It’s tough out there. Events industry planners have so many choices—from mobile apps, online floor plans, and event management platforms to room diagramming and attendance tracking. Name your itch. There is probably a solution out there to scratch it. But rather than complain about the proliferation of products, planners should celebrate the bounty. It’s actually a good thing, and can be the determining difference between growth and ultimate failure.
More competition can lead to lower prices for the events industry.
In some event technology verticals—where the barriers to entry are much lower (like mobile apps, for example)—more offerings in the market will likely push prices down. Some companies will choose to offer their event-technology products as commodities and many buyers will benefit.
Ultimately, this technology is what drives innovation and agility for event planners. These tools are what allows professionals to do less with more. It's imperative that these leaders be empowered to improve their processes and elevate their customers performance.
Tech providers will eventually become more service oriented.
If competitive pricing doesn’t keep them in the game, developers will have to innovate in other ways. That innovation may not always come in the form of new features or benefits. Tech companies outside the event industry are talking more about customer experience—delivering outstanding service at every touch point—as a way to differentiate. It’s worked for Apple, and could provide the events industry with powerful new niche options.
This means more capailites for less money. Professionals want tailored solutions that are sized-to-fit. Service oriented development is designed to provide this kind of flexibility.
Education will become more available.
As event technology becomes more ubiquitous, planners will require more guidance on how to navigate the crowded field of apps and opportunities. More educators, consultants, and information outlets will be step up to fill the knowledge gap and mechanisms to simplify the purchase process will inevitably surface as well.
This is secondary to why technology can help the events industry, but important neverthless. Buyers will have to become better researchers; as the software they choose will have long-reaching affects on their business.
More opportunities will emerge for customers.
New technology doesn’t always have to be a challenge. In fact, planners should (and many do) regard new products as opportunities to improve and shape their events and event businesses. Staying plugged into the innovation will help them recognize those openings when they see them.
All technology will improve.
With more technology, all companies—legacy developers and new-market entrants alike—will have to become “bigger, stronger or faster” in order to compete. Eventually, features that were once shiny and new on one product will become standard on all products. And more, better products reduce the risk for buyers who are more likely to get what they want when there is a broader range of options. This will give event professionals more diversity and flexibility in how they do their jobs.
In consumer goods, there is such a thing as too many choices. In his book, “The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less,” psychologist and TED speaker Barry Schwartz argues that more choices create shopper anxiety. To some extent, that’s true in event technology as well. That said, the angst that Schwartz describes hasn’t reduced the demand for consumer goods and it probably won’t reduce the demand for event technology either.
What really needs to happen is for buyers—event planners—to work harder at understanding event technology, support any efforts at simplifying the buying process, and help create an industry that welcomes innovation. There are exactly zero stores selling only one kind of milk and one brand of cereal. Having lots of choices is the hallmark of a vibrant society and a healthy industry.