The past eight months have been the busiest time for event technology companies, and this is down to the pandemic which came crashing down on us back in March this year. Event technology is challenging to get right, hear what event organisers have to say on the topic.
The virtual events sector has risen dramatically, PR Newswire have estimated that the virtual events industry is expected to grow from $78 billion to $774 billion in 2030 - unbelievable, right? Virtual events are spoken about so much nowadays, but what is a virtual event? CVent defined it as one where individuals experience the event and its content online rather than gathering in person. For these virtual events to happen, of course event technology is required as the backbone of the organisation.
With event technology being a hot topic at the moment, it’s best we understand what it is before looking at the mistakes companies are making. Event technology is the plethora of digital tools, which help event planners execute projects from start to finish. Event planners typically use a variety of event technology types to run their event, this can be from event software to mobile apps. We have recently uploaded a blog explaining why virtual events are the gift that keeps on giving, you can catch up with it here.
As the supply and demand for event technology increases, there is becoming more and more platforms on the market. With over 100 event technology platforms now out there, it can be difficult for event organisers to choose which one, this is where EventMind comes in. If you’re looking for advice on the best platform for you, and want trusted and unbiased advice then you can contact us here or sign up to our exclusive newsletter here.
It is crucial for event technology companies to have their strategies lined up, and to be performing to their max. Of course though, there is a current challenge within the platforms - and these are problems which are recurring time and time again. Having spoken to many event organisers, and professionals who are requiring this event technology to run their virtual events, it has become apparent that there are many mistakes which are being made, and therefore could cost them their business now there are so many platforms to choose from. In a recent EventMind blog post we discussed how virtual events are the gift that keeps on giving, and we couldn’t run them without event technology.
Below are the most recurring mistakes event technology platforms are making which I believe need to be mentioned.
1. Respect smaller independent brands just as much as larger companies
Having several conversations with industry professionals and event organisers, it was interesting to see their view on what mistakes event technology platforms are making and what they have experienced. Marie Kuffour, Founder of Destiny Events Professional commented that "embracing the digitisation of events in 2020 has not come without its challenges as an independent event professional researching digital solutions for small businesses." Although larger companies may bring you bigger fees as they may hold larger events, this doesn’t mean that smaller independent brands do not have potential - everyone has to start somewhere.
Marie also discussed that when she went on a demo of one specific event technology platform, the company were very keen to illustrate their platform features and functionality with a ‘weighty measure of boasting about their 5 figure clients’ but the post-demo experience was highly disappointing, the basics weren’t delivered and there was no follow up proposal.
If you’re an event technology company and you feel like you focus mostly on the fee you’re going to earn opposed to wanting to help all companies out there that approach you - just think, everyone starts somewhere and you should treat all companies with respect, whether they are an independent company or a large established corporation.
2. Don’t forgot basic customer service
Customer service is a given with any interaction you have with a new or existing work contact, right? Wrong.
It can be very easy to have a plan in front of you, to crack on with your work but forget the basics - to communicate with your client, and provide them with a friendly service. With the event technology sector growing, it can be difficult to not get stuck in a rut and to battle it out with your competitors - but your clients have paid you for a service and therefore you need to deliver this.
Joana Santos Andrade, Event Operation Manager at Clarion Gaming has discussed that "some event technology companies are growing too fast and are forgetting some customer service basics." This can be enough to put anyone off return business, people always remember the bad experiences with a company - you want to make a good impression and stand out with not only your product but your communicating and customer service to stick out in this now competitive market.
As an event technology platform, you are the experts when speaking with your client about pivoting their events online. You need to be there to help your client through this, and provide them with sound and helpful advice.
3. Clients want transparency, do not mis-sell
Transparency seems to be a hot topic when it comes to the talk of online and virtual events.
As EventMind’s CEO Ashanti Bentil-Dhue has previously said -
"If you know your platform cannot support, facilitate or enable a potential client's objectives or needs - BE HONEST.
Do not mis-sell. It will come back to bite you and it’s more hassle than necessary for EVERYONE.
No one likes nasty surprises when it comes to costing up your event, and clients want honesty from the start - if you’re not able to meet clients expectations - tell them.
Many event platforms go to their usual saying ‘its in development’ or ‘its in the pipeline’ when being asked if they have a feature which they don’t have.
You will gain more trust with your clients if you're honest, as they will see you as trustworthy and most probably come back with repeat business.
Syed Faisal Abbas, Managing Director at Media Generation Group has commented that "sadly most providers lack transparency, and by the time the client discovers the platform's shortcomings, it's usually too late to switch providers."
In this competitive market, you want to gain trust with all your clients as this may be something your clients don’t have.
Chiara Quintini, Senior Event Manager has a very similar view to Syed, and said "the biggest challenge going virtual is working with new suppliers that do not belong to our usual and reliable net. We should be able to rely on their information and receive complete transparency."
If you’re reading this and thinking your company could be more transparent than they are - discuss this with your team. Nip it in the bud and this could make you come up above your competitors.
4. Don’t just focus on the money, build relationships with clients
As previously mentioned with customer service, of course it’s nice to see the money coming in from clients - but building relationships with them is a lot more important.
According to The Muse’s article, if you’ve ever been in a client facing positions - it is pretty easy to differentiate between a good client relationship and a not so good one. You want to always make sure you’re building strong relationships and go beyond what your contract says, this will boost your reputation in the market and can lead to repeat business (and even recommendations.)
Anthony Smith, Founder of ETT Club believes that although each event platform has its positives and negatives, platforms should be ensuring they are "building long term relationships and not just chasing the fast buck."
This article isn't to shame event technology platforms, or to put them down, because let’s face it - without them this year the industry would have crumbled.
Being through one or multiple of these mistakes with an event technology platform she used, Marie Kuffour says she now has a ‘laser focus’ and instead of wasting time to find out the platform may not meet her expectations, she evaluates them early. Karen Patten, Director of The Meeting & Event Team has mentioned that ‘there are some great platforms out there now and any business not treating their customers with integrity, honesty and a great level of customer service will come unstuck!’
EventMind does not endorse any particular virtual event platform or software. We review the platforms available on the market monthly (through a combination of client feedback, test events and demos). If you're looking to make online events simple, or want trusted and unbiased advice, then contact the team today by emailing email@example.com or calling 0330 133 3485.