The future of tomorrow's event technology

By IMEX Group

2 mins

Looking to the future of event tech 

We need to think about the future in a new way, where we focus on reinventing the experience without bringing the offline limitations with us online. We need to reinvent – and not repurpose.

When you start thinking about the role technology plays, we must remove the offline mechanics and focus on the experience. Brian Fanzo, Digital Futurist, iSocialFanz, questions why we must have screens when we can have video, lighting and audio, as well as overlays – we must think about how we transform the future. The future pushes where we can go with technology and what we can achieve. When we’re open to reinvention, we think about different ways to incorporate different teams who are trying new things as they go.

Change is generally not easy. It’s harder to attain synergy between technology and humanity if people feel forced to accept new systems with which they are not comfortable. We talk about working smarter, and not harder, but we too often look at technology for its own sake rather than to see how we can use it to benefit us. To incorporate change, we must shift our mindset to alter our perspective.

Video: Shrink the distance: The future of tomorrow's technology, today

The three Ts of event technology

The three Ts – trust, training and technology, in that order – are key to helping people to change their mindset.

1. Trust - people, the plan, and process

Technology can’t fix a people problem. More than having a trusting culture, do people trust those involved in the decision-making process to make the right decision? Do people trust the plan and do people trust the process? We must build the trust for people to adopt the technology.

2. Training - testing, tweaking and repeating

To help people navigate new technology, suggest “swim lanes, not rules”. Swim lanes give leeway to take decisions based on suggested criteria, rather than rules that make people fearful of making errors. You won’t know what works until you try. If it works, lean into it, if not move on to something else. Document your progress.

3. Technology

We must shift perspective, understand new limitations, new possibilities, and new experiences. Limitations inspire creativity. We must find the steps to take to create success and define what success is first, before deploying the technology; if you don’t do this, technology defines the success. Define success, track goals, celebrate wins, screenshot awesomeness as a reminder later of just how much of a success a certain result.

Be the change

In our on-demand world, be proud of who you are and what you achieve. It’s up to each of us to tell our story and put ourselves out there. We need to shift our focus from the bad, to good people doing good things. Nothing we do virtually will replace the face to face experience, but if we are willing to reimagine what is possible, we have the ability to create new experiences; while we can’t currently shake hands, we can find digital alternatives as a placeholder.

If we are willing to reinvent, we can create and share new stories. We must fix the people first and scale and adapt technology to help us move forward - that is how magic happens. We should not be limited by technology but rather discover the way technology can help us. And that is how we shrink the distance between us and those around us.

Brian Fanzo, Digital Futurist, iSocialFanz, was just one of many talented speakers taking part in PlanetIMEX, IMEX's digital education event. In a session sponsored by Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Brian explored the ways we can ‘shrink the distance’ between technology and virtual event attendees; the two must exist in harmony.

Join the conversation on the future of event technology at IMEX America and IMEX Frankfurt. You'll find 150+ education sessions covering event tech, business practices, event marketing, experience design, innovation and much more. 

About the author

IMEX brings the global meetings and events community together to power profitable connections, foster innovation, spark inspiration, and propel purposeful progress at two world-leading trade shows, IMEX Frankfurt and IMEX America.

We use our influence to unite, advance and promote a thriving global industry focused on positive change.

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