There’s a growing trend for innovation and engagement in event production, and a lot of this is being led by the rise in young talent in the industry.
We chatted to one of our resident Millennials, Events Producer Adam Kite, about the fast-changing demands of events production.
New technology has a huge part to play in live events. How does it reflect in what you do?
Technology, when used creatively, is very important, but what we use needs to fit the audience demographic and the event’s purpose most of all. A tech firm wouldn’t roll-out old technology at a launch, and with the rise in tech knowledge from the audience – both young and old – you can’t give your audience tired, outdated technology.
Way before the event even takes place, promotion has moved on from just filling venues. Event apps help share information easily. They’re also secure as you can control who has access. Leading up to the event, drip-feeding speaker information, PR, demos, available sessions, accommodation and travel information can all build excitement. Most importantly, there is now an expectation from a modern audience that there is a smooth and informed experience.
Events can push boundaries and clients are more willing to ‘dare to be different’. From guerrilla campaigns, impressive graphics and interactive activities designed specifically for the event, to unique hashtags, social media takeovers and virtual reality, there’s a lot changing in event production.
How are the audiences changing?
There is a much greater demand for connected interaction from audiences of all ages; millennials may be driving innovation, but people of all ages are engaging with it.
Waiting till the end of a session for questions and answers is still commonplace. However, Millennials expect apps or technology to provide live feedback and interaction during the event. We are looking at some exciting ways to deliver immediate and more direct interaction for our client’s audiences.
Are clients adapting to technology changes?
One area where technology has become quite common is the use of LED walls over projectors and screens. The price has become more competitive and they certainly bring the wow factor with immersive experiences, offering a new dynamic when creating visual content.
We are also seeing a trend within presentations that steers away from the traditional ‘death by PowerPoint’ and instead growing into more of a TED-style presentations/enhancement where supporting imagery replaces blocks of text.
Familiarity and understanding of new technology is improving, but it can still be a tough decision to include new technology at events because of a lack of familiarity with the technology and how it should be utilised. And it can be a big investment without an understanding of the full potential of the return.
Our advice when adding new technology to your event – be it new to you or new to the industry – is to practise with it. Don’t let the first time your team interacts with it be at the event. Give yourself time to get familiar with how it works.
Our clients are usually very experienced in events. They know that even with that practise, you can still have challenges; however, a good event producer has a Plan B, C and D to save the day.
What’s happening post-event?
It’s important to keep engagement going after the event to reinforce the message and to extend the audiences ‘glow’. This can be done in different ways, including exclusive products, pricing or releasing relevant content as quickly as possible.
In addition to event app data and social media commentary, handwritten feedback forms completed at the close of an event are still popular, but you can’t beat the instant data analysis technology can give you.
There are arguments for both old-school forms and digital post-event follow-ups. Whichever way our clients want to go, these help them to direct and improve future events and understand the return on their investment. That is the most important thing to take from anything post-event: how can you keep improving your audiences’ experience at your future events and deliver value for money?
What do you think the future holds?
There is a continual progression of improvement and an expectation of quality that is driving the industry forward. As younger professionals join the industry, they will be familiar with the newest technology. This itself keeps the industry moving forward.
Ideas that we are seeing grow in popularity now will be more mainstay in the future. Livestreaming, apps and immersive experiences all will become the expected standard.