is an international speaker, consultant and writer helping clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity. With 20 years of experience running international technology meetings, he now is a highly acclaimed speaker with the largest meetings tech site
on the web.
1. What event management mistakes do you see people make over and over again?
This has nothing to do with technology, but it is a problem I see regularly: Receptions should be about networking (communicating with each other). Often times, loud music and other sounds make it impossible to carry on a conversation. At the minimum, quiet spaces should be available for those that wish to talk. I like to dance, but a higher priority for me at events is communication.
2. What technological change had the biggest impact on the industry over the last 10 years?
The advent of mobile technology and, specifically, smartphones (universal, personal pocket “supercomputers”) and mobile event apps (Swiss Army knives of tools) is changing meetings in a dramatic manner in many ways. This, combined with social media, provides an unprecedented means of communication, analytics and networking.
3. You’ve been tracking event tech for over 17 years. Are there any up and coming technological disruptions that you expect to change the industry in the coming years?
The above confluence of mobile technology and social media will change meetings more in the next 5 years than technology has done in the past 15 years. Emerging forms of this (wearable computing, beacon technology, augmented reality) will make major changes.
4. A lot of live events are migrating to the web – it’s cheaper, easier to organize and there’s no travel involved. Do you have a simple rule when it’s OK to use the web to save and when company should absolutely stick to the live format?
Virtual meetings are great for short information exchange. But, with attention spans getting shorter, they are not so good for brainstorming, networking or relationship building. Face-to-face meetings provide a far more focused environment where it is possible to keep participants engaged for days.
5. What are your favourite event management tools and resources?
s an independent meetings technology analyst, I don’t publically endorse any meetings technology product. However, I will say that there has never been a better time to run a business or event. There is a plethora of great tools to assist in the meeting planning process, to collaborate, to use developing event management tools. See my newsletter
for regular updates regarding new events technology.
Thank you for the interview.
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