Become An Event Technology Proficiency Ninja
Face it (you must). Event technology proficiency is becoming a critical component of the event-planning skill set. And just as you’ve studied how many cups of coffee to put on the break table or how far away the projection screen should be from the first row of seats, you’re going to have to become proficient at managing the technology that powers your event. Here’s what to do.
Create a holistic strategy.
Move your thinking, reacting, and implementation of event-technology to an organizational level (vs. event by event) so you can budget, market, and plan resources across all events and achieve some economies of scale. Plan for the types of technology you will purchase so that you can begin collecting information on those categories.
Take an inventory.
Break down your workflows, processes, and tasks and organize the software, apps, and platforms that you use to accomplish your work. Look for overlaps and gaps and make sure you’ve automated all of the work that makes sense to automate, i.e. make machines your workhorses so you can focus on strategy and outcomes.
Forthcoming research sponsored by Meeting Professionals and PSAV found that while meeting planners bear the largest responsibility for event technology, 70% of planners surveyed only spend 25% or less of their time selecting, managing, and deploying it. It’s not a bad idea to pass some of the responsibility off to trusted partners, but at the end of the day, you’ll have to take more of an interest in how the technology works and the benefits it delivers.
Build a reference library.
Information on event apps and solutions is fragmented. There are a number of great blogs, white papers, email newsletters, and podcasts. Use a free tool like Evernote to collect and categorize the information you receive on the web or in real life and refer back to it when you need a refresh.
Develop a stable of resources.
Whether you hire event-technology specialists, rely on trusted technology partners, or engage third-party consultants, you need to have go-to people for the technologies you use. Consult with them regularly about new features and updates, trends, troubleshooting, and adoption benchmarks and share the information with others across your organization.
It is inevitable that industry associations will begin offering certifications for event technology similar to the CEM, CMM, and CMP designations for exhibition and event planning. Until then, planners have to take it upon themselves to learn from others within their organizations and build a brain trust with external resources. Proficiency in event technology will very soon be a requirement for new jobs, promotions, and senior-level positions in all organizations. Don’t be left behind.