Digital Event News January 2022 - Page 17

January 2022

Feature 17

What organisers want from technology suppliers

During a panel debate at the Digital Event News Tech Summit , planners shared their thoughts on supplier relationships and how to move forward together .

Honesty , transparency and developed partnerships are just three of the things event planners would like from technology suppliers as the digital event landscape evolves , according to a panel of organisers speaking at the Digital Event News Tech Summit .

James Samuel , portfolio director at Clarion Events , David Parker , commercial and events director at the Royal College of Physicians , Ed Tranter , managing director of 73 Media and Narmeen Kamran , event director at Desert Island Events , discussed how they would like the virtual and hybrid event supply chain to work more closely with organisers and what that relationship would look like .
“ I look for suppliers who can be an extension of our team ,” Tranter says . “ The supplier pool has swelled to over 813 companies and we ’ re platform agnostic in the same way that you wouldn ’ t always return to the same venue . So I need technology partners who can provide transparency pricing and communicate their specific strengths and benefits . Don ’ t tell me you can do everything because that ’ s not what our events require .”
Parker agrees stating : “ honesty and authentic communication are the two most important elements of a supplier relationship . Tell us what you can deliver but understand that things can go wrong so we need you to provide back-up support , extra staff on stand-by and additional equipment cover .”
Kamran elaborated on the importance of being an extension of the organiser team . She says : “ The landscape is constantly evolving so we need technology partners that can play to their strengths by suggesting better solutions and contributing to the client proposal . I need magic links and single-use passwords to make everyone ’ s lives easier and I need suppliers who can support our client ’ s goals and objectives .”
Clarion ’ s Samuel concurs . He says : “ This was all new to a majority of us 18 months ago and we don ’ t know what we don ’ t know . If we ’ re to trust in a technology providers expertise , they need to help with the steep learning curve in an honest and transparent way .”
The panel , moderated by Mash Media ’ s editorial director Martin Fullard went onto to share their opinions on the hybrid event model with 73 Media ’ s Tranter admitting that he hadn ’ t seen the full potential of hybrid in any use-cases to date .
Samuel believes that although virtual exhibitions can ’ t replicate the serendipity of walking past an exhibition stand to discover new products and connections , adding hybrid elements to physical trade shows can be used to distribute content to a broader audience and offer sponsors added value .
He says : “ It should be seen as an added revenue source so that sponsors can extend their reach and companies who may have certain sensitivities about having a physical presence at the show can still engage and interact with their target audience online . However you need to understand what the audience wants from hybrid . There ’ s no point in sponsors providing online branded content if the demand isn ’ t there so speak to you event attendees and learn what value digital elements can add to in-person shows .”
Tranter agrees suggesting that virtual booths rarely work unless there ’ s a reason to attend a one-to-one online appointment or view a piece of pre-recorded content that adds value to the event experience . He concludes by urging technology suppliers to reduce the complexities in their pricing structures .
“ Pricing models are all completely different and it ’ s a bit like the Wild West currently . Virtual can help add much-needed agility to event organiser ’ s plans but contract complexity only makes our lives harder . So you need suppliers who can help planners navigate this evolving landscape in more simple terms .”
Parker concludes with his mantra of ‘ keep it simple stupid ’. “ Technology should make the delegate journey smoother . Help us to understand the benefits .”