Is the events industry facing a technology skills gap? It seems so.
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. The study also found that an overwhelming 91% of organisers say event tech is an important aspect of the job, but only 48% consider themselves to be tech-savvy.
Which makes us question…
How tech savvy are event planners expected to be these days? How much responsibility and accountability should they have around their event tech investments? How can they acquire the skills they need to manage event tech effectively? Or are these challenges creating the need for a new role in the industry – an event professional whose job is to focus exclusively on all things event tech?
These are some of the questions Eventsforce and industry experts debated in a panel session at leading global event technology show, Event Tech Live 2019, in London this month. The session, titled ‘Are Event Planners Struggling with Event Technology?’, was moderated by Michelle Bruno, US-based event technology journalist and president of Bruno Group Signature Services, and brought together speakers from Eventsforce, British Council, Coventry University and the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).
One of the take-aways from the session was how many organisers don’t feel pressured to learn and become more confident about event technology. Despite the obvious benefits of improved productivity, more insight and better engagement, there is still no incentive to learn about event tech. And this is partly due to tech not being seen as the strategic tool it can be when it comes to achieving organisational goals. That buy-in from management teams is missing. And so organisers don’t feel pressured to invest in their technology skills when they have so many other things to do. Most of the panellists agree that events are still not given the priority they deserve, and as a result, neither is event technology.
The other key point was the issue of data management. The challenges of managing event tech are not going to go away for organisers – especially when you look at things like compliance, reporting and analytics and the increasing use of tech tools that help them collect an enormous amount of data on their events and attendees. The research study shows, however, that data management tops the list of tech tools organisers most struggle with. They also don’t necessarily have the time nor skills to tackle this head on – paving the way for a new ‘event technologist’ role in our industry. Though the requirement of this role can vary from one event organisation to another, the panellists agreed that this is something the industry is starting to see more of – particularly across agencies and corporate organisations.
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You can watch the whole session here – it’s only 30 minutes long and will give you a good overview on some of the key findings from the research study, what organisers can do to address their top challenges around event technology and how they would define the role of an event technologist.
Have a look:
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