Biggest tech challenges when holding events (and how we can help)
Robert Masana, Digital Product & Business Development Manager, shares the biggest technology challenges when holding events.
Name: Robert Masana
Job title: Digital Product & Business Development Manager, eTechSuite
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Tell us about yourself: My background is in software product management and product owner identifying and researching user needs as well as stakeholders requirements. In my role I touch all stages of the product development lifecycle from the initial concepts and development design through to helping clients implement eTechSuite for their events. This includes set up, training and overseeing the running of the technology during the event to ensure things run smoothly. I am Spanish and have recently moved back to Barcelona with my family after living in Australia for 6.5 years. Being back in Spain allows me to directly assist our European clients – plus it is nice to be able to get back into rock climbing in my local area!
What do you find are the biggest tech challenges when holding events?
1. Complicated abstract management requirements. Often conferences will attract hundreds, if not thousands, of abstract submissions and require committee members to manage the review process. It can be time consuming to go through each entry and allocate it to a reviewer, providing instructions and then following up on deadlines; all this prior to notifying the authors of the outcome.
What really helps is having an automated system like eOrganiser, which instantly pairs abstract submissions to reviewers and houses information in a dashboard to allow event managers to easily see what has been achieved and what is outstanding. For every 100 abstract submissions, eOrganiser saves up to 60 hours of manual labour.
2. Speaker management. For large programs, it is not uncommon to have up to 1,000 speakers presenting in multiple streams across 3 or more days. All speaker presentations must be uploaded to the central system ahead of their presentation and checked for any glitches or incompatibilities. Navigating this can be time consuming and stressful.
With eSpeaker it doesn’t need to be. Accept presentation submissions online pre-event and on-site via a kiosk style terminal, which reduces labour significantly. You’ll know the state of submissions with a clever traffic light system that warns you close to a presentation if it has not been received. The system then automatically sends the right presentations to the right session rooms at the right time – taking the pressure off organisers.
3. Integrating the experience for physical attendees and virtual. A key challenge for hybrid events is making sure all attendees feel engaged no matter how they are attending the event. Event organisers must ensure all types of attendees have the same opportunities for learning.
For virtual attendees, networking can be the biggest factor in which they feel most deprived. Look for features in your technology product like video networking, which is included in eMeeting for up to 1,000 delegates at one time. eMeeting also mimics the look and feel of the physical event – it provides an immersive experience and is intuitive to navigate.
4. Providing attendees a one-stop-shop for all event information. It can be difficult for attendees to know where to go to find the information they need. Event organisers should always look for ways to optimise the delegate experience and create a seamless platform for the event.
Event app eMobilise is the solution. Providing details on maps, parking, finding rooms, exhibitor information, session times, and booking networking meetings, as well as offering session scanning for CPD points and lead scanning for exhibitors, it is a simple way to centralise event information for all attendees.
5. Making poster presentations interactive. Poster presentations are a key component of conferences, allowing further knowledge-sharing among attendees and an expansion of the conference content. However, as a static, print display only, delegates may not be as curious to engage with this content.
Look to ePresenter, a digital poster platform, which improves the poster experience for both presenters and viewers. It provides feedback to the presenter and event host with features such as star ratings and allows for deeper knowledge sharing by allowing for question submissions to the author. It also allows for embedded media such as videos and audio and enables viewers to download posters for future reference.
6. Using platforms that aren’t integrated. Trying to bring together an event using platforms that don’t talk to each other is a bit like being an interpreter in a meeting where all participants speak a different language. It is very time consuming to continuously input information from one platform to the next and increases the chance of errors throughout the content.
Integrated platforms such as the eTechSuite means information-sharing is automatic. All-in-one platforms for registration and live updates on analytics such as engagement and sponsorship. When a speaker notifies you 24 hours before their session that they can no longer attend, with one click the program can be updated in all areas. It is by far the quickest and easiest way to disseminate information to attendees and collate it for yourself.
7. Navigating the technology market. Technology is developing rapidly and it is completely understandable that event organisers may feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options, identifying what is required and finding a provider that meets their needs.
This can be alleviated by choosing the right technology partner; one who will support you throughout the entire event journey and provide ongoing training services. eTechSuite provides all of this and more, with easy-to-use platforms and ongoing technical support.
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