The rapid evolution of event technology brings more choice to event professionals than was ever thought possible before. However, shifts in technology carry an inherent risk, which is why some professionals seem determined to stick with the tried and tested methods rather than venture out to the latest fad.
The next few paragraphs will examine the up and downsides to changing technology. First, we must settle the facts that there is virtually no facet of event planning that is not affected to a degree by technology. From apps to QR codes and trade show management to sales and marketing, there’s no end to the reach of technology in event planning.
Nevertheless, because technology is never constant and any upgrades require significant investments in time and money, it is important to know when to upgrade, since it’s a question you will face periodically until the end of your career.
How do you feel about new technology?
Does it excite you? Do you get a rush when you hold a new gadget with all these amazing features or do it make you want to crawl into your bed and never come out?
Most of us can be found somewhere in between the extremes – curious but reticent.Communication Studies professorEverett Rogers divides everyone into 5 groups in order of receptiveness of new technology: Innovators (3%), early adopters (13%), early majority (34%), late majority (34%) and finally Laggards (16%).
New technology it brings with it the challenge of having to learn new systems, which makes it hard for some people, even if the new way is easier and better. It is helpful as a professional to know your own approach and more so that of your client’s organization and event attendees and then make a decision based on that.
What are your goals?
Technology is always a means to an end. You want to take some time to evaluate the goals for your event promotion endeavor or meeting and what the most important deliverables are, and then decide on what best technology will most cost-efficiently bring you to those goals.
Examples of some goals you might include saving time or money, error reduction, increase in sales, building networks, improvement of customer experiences etc.
How much will it cost to upgrade?
This is not just in financial terms, but you should consider everything in between, from the time the old technology is removed to the time the new one is fully in place and operational. Commonly, the following will be the stages in between:
Research into the new solution and implications of implementation
Installation and personalization to fit your specific needs
Learning how to use the new technology yourself
Test, debug and train users on the new technology. If your attendees will also be users, you have to consider their learning curves as well.
What good will the change does?
Implementing new technology can be a very long and winded process, so why should you go to the trouble? Here are three main reasons:
If you have problems with the current provider or system – too many mishaps, bugs, or general disturbances
If you want to stay ahead of the pack – technology goes stale very fast, and every new generation brings innovations one would be better off with.
If implementing the new technology will cost you less money and provide you with better service.
Finally, if you decide to switch, be kind enough to inform your vendor about concerns you have had with the old system where you can.