Venue Technology Standards In 2016
The progression of venue technology is an evolution that is affecting every facet of the events industry. The process adapting to the current market landscape is the topic of many discussion boards and chats. Venue technology standards are changing faster than ever before, and this is dramatically impacting what venues offer, how they offer it, and what they invest their revenue in. No longer is it acceptable to simply grasp the concept of technology; it’s now expected for venues to be as tech savvy as the planners and organizers require it to be to host their events; which are also leveraging more technology than ever before.
One of the largest issues involving technology and events spaces is Wi-Fi. In a survey taken by the Event Manager Blog in January of this year, 83% of over 1000 planners polled expect fast and reliable Wi-Fi in a venue. Other expectations from the study include: 77% of planners assume the availability of large screens for projections, 68% want dedicated AV technicians, 63% expect changeable lighting, and 59% expect stage availability.
What Event Professionals Expect
The market is changing faster than ever before. “Unusual” event spaces are largely making their way into the picture. Taken from the same EventMB study, 19.5% of planners use atypical venues (i.e. theatres, museums, galleries, etc) most often. Hotels continually take the cake at 37%.
The greatest risk in this scenario is the inability to be properly equipped to handle the modern technology necessities. There’s a possibility that with this shift some venues that have been around for decades, will but pushed out. It’s time to take a long-term look at what your venue provides, who you provide to, and what their individual needs are.
As we mentioned, hotels take the majority of the events business. There is a continual stream of revenue that isn’t reliant on the events specifically and that can be reinvested to make the necessary tech improvements that planners seek. Convention centers and conference centers face a larger struggle when considering these improvements. The investment more than likely has to come from several channels and requires validation in order to make it a reality.
3 Questions to Understand Venue Technology Standards
1. What will it cost to not update your space or incorporate more technology into the business?
Although the initial numbers in outfitting your venue with tech features may seem large, consider what the risk of not incorporating these offerings would take.
2. By assessing the current offerings of your venue, what can’t you do today/ are you limited in handling, or cannot provide?
Take into account how well your facility can handle current issues and requirements, but also consider events that may have been lost (already) due to a lack of needs being met.
3. What are the needs of the events that you want to host over the course of the next 5 years?
Take a long-term approach and think about the kinds of events you would like years down the road. Can you support them today? Will they grow? Need more space? Will they need to access technology in a new way? What will their attendee’s expect?
Where Are You Now?
Meeting the needs for your future events will help you keep repeat customers while attracting new business. There is a way to compete with the digital-aged market but it takes an in-depth look at current business practices and where you see your venue in the future.
Download our Venues Best Practices Checklist for a full view of what can be done to influence these elements in your event business.