Event organisers report 'tech-phobia'

The only reason technology isn’t used more prominently in events is a fear of the unknown, according to industry experts.

At the latest Event Marketing Association (EMA) meeting, members discussed the industry’s reluctance to embrace new technologies, despite the apparent benefits in doing so. The reason they gave for this was a fear of the unknown, which left many planners unable to fully embrace the new opportunities.

This trend was noted despite a number of industry insiders extolling the benefits that technology could offer event organisers. These include Oliver Richardson, who told eventmagazine.co.uk how it was happening across the entire industry, whether people want it to or not.

The EMA meeting was held under Chatham House Rules, which enables speakers to voice their opinions freely and with complete anonymity. As such, specific individuals and their points of view could not be identified, only that representatives from Barclays, Morgan Stanley and BNP Paribas – among others – were in attendance.

Elsewhere, the meeting addressed issues surrounding fears that tech could spell the end of meetings as they are traditionally known. Despite such fears being somewhat prevalent throughout the industry, EMA attendees were more of the opinion that technology was an enabler or an enhancer for meetings, not something that could prove detrimental.

Others claimed that apps and other tech had not been sufficiently road tested for event planners to invest their full trust. Whilst knowing how an app works in layman’s terms is one thing, it becomes much more of an issue when scaling this up to an entire meeting.

Despite many of those in attendance calling for greater use of technology in the events industry, one view was shared above all: that technology should not be used just for the sake of it. Instead, specialist tech that’s wholly relevant would offer a much greater result.