ideas for Engaging Attendees After Your Event

For your event to be a success you need to be working on your delegate engagement activity at all stages of the event life cycle.  Most of us, however – whether due to a lack of time or resources – only focus on the engagement activities before and during the event. We miss the all-important phase, when the event has ended. So why is post-event engagement crucial for event planners and what kind of activities are effective in keeping up interest around your events? Read more.

#8 7 Key Steps to Successful Event Sponsorship

Sponsors can make a big difference to your event. They may even be the reason you host an event in the first place.  Yet securing and managing sponsorships is one of the biggest challenges organisers have to face. What kind of sponsors make sense for your event?  What kind of packages can you offer? How many sponsors do you need and how will you manage expectations?  More importantly, how will you ensure your sponsor will be happy with their investment and take part again the next time round? Have a look at the key things you need to think about when considering sponsors for your next event.  Read more.

#9 5 Ways Self-Service Check-In Can Improve Your Events

As an event planner, you’ll know what a logistical nightmare printing and scanning delegate badges can be. And yet getting it right is so important as it can have a huge impact on first impressions when people arrive to your event.  Attendees don’t want to start their journey feeling frustrated, standing around in long registration queues or waiting for someone to help them out. They want to show up, get their badges and start their day as quickly as possible. So what are the most common issues organisers face when managing attendance recording on the day?  And how can a self-service check-in solution help? Read more.

#10 5 Ways Tech Can Reduce Stress for Event Planners

Event planning is not easy. The constant drive to produce engaging events that delight attendees. The pressure to deliver meaningful results. Dealing with last-minute changes and delivering the impossible at a moment’s notice.  All these are issues planners need to deal with every time they create an event.  They can also be an enormous source of stress. Technology, however, can help – with event management systems offering a plethora of tools, options and inspiration to help planners along the way. Have a look at five simple ways event tech can help reduce stress for organisers.  Read more.


Want to be a tech-savvy event planner? Get weekly updates from our blog and learn about the latest technology trends, discussions and debates shaping our industry today.  Click here to join our EventTech Talk community today!

PCMA Convening Leaders 2020: Can Event Planners Address Growing Challenges of Event Technology?

PCMA Conveying Leaders 2020

Are event planners struggling with event technology? It seems they might be.

A new research study has found that 47% of event planners say they have limited skills to make confident, informed decisions around their event tech investments – despite holding responsibility in the majority of organisations. Another 91% say event tech is an important aspect of the job, but only 48% consider themselves to be tech-savvy.

So how tech savvy are event planners expected to be these days? How much responsibility should they have around event tech when they already have so much on their plates? How can they acquire the skills they need to manage event tech effectively? Or will the industry see the emergence of a new breed of event professionals whose job is to focus exclusively on all things event technology?

These are some of the questions event management software company, Eventsforce, will be addressing in a session at PCMA Convening Leaders, which is set to take place in San Francisco on 5-8th January 2020.  The Tech Talk session will focus on the findings of a new research study which shows a growing ‘technology skills’ gap in the events industry and discuss what organisers and tech providers can do to address the growing challenges around managing event technology.

“Our research shows that organisers are struggling with a number of issues when it comes to their understanding, uptake and management of event tech.  And these problems are becoming more complex with the increasing use of tech tools that help them collect an enormous amount of data on their events and attendees,” commented Ian Webb, Head of Business Development, Eventsforce. “We hope this session will kick off a much-needed discussion on where the industry is heading over the next few years and how organisers can best go about in managing the technology they use around their events.”

The session, titled ‘Are Event Planners Struggling with Event Technology?’ will take place on Monday 6th January 3:30-4:00pm at the Innovate + Elevate Arena (Moscone South, Tech Talk Stage, Hall D).  Attendees will also be able to download a new eBook from Eventsforce ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to Good Data Management’, which will help organisers get more value from their event data.

Eventsforce will also be exhibiting at the four-day event, which is set to attract thousands of business events executives and professionals looking for the latest innovations, education and connections in the industry.  Organisers attending the show can visit the Tech Pavilion for a hands-on demo of the Eventsforce self-service check-in solution, as well as meet the team for a chat about their event tech requirements and the impact of trends such as personalisation, data management, regulatory compliance and data security.


For more information on PCMA Conveying Leaders 2020, please visit: https://conveningleaders.org/

To schedule a meeting with the Eventsforce team at the event, please use the PCMA LIVE Mobile App or email: maz.qureshi@eventsforce.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Should Event Planners Work with Event Technologists?

Should event planners work with event technologists

Technology is always pushing the boundaries on how we plan and run events. Yet the scale of innovation we have seen over the past few years is making it difficult for event professionals to keep up.  Many also feel that they don’t have the time or skills to manage effectively all the different technology systems they now use around their events.

Last month, a new research study from Eventsforce found that almost half of event planners (47%) say they have limited skills to make confident, informed decisions around their event tech investments, despite holding responsibility for it in the majority of organisations. And more interestingly, 56% said they expect to see the emergence of a new ‘event technologist’ role in the industry.

So what is an event technologist?  How can they bring value to event organisations?  And what impact can they have on event success?

We spoke to Arvi Virdee, event technology specialist and managing director of Smartec Business Solutions, to get a bit of insight on what the role entails and what kind of things organisers need to take into account before working with one.

What is an Event Technologist?

What is the primary role of the event technologist? Simply put, it is to manage all the technology and data related aspects of an event. This includes:

  • Working strategically with the event director to plan the technology requirements for an individual event
  • Planning the event journey for each delegate type
  • Setting up the event website and registration process
  • Configuring the event app
  • Leading the badging system used onsite
  • Assessing all the different event technology needs onsite

Just as important as assessing the needs for a single event, the event technologist should have the capacity to evaluate technology needs across all events – preferably over three years. This will help with sourcing the optimal system or systems strategically, as well as keeping costs down through standardisation.

The event technology ‘ecosphere’ is vast.  The images below show some of the types of systems found during the events lifecycle:

And this image shows the types of systems used for on-site event management:

The event technologist should have a good grasp of all these types of systems, as part of their responsibility will be to help with sourcing the right system. This could be a single ‘end to end platform’ or a combination of different ‘best in class systems’.

Addressing the Challenges of Event Technology

The Eventsforce study also looked at some of the challenges event planners currently face when managing event tech for their organisations.  The biggest issue for 65% of organisers is the time it takes to complete the procurement, implementation and integration process of their event technology systems.

In addition to that, there are many other areas that organisers typically struggle with that could be addressed by working with an event technologist:

  • Creating different registration paths – clients, staff, speakers, management and VIPs all may need to have customised registration processes, which can be time-consuming to understand and configure
  • Accommodation – hotel rooms may be allocated, but additional nights before and after the event dates (shoulder nights) may require payment by the delegate. Setting up inventory for these days and collecting payment can be complex
  • Importing data – most systems provide templates to import data, ostensibly making it easy to structure your data ahead of an import. However, the data you have may not be in the right format – e.g., your data has the full name, but the template has different fields for first name and last name (or vice versa). Or you may be missing a mandatory field. In reality, a data import often requires a lot of Excel time (and skills) and repeated import attempts before a successful data import
  • Event communications – from ‘Save the Date’ emails to post-event feedback, event emails can be automated. However, creating different email templates and understanding all the ‘data tags’ is not easy, nor is to set up all the automation workflows
  • Website images – getting all images the right size (both in pixel size and byte size) requires some basic image resizing knowledge and understanding the difference between .png, .jpg and .gif. One common problem is to get a logo just the right size (possibly with space around it) so it renders correctly on any device or screen size
  • Budgeting – the nuances of the events industry make it challenging to automate the budgeting process, which often starts with a high-level estimate, followed by quotes for several options before one is confirmed. Excel macros can help, but this still leaves much manual processing

Building a Case for Hiring an Event Technologist

One major part of the event technologist’s role will be in data management, as events generate vast volumes of data. As well as ensuring all the personal data meets data privacy requirements (such as GDPR), the consolidation and analysis of the data to deliver actionable insights and event ROI is a vital part of the role. This is especially the case now that organisations are increasingly moulding their events around data-driven strategies.

The Eventsforce research study, however, found that data management tops the list of tech tools organisations most struggled with.  The latest ‘State of Event Technology Report’ from EventMB also states that more companies are now looking at data skills in senior event management positions.  This need for ‘data skills’ could pave the way to more ‘event technologist’ roles.

So should organisations hire event technologists?  Or should they create the role in-house?

That depends on the number and type of events an organisation does. If it isn’t a cost- effective option to have someone full time, then the role can be outsourced to a trusted specialist who has the skills to provide the services required whenever it’s needed.

Equally, you can look at creating the role using your existing team resources. Event planners tend to be multi-talented individuals who work at pace under stress. According to the study, 50% of event planners consider themselves as tech-savvy. So there is ample opportunity to identify one or more planners to function as a cross-event technologist. Skills to look out for include:

  • Experience of using the various tools used during the events lifecycle, including project and task management, instant chat, video conferencing, time management, image editing, etc.
  • A good grasp of business applications, such as a CRM system, office application suites, file storage and transfer, data protection, back-office needs, etc.
  • Strong Excel skills, including filtering, pivot tables and import/export
  • Understanding the benefits of integration between systems and present a business case where relevant

Conclusion

It is clear that the event tech ecosystem will continue to grow, with new tools, systems and platforms coming to the market to address specific needs organisers have around their events. There is a strong argument that event teams can benefit working with a dedicated event technology person, who understand event technology, who learns about it, researches what’s out there, can understand how the tech can be aligned to an event’s objectives and so on.

From Artificial Intelligence to facial recognition, events will continue to push the boundaries, and this diversity of choice is both an opportunity and a risk – how can you ensure you are using the right technology for your event needs?

A specialist event technologist may be able to help.


Would you like similar articles delivered to your inbox? Why not sign up to our weekly EventTech Talk newsletter for tips, analysis and research reports on all the latest technology and marketing trends shaping the events industry today.