Like most industries, technology is changing events in dramatic ways. As organizers adjust to all of the platforms, operating systems, devices, and apps that have entered our vernacular and our workflows, they will begin to look for individuals who can help them understand and leverage all the innovation. These new event technologists will take on important roles in the organization and the industry.
Organizations will struggle with making sense of all of the technology options available. They will need an individual to create the master plan—a holistic strategy around standards, requirements, procurement, implementation, and evaluation at an organizational level.
As more technology comes into the organization, more people will be required to trouble shoot, supervise deployment, and oversee suppliers on an event-by-event basis. These roles can be broken down by technology (a mobile app specialist, for example) or by outcome (engagement, data insights, attendee experience, etc.).
Business intelligence is arguably one of the most valuable byproducts of event technologies. So much so that organizations will soon be hiring people who can manage all aspects of the data collection, integration, reporting, and analysis. This role will run the gamut from designing surveys to sifting through data from multiple sources to discover insights and create action plans.
Although event-technology startups will present completely new ways to address existing problems, not all new solutions will meet the needs of every organization. Some companies will opt to create their own customized platforms and applications and they will require programmers and information architects who understand the industry and the competitive offerings.
Most organizations don’t have the internal expertise to understand how every event technology works, what’s available in the industry, whether a particular technology will solve a specific problem, how to evaluate solutions, write RFPs or negotiate contracts. There will be an increased demand for individuals to act as educators and intermediaries to help event organizers find the best event technology solutions.
Soon-to-be-released research on event technology ecosystems sponsored by MPI and PSAV will deliver some interesting insights: event planners today are primarily responsible for the event technology being used at events; however, many rely on outside companies (audio-visual production companies and app developers) to advise and assist them. When they do hire people internally, they tend to hire generalists who also have knowledge of event technology.
Slowly, more attention and more resources will be allocated to handling both the transition from manual to automated processes and the integration of technology into the event planning practice. When that happens, organizations will have to hire specialists and that, according to the MPI research, will be a positive sign.
“The hiring of specialists in specific technologies or to manage the selection, procurement, deployment, and effectiveness of event technologies signals an acknowledgement of the role of event technology in the organization and paves the way for more event-technology adoption,” the report says.