Transformational – that’s one way to describe the effect technology has had on the events world. But when change has been so fundamental, what does that spell for the experiences of an event’s stakeholders?
Our podcast, Totem Talks, speaks to Liz Agostini, Portfolio Director at Mash Media, and Lily Doherty, Success Manager at Totem. From the evidence, event organisers are learning how to get more from hybrid events. One clue – the job titles.
“Whereas traditionally our corporate attendees would have been event managers and so on, we’re now seeing a lot of digital and virtual event managers coming through,” says Liz as she reflects on the changes she’s seen over years of running the International Confex events industry exhibition (8-9 March 2022, ExCeL London).
It’s a growing sophistication in audiences that Lily recognises – from attendee confidence in using event apps, to venues increasingly keen to hold hybrid events. But this savviness doesn’t mean that hybrid events can be thrown together. Audiences demand accessibility, and the event experience needs to be smooth and seamless – right from the app to the cloakroom.
“It’s all about being agile,” explains Lily. “You may have a Plan A, but have a Plan B and a Plan C as well.”
What’s the key to ensuring all hybrid event stakeholders are EventHappy? Liz admits to a simplistic view: “We only concentrate on one sector – we believe that if the visitors and delegates are happy then everyone else will be happy as well.”
Lily agrees that events teams need to think about the user experience at all times: “Think about how virtual and in-person delegates can interact at your event. What experiences can you offer to one group that are not at the expense of the other?”
“It is all about the experience,” adds Liz. “It should be a 360 degree experience, with virtual delegates interacting rather than observing. It shouldn’t be a passive thing.”
Listen to the latest episode of Totem Talks now: https://wearetotem.io/podcast/ – and come and visit us at our stand at International Confex.