What a Tech-Savvy Event Planner Looks Like
New research published by Meeting Professionals International and PSAV looks at technology adoption within organizations that plan meetings, conferences and trade shows. It identifies the traits of planners—association, corporate, and independent meeting planners—who characterize themselves as being highly proficient at selecting, managing and deploying event technology. If you want to be one of them, here’s what you need to do.
Accept the obvious. Event technology is becoming one of the main pillars of event planning along with venue selection, meeting logistics, food and beverage, and transportation. Elite planners are expanding their skill sets with an understanding of the applications and solutions available so they can continue to add value to the event and the organization.
Always be learning. Hotshots are sponges. They read articles, download white papers, take online classes, talk to colleagues, interview vendors, and attend presentations at industry meetings. Besides simply learning how specific technologies work, they look for where the technology fits and the trends it represents.
Consolidate your intelligence. The amount of information available on event technology is overwhelming. Advanced planners keep reference libraries for themselves and their team. Even if they don’t have time to consume it all, they collect what they believe is relevant and place it in an easy-to-access location such as Evernote.
Measure everything. Forward-thinking planners love data. When working with event technology, they keep asking the questions, “what can we measure?” and “what will the data tell me?” They use the data to make better decisions and enhance their events.
Experiment regularly. Some elite planners have mantras around trying at least one new technology every event or trying as many as possible so they can fail fast. While vetting solutions and providers is important, tech-savvy planners bite the bullet more often.
Evaluate often. Elite planners keep their fingers on the pulse of the technology. They design post-event surveys to secure specific feedback on the performance of event technologies, review event-technology performance throughout the event life cycle, and formulate event-technology performance metrics to evaluate technologies and vendors consistently.
Hire specialists. No single planner can know everything. Planners who are proficient in using technology look for employees with experience—individuals with a solid understanding of technology in general or specialists in mobile, virtual, engagement, registration, data, and other areas—to be part of their team.
It’s increasingly obvious that being proficient in event technology is fast becoming a necessary skill for planners. Tech-savvy hotshots surround themselves with information, resources, and people who can help them deliver on personal and organizational goals. MPI’s research proves that an elite group of planners who understand the value of leveraging technology is emerging. They don’t treat the most sweeping change to the industry of the past quarter century as a passing fancy. Neither should you.