In a galaxy far, far away (or so it seems now)
In 2010, I project managed an event app for the first time as the director of the largest event held by the Southern California chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). I began to blaze my own trail through the events industry focused on making meetings more interactive and participatory, thinking of attendees as people and not just a person who turns into an attendee when they walk in the door of an event.
That particular app was developed by conference planners. Some of the best, and earliest, technologies in the events industry were created by producers to solve a problem or serve a need in the industry. The early days of event technology consisted of applying technology to systems and processes that had traditionally been manual or paper-based. This is what we thought of as "innovative".
Eight years later...
Even though we've had a massive influx of new technologies for meetings and events, our industry remains stagnant in the ways we design our events. We add features and functionality for the sake of offering more to our attendees without stopping to think about what they really need or want.
We will disrupt ourselves, or we will be disrupted.
Unfortunately, the people who are most likely to disrupt an industry are the ones who are not married to the institutions of that industry. Will we be lucky enough to be disrupted by people who are smart enough to understand people, the intricacies involved in the ways humans communicate, and what attendees' needs are? We will and we are! I was impressed by every interaction I had with Sciensio when I was in the role of potential client. They were not using young, inexperienced sales people to aggressively cold call me. Instead, I had meaningful conversations with them about technology and the future.
As it turns out, their philosophy is to invest in "getting the right people on the bus". I used to think the difference between a good event tech company and a bad one was their experience in the events industry but now I know it has more to do with their company culture and this was the kind of culture I had been looking for!
I accepted the position of Product Marketing Manager with Sciensio, the maker of EventBots in November. I have the pleasure of working with these brilliant people to help more events provide what their attendees want and need when they ask for it. I'd love to hear from you about the challenges you have in communicating important information to your attendees or dealing with all of the questions they have about your event.