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Almost one out of two meeting planners today says that event technology is a primary pain point, according to a new study published by etouches.
Another new report from Cvent revealed similar sentiments among planners relating to cloud-based event management platforms, stating, “Planners cite poor transparency and accuracy over pricing, along with lack of clarity and poor response rates, as their main pain point with venue selection.”
In the etouches report, the top concerns among planners pre-event are: selecting the right content (56 percent) and managing attendee registration (51 percent). During the event, the biggest pain points are: communication with attendees (44 percent) and registration/check-in (42 percent).
Post-event, 65 percent of planners say that they’re using technology to measure the overall return on investment (ROI), but at the same time, how they analyze and use that data to inform future event programming and design remains a challenge.
In the Cvent study, the overwhelming pain point for planners is the length of time it takes to receive responses from hotels for their digital requests for proposals (RFPs), and the often inaccurate and/or omitted costs supplied within those responses.
Speaking at the annual Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) conference in Boston last month, representatives at both etouches and Cvent addressed the ongoing challenges with event technology adoption, and how their services are evolving to make tech more user friendly and effective for the planner community.
“In the media and event space, technology was for so long an efficiency play, in terms of it’s just a better way to do business when you can capture some data automatically,” said Mike Mason, VP, sourcing and hospitality solutions with etouches.
“I think it’s now evolved, and what you’re seeing is the importance of the onsite experience. During the event, attendees need more than just content. It’s really about, how do you engage that attendee at a level with them they’ve never had before? Because, you know, everyone’s fighting for attendees.”
Earlier this year, etouches acquired the Loopd platform to deliver new solutions for on-site engagement, using artificial intelligence to provide a more personalized event experience.
Loopd integrates bi-directional wearable smart badges, a mobile event app, and a cloud-based analytics engine. When attendees are using the Loopd badges, which can transmit contact information and any other kind of digital content, event organizers can track how attendees are moving through the event, and which programming is most popular.
Attendees also have a record of every vendor they approached and who they met, and based on commonalities across the spectrum of those event and vendor contacts, Loopd’s machine learning provides suggestions for similar participants that may be of interest for the individual attendee.
“If the device understands that you’re talking to me and we’re sharing information, and it looks at what is important to me and what’s important to you, it can begin to build a profile of who you might be interested in talking to,” said Mason.
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