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Episode 101 / July 1, 2024

Then and Now: The state of 2024 event industry trends

Get a pulse check on 2024 event industry trends focused on conscious conferencing, micro-events, AI, and event tech stacks.

Revisit predictions for event trends in 2024 and discover new findings by Gartner that reveal what’s ahead for event planners through the rest of the year and beyond.

In this episode, you’ll take a journey back to late 2023 when event industry experts delivered predictions for the new year, and then fast forward to the present as host Rachel Moore and a panel of experts discuss the current state of event industry trends. 

Learn about the latest impacts of conscious conferencing, micro-events, AI, and event tech consolidation on successful attendee experiences discussed by the following experts: 

  • Matthias Guztman, Founder of DPW
  • Kayla Drake, Director of Field Marketing at Apollo.io
  • Tess Vismale, Chief Event Rescuer and Event Technologist at iSocialX
  • Emmanuel Gotsis, Vice President of Experiential Strategy at Freeman

One by one, this episode tackles tactics and trends you can incorporate into your event planning to meet the current demands of attendees, sponsors, and business goals. 

  • How conscious conferencing, attendee-first and data-driven planning, AI, and event tech innovation — trends revealed in Bizzabo’s December 2023 trends webinar and upheld in the inaugural Gartner Magic Quadrant for Event Technology Platforms — impact event execution in 2024.
  • Why micro-events and focusing on attendee priorities of sustainability and DE&I are more complex yet more rewarding in the long run for ROI.
  • Tips for how the partnership between AI and humans can help organizers forecast, analyze, and even anticipate attendee behavior.
  • Ideas to incorporate innovative wearable event tech can provide actionable intelligence for future event experiences.

Mentioned in this episode

Transcript

[00:00:00]  Welcome to Event Experience by Bizzabo, the podcast where we bring the best and brightest event experience leaders together to share stories, tips, and lessons learned from creating some of the world’s biggest events. I’m Rachel Moore, your podcast host. In this episode, we’re going Back to the Future, The Status of 2024 Event Industry Trends.

[00:00:30] Join our expert speakers, Emmanuel Gotsis from Freeman, Kayla Drake from Apollo, Tess Vismale from iSocial Execution, and Matthias Gutzman from DPW, as together we explore topics of sustainability, AI, and tech consolidation. Sometimes to go forward, we must first go back, so that we can all create a better event experience.

[00:00:53] Let’s get started. 

[00:01:05] Rachel Moore: Our mission today is to empower you with the knowledge you need to dissect how Bizzabo’s December 2023 trends webinar and the brand new Gartner Magic Quadrant for Event Technology Platforms impact your event experience plans this year, in the year 2024. We also want to help you grasp why micro events and focusing on attendee priorities of sustainability and DE&I may be complicated, yet so worth the effort for lasting results. 

[00:01:37] We also want to help you truly partner with AI to forecast attendee behavior. And we want to help you incorporate tech innovations like wearables and over 150 attendee data points to make your tech stack sing like a gorgeous, cohesive ecosystem.

[00:01:58] We’re also going to revisit conscious conferencing and tackle the increased requirements around VIP experiences. And we’re going to turn you into fortune tellers with the help of AI to enable you to anticipate the needs of your attendees at every turn. 

[00:02:13] Finally, we’re going to put trial and error aside as we examine the superpowers we have today to construct attendee profiles with precision.

[00:02:22] That’s a lot. Without further ado, let’s begin our journey, which will include multiple stops as we welcome expert speakers for each topic and trend.

[00:02:32] Our first stop: the trend of conscious conferencing and attendee first planning. When we time warp back to our December 2023 webinar about this year’s trends and predictions, we discussed sustainability in the events industry with Adam Parry, founder of Event Tech Live. He introduced us to a term called green hushing, which is different from greenwashing in that brands aren’t being loud enough about the good work they are doing to increase the spread of sustainability throughout events.

[00:03:02] Bizzabo also found through our State of In Person B2B Conference Report that 26.8 percent of attendees said sustainability and DE& I are their number one priority when choosing where to spend and travel for events they attend. Yet we also learned that under 10 percent of event organizers planned at that time to prioritize sustainability or DEI in the experiences they design.

[00:03:29] Finally, and most recently, Gartner released their first ever Magic Quadrant for Event Technology Platforms 2024. In their findings, trends appeared of micro events for reinforcing sustainability and diversity. How? By focusing on smaller, more intimate events, travel costs and carbon use can be reduced, diverse speakers, attendees, and local vendors can be increased, and weaving through it all are event tech features such as role based access, session visibility, and session access control.

[00:04:02] Joining me to help with digging into it six months later, we have Emmanuel Gotsis, Emmanuel drives the digital transformation of events through exceptional experiential marketing as Freeman’s Vice President of Experiential Strategy.

[00:04:15] His mission is to craft unforgettable moments while optimizing operational efficacy. I love that Emmanuel’s preferred event day shoes are On Clouds. Emmanuel, welcome to Trends Redux. 

[00:04:28] Emmanuel Gotsis: Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to be here. 

[00:04:31] Rachel Moore: Of course. And we’re also welcoming Kayla Drake, who is a force for sales enablement and customer conversions, as well as crafting the coolest experiences in compelling locations as Director of Field Marketing at Apollo.io. Kayla reflects her focus back into Apollo’s platform for helping sales professionals. Her go to event issues are flats to high heels and back or occasionally sneakers. Kayla, welcome to the event. 

[00:04:58] Kayla Drake: Wonderful. Thanks for having me. And yes, the high heels are because I’m channeling my inner Hannah Waddington.

[00:05:06] Rachel Moore: Everybody do the Hannah Waddington from Ted Lasso. You’re all doing it at home. I can see you. All right. Let’s dive in. Emmanuel, I’m going to go to you first with this question. As I just resurfaced Bizzabo’s findings from last December, it would seem that conscious conferencing was that a bit of a crossroads with a “will they won’t they,” will attendees see sustainability and DE&I prioritized at the events they attend or won’t they? I’d love to hear. Emmanuel, what are you finding with that? Are they in fact seeing sustainability and DE&I prioritized? 

[00:05:37] Emmanuel Gotsis: I think so. I’ll unpack it in two forms. One, I think attendees should definitely hold organizers accountable. First and foremost, as the consumer and customer of those events or programs, they should definitely be holding organizers to a higher level of, expertise and I guess attention being paid to those topics.

[00:06:00] I think as far as sustainability first, I think some conferences do better than others. You know, you’re seeing a lot more, no plastic, you know, using water bottles to fill up water stations. I think one of my biggest initiatives that I wish people would pay more attention to, and I think this is up to state and local governments is food waste.

[00:06:22] I think some conferences do a pretty good job. Again, it’s all depending on the rules in that given city. But I would love to see more of that done because I think we all know as event professionals, there’s just so much waste that happens. And it’s one of my biggest pet peeves. And I just wish someone could crack the code on that one.

[00:06:40] I will speak a little bit later as far as how you could do that within your communities. The other side, as far as DE&I. I think for the most part of my experiences, conferences are doing a lot better and they’re doing a decent job, you know, you’ve got diversity and speaker lineups, you’ve got, you know, looking at lifestyle imagery, et cetera, making sure it’s representative of the audience from an accessibility standpoint, making sure that there’s captioning, you know, that there’s all of those go to rules that you should definitely have at the forefront of your planning, although I will say I was at a large conference recently, and while they had captioning from the back of the room, you could barely see the content on the slides, and you definitely could not see the captioning.

[00:07:29] So I think there’s a lot more room for growth than that. But I think just to summarize, I think everything I just talked about is baseline. 

[00:07:38] And of course, every organizer should be doing everything we just talked about.

[00:07:43] I want to see what is the next round of innovation. And I think we’ll talk about that a bit later, but I think it’s right now, the efforts are baseline at best. Of course, we should be doing all of these things. It’s not innovation. It’s requirement. 

[00:07:56] Rachel Moore: Yeah, I really appreciate that. You said we attendees can be holding the event organizers accountable. Does that come through surveys? Would you say?

[00:08:04] And just like, kind of post, like, how are people feeling about things afterward? 

[00:08:08] Emmanuel Gotsis: I think so. You know, those are some of the most qualitative or quantitative metrics we can derive. So a pre and post. I think you can engage with your audiences as you’re getting your registrations as you’re getting that audience engagement going pre event. Push those topics.

[00:08:27] And it’s not just box ticking, right? It’s not just saying here, you know, how cool are we were doing these initiatives. Engage with your audiences. I think especially as you get into other generations, they’ll hold you accountable whether you want it or not. So I think get in front of that. Overtly communicate with them before the event on how we’re doing.

[00:08:46] Where can we improve? Maybe even do focus groups on site during the event to make sure that the specific initiatives are being talked about, whether it’s a tech conference, health care, doesn’t matter. Do some specific outreach on that, you know. And I think you’ll get a lot of feedback, and then you could do a post event, obviously, to follow up.

[00:09:07] Rachel Moore: Yeah. Well, Kayla, I’m going to come over to you, because I know you’ve got a lot to share you know, about how you execute this. Could you share a bit about how you’re ensuring, say, gender balance in community events from your perspective and in your role at Apollo? 

[00:09:21] Kayla Drake: Oh, great question. And I’m happy that we’re even asking this and talking about it because for me, I’m very passionate about it.

[00:09:29] Creating diversity and inclusion is a part of our community’s entire mantra at Apollo. So, field marketing sits in our community and that’s something that we prioritize, meaning we’re mindful of the gender balance at our events because inclusion and representation is everything, and we can no longer as a industry afford to be tone deaf in my opinion. So something we’ll do, for example, at Apollo is we partner with these major incredible organizations like Women in Revenue, Women Sales Pros, Sistas in Sales so that we ensure that we have representation at our events.

[00:10:05] We in particular, we do provide a bit of gatekeeping for our hosted events so that when those who register, they’re automatically added into a wait list and we can ensure that we have, you know, a great balance in the room and we have, you know, women represented, women of color, men of color that are actually there present.

[00:10:26] And I personally will go and invite those to attend our event to make sure that they have a voice amongst their peers. That’s something that’s really important, especially when you are a sales technology in a very very male dominated industry. It’s very easy to overlook it and not pay attention to it.

[00:10:43] But by talking about it and normalizing diversity and inclusion, it becomes second nature. And it starts from the top. We just are making that shift as a society. And Apollo is pushing that forward from the forefront. 

[00:10:56] Rachel Moore: Nice. Well, and I think this carries over to my next question, too. In just the last month, the new magic Quadrant for Event Technology by Gartner revealed trends of how micro events are supporting more diversity and sustainability.

[00:11:09] As Gartner’s latest findings reveal that this is the trend audiences are responding to. We’d love to hear what’s your larger strategy for these smaller hosted events that you do for Apollo. 

[00:11:20] Kayla Drake: Yeah. Oh, man, the hosted events are a blast. They’re incredibly powerful because not only are they cost effective and as Emmanuel said, you can be more mindful of your spend, resource, local vendors, et cetera.

[00:11:33] What’s important is that at least for Apollo, the events that we’re hosting. We can be very calculated with who we have in the room. So for example, we will host an event that is part of our Cocktails and Community series that we host. We do it once a month all across North America, and we will curate an attendee list of the go to market leaders in that city.

[00:11:54] So they are senior managers levels and above. The reason we do that is for two reasons. One is you make sure that the people in the room are networking with their peers so they get something out of it. And secondly, my account managers are talking to their ideal ICP. And we also, you know, just prevents, you know, the wrong persona being there and not being able to add to the conversation.

[00:12:17] One thing that I’ve noticed coming out of the pandemic is that people are hungry for conversation. They want to network. They want to talk with one another. So it makes my job easy because all I have to do is find a really awesome location, provide some great drinks, some awesome apps, and I just let the organic conversation happen on its own.

[00:12:36] And what it ensures for us is that we get that face time, not only with our prospects, but also their customers. And it helps to grow the relationships, keep them happy, keep them top of mind. And there’s nothing that beats that, you know, face to face conversation. It just makes such a big difference. 

[00:12:54] And actually at Apollo, if you believe it or not, what I have found with our hosted events is our closed-won ratio to open pipeline is actually about half, about 40 to 50%.

[00:13:05] Meaning when we actually book a demo with a person we talked to in the room, we have a such higher likelihood of closing that deal of actually executing that conversation into real ROI that we would be going to, you know, a trade show where it’s a lot high volume of top of funnel leads. Now, of course, that’s different for every organization.

[00:13:25] That’s different for what your business model is and who your, you know, target audience is, of course, but at Apollo, it works really well for us and we’re going to keep it going. 

[00:13:34] And lastly, I will say on that note is take advantage of the events, meaning let that event, a hosted event, the micro event, be a vehicle for all your other marketing initiatives.

[00:13:46] We actually bring a videographer on site. We’ll film customer testimonials. We’re building out our Apollo sponsorship programs so that we can have our partners come in and co host with us by sponsoring. There’s so much you can get out of that hosted event. Or that micro event. 

[00:14:01] Rachel Moore: That’s amazing.

[00:14:01] You gave some great insights there. And you know, we’ve already alluded to it a bit throughout the answers you all have given to your questions. Emmanuel, I’m going to come back to you. When we discussed this topic during our December webinar, Greg DeShields emphasized that data can and should help drive the intent for event and planning teams to figure out how to prioritize DE&I, inclusivity and sustainability.

[00:14:23] Could you share with us your advice and approach for using data to ensure that conscious conferencing is prioritized? 

[00:14:29] Emmanuel Gotsis: Yeah, absolutely. And I had to read on that. I think it was great. I’m going to actually lean in on one of the closing topics that he discussed, but I think first and foremost, what we talked about as far as engaging with your attendees.

[00:14:44] Pre during post, just like you would using an event as an integrated campaign. You have that tentpole moment for those one day, three days on site at a given city where you’re doing your live experiences and all of that, while that’s well and good, you should be looking at your event strategy as a campaign.

[00:15:02] So you’ve got the two to three months before and the two to three months after. I think that’s where you can really get into some qualitative data points and elicit those questions and make them intentional about any topic that you’re trying to do, but especially around the areas we’re discussing today.

[00:15:19] I think that’s probably going to be one of your best bets to attempt to get that voice of the customer for your program. And I think, you know, we talked a little bit earlier about my feelings that most of what’s happening now is at a baseline. I think in conversations I’ve had and thoughts I’ve been having about the topic.

[00:15:37] I would love to see, we know that these events are in a city. They have impact on the local population as far as hotels and T&E and all of those things. They bring millions, sometimes tens of millions of dollars to each city. I think beyond the baseline that we discussed, I would love to see events, and this is the point that I was referencing on, engaging with your local communities.

[00:16:02] So New York, Vegas, Orlando, Amsterdam, doesn’t matter. There’s a whole vibrant ecosystem. There are folks that need to be lifted up. And what better opportunity to do that than with these industry conferences? And what I mean by that is, yes, have a diverse speaker lineup that, you know, basically represents the audience and the cultures that you’re speaking to, but also can we engage with the local community, maybe more underserved communities and bring them up to actually experience these events, you know, there’s events jobs, there’s marketing jobs, there’s tech, there’s thought leadership.

[00:16:39] I would love to see them engage more with those local organizations to help shed light on what’s happening in the event industry because I just think there would be unrealized opportunities to engage. And then in addition to that, how are we making the most impact for this event beyond the fiscal impact?

[00:16:58] But like I said, that big pet peeve of mine of food waste and all of those things. Again, I’d love to see organizers, brands work together on this because it is an institution. Events have been around forever. Can we build community around us? So it’s not this organizer’s doing this, this brand is doing this, but how can we work together to serve these purposes?

[00:17:21] I think it’s going to be the most profound, meaningful and measurable. If we all get together as an industry and do better. 

[00:17:29] Kayla Drake: I have to add on to that. Cause it takes those little moments that you pay attention to that matters. So for example, at our hosted events, we’ll pass out appetizers, right? I’m always conscientious of the waste.

[00:17:41] It actually really bothers me having been a server in my past life. 

[00:17:43] I always talk to the restaurants there and I tell them, whatever is leftover I want you to promise me either your staff is going to take the leftovers home or my staff will take it home or we donate it to the homeless. Do not throw any of this food away.

[00:17:58] And it’s those little things. And if you start to train your mindset to pay attention to that, it becomes second nature. And you kind of influence, you know, your industry, your company, and it starts with those little changes. 

[00:18:08] Rachel Moore: Really great points. I know we barely scratched the surface, but you gave us some great insights. Thank you for being on the event today.

[00:18:14] Emmanuel Gotsis: Thanks for having me. 

[00:18:18] Rachel Moore: All right. Our next trend to resurface from the past into the present is AI. Is anyone shocked? No. AI is on everyone’s mind and I do mean everyone.

[00:18:29] We’re seeing how AI influences major business decisions and has ripple effects through human resources, technology, and investments.

[00:18:37] We’re in the business of connecting humans with humans .And AI, while certainly useful and innovative, is not a human. Yet. I hope it never is. But we’re going to move on to, into this segment. It makes all the sense in the world that AI and events is our next trend to dissect, and even more sense to welcome a leading voice in event AI to tackle it with us.

[00:18:57] I’m thankful to welcome our next speaker, Tess Vismale. Tess is a tech whisperer and event planner with a hyper focus on event technology and production as the founder and CEO of iSocial Execution. She comes to the rescue of fellow event planners right when they need it most. 

[00:19:15] The event day shoes Tess turns to for jumping into action are KURUs and Skechers. I love Skechers. Tess welcome and thank you for joining us. 

[00:19:24] Tess Vismale: Thank you, Rachel. I need that from the marketing team. Can I, like, grab all of that and, like, use that on my profile? Of course. Of course. Because I don’t know who that was, but that sounded nice.

[00:19:35] Rachel Moore: I like to make our speakers sound good, because they are good, and y’all give me some great fodder for all that, but Tess. We’re going to talk about AI. Six months ago, we learned how AI can and must be incorporated into event planning. That can span how we analyze data, how we create event content, how we predict attendee behaviors.

[00:19:56] For instance, customer care, Bizzabo has developed an AI driven bot to assist with customer care, and we’re focused on getting the right answers at the right time to drive great organizer and attendee satisfaction. Carefully. Can you share with us how AI models are being used in different aspects of events like audience forecasting, or flow and sequence development of the show, or even customer support?

[00:20:23] Tess Vismale: Oh, gosh, that’s a mouthful, right? So I want to say thank you for having me. And I want to also say I’m really happy to see that Bizzabo has not just said, “I have AI,” but really looked at the components of where our challenges may be in the events world and kind of gone through to say, this is where the need is.

[00:20:44] So this is where I’m going to place the tool that can help the planners make their journey better. So that’s kind of a couple of areas that I really wanted to kind of talk about a little bit is ideation. So I kind of think about and, those of you who heard me before, I kind of probably get tired of me saying the same things, but I go back to practicality.

[00:21:06] Go back to basics. We can always have these pie in the sky terms that can confuse people or linguistically get people excited, but maybe not mean as much for you in your everyday way. So if I am kind of thinking about ideation, so that is a way in which we should be able to use the tool in a good way.

[00:21:28] As well as event design, we should be designing our events, regardless of whether it’s just a thought in our brain. This is an ‘aha’ moment or if I’m using the techniques from the event design programs that I have actually learned and gotten certified with. Right? So. What can that tool use and I call it a tool that I’m going to be using that term for a very long time because we are the wizards as a meeting and event planners, right?

[00:21:54] It’s still a part of the humanistic aspect of what we do, but can I use it in menu design planning? Should I use it around the logistics that I’m doing? You know, this was a tough way where my crowd needed to float from registration through to a lovely lounge experience,, given an opportunity for them to choose which direction they wanted to go in, then get to the show floor, if you will, and then experience the keynote speaker.

[00:22:24] Well, was the, those paths that I laid out in the path a good one? Did everyone enjoy it? Did the people who are utilizing wheelchairs, the people who have challenges around site? The people who are differently abled, were they able to go through? Am I consciously putting that a part of my design? Ask those questions.

[00:22:49] So that requires detailed prompts around what happened before, what the challenge was, what was the feedback around that? And how can I design it as well. 

[00:23:01] And when I go back to ideation too, Rachel, I want to kind of think about how am I using it in my team? Okay, because people are saying, okay, well, “let’s use AI, let’s use AI,” but am I bringing it up on a screen in a conference room or some of us joining in remotely into a meeting and bringing it up and saying, let’s start talking about how we want to do this differently than before. Let’s make the rubber meet the road and see how this is going. How have I scheduled? What are my session descriptions? Yes, as speakers, you all are constantly asking us for session descriptions, right?

[00:23:38] Well, what about you coming to me with a menu of session descriptions? And I tweak it on my own based on, you know, being an SME in a certain particular area. Why do I have to always come to you around that? Right? And how does that session description fit to the overall? I might miss your point, your goals and objectives, because I’m just sending you what 

[00:23:56] I think you want, but let’s make that a team approach and a marriage as well to design it as well. And then landing pages. When I was at Event Tech Lab, Rachel, and I saw you, there’s why do you remember HiveGPT? I loved how they actually are pushing the envelope around it because you’re putting prompts into that particular system and it’s building out a landing page where you’re making it really simple and easy.

[00:24:24] Suggested stock photography on speaker pictures. So they’re placeholders. Again, it’s the mindset of getting the thoughts out to create. Then you go back as a human and create and design the way that you want to, but it’s getting it out and actually letting you iterate much faster. And I know we’ve talked about marketing before, so I know that’s a mouthful, but those are the kinds of things I kind of think about.

[00:25:22] It really becomes a dialogue between you and the AI where I’m going to give you some information, let me provide you a little context.

[00:25:31] And then tell me how, you know, make some suggestions for going forward. So I think that’s super interesting. And like you said, it can get into those prompts. I have a feeling people will be asking you about those prompts a bit too. 

[00:25:41] Tess Vismale: Oh yeah, probably so. And you know, seating arrangements, right?

[00:25:45] Networking, all the things that, the buzzwords, but I just don’t want this group to think I need to be working with a whole lot of jargon, right? How can that tool assist me to do what I do best?

[00:25:54] Rachel Moore: Exactly. Well, let’s take to the next question. Then it’s safe to say that as an industry that is focused on the humanity of connection. Our relationship with AI should probably be a careful one. I thought of Goldilocks and the three bears a little bit where it’s like, we don’t want to do too much.

[00:26:11] We don’t want to do too little. We want to do just the right amount of AI. But meanwhile, like we got other brands out there in tech that are betting it all on AI. How do you predict that event planners, that we’re going to strike the right balance in our use of AI? Not do too much, not do too little. 

[00:26:29] Tess Vismale: You know, I thought about it in various different ways, right? I kind of thought about the point of view of planning, the point of view of the actual attendee, the person that we’re doing all of this for. All of the stakeholders that are at the place. And I kind of go back to an old adage of where the way I wish tech was, which was personal, which is I know exactly who I am and what I’d like to get out of it.

[00:26:53] And it gives me what I want. 

[00:26:55] Rachel Moore: Yeah, 

[00:26:56] Tess Vismale: That’s the only balance that it’s going to be is the listening around it. Let me put it in these terms. So Ma’at is an Egyptian deity, right? So she focuses on balancing, and it’s a feather of the weighing of the heart.

[00:27:11] And that heart is because of the pulsations that are going there. So whose heartbeat is beating faster than that feather that’s light should balance it for you. So if we’re talking about balancing, I have to come with a form of that includes all. Right. And you all talked about DE&I earlier and I call it DEI&J but it’s about what is best for that whole, and that is really truly what’s going to balance it out. 

[00:27:39] Rachel Moore: I love that analogy too, because you just drove to the heart of the issue, right? Where you’re like, if you are looking at it that way, like I’m trying to literally balance it if we’re making AI the feather, but you know, the heart of our attendees on the other side, that’s what we have to be thinking about and making sure we’re not just like, yes, let’s let this machine just do all my work for me, not have enough input into it, but really love that. Love that visual. And Miss Tech Guru here.

[00:28:03] Are there any specific, yo, yeah, here we go. Are there any specific AI platforms, tools or features that you think will achieve the glory that ChatGPT attained in just a matter of months. And if you have any of those on your radar, which ones are they? 

[00:28:19] Tess Vismale: Oh gosh, I hate those questions. Do you know why I hate those questions?

[00:28:24] Because tech moves. It’s a moving target, right? It’s constantly a moving target. I say one thing, you’re going to go after that and you’re going to say, Oh, it didn’t work for me. Oh, she was wrong. Or if you say the next one, and then the same thing, it just keeps getting over and over. One thing that I think people should be thinking about. It’s the bread and butter of that particular company’s chat bots have been around for a long time. So if that company has created the chat bots well, I like HiveGPT because I like how it has pushed the envelope of us thinking about what can happen within our world differently.

[00:29:01] So it’s kind of like on steroids in a sense. I don’t ever look for an all in one because an all in one doesn’t exist. Again, it’s going back to the tool about what can I pull out and what can help me design. AI driven with personalization. We’ve talked about that, but that really, truly is kind of depending on what you need.

[00:29:21] And how you need to be able to do that. And then, oh, gosh, real time translations, which I think is very key. Yeah. Wordly’s been doing a great job with that. There are a couple on the horizons that I saw at Event Tech Live that I think you all should check out. I think it’s really revolutionary around looking at not only transcripts from your sessions, but being able to in real time, get feedback, then put out what that attendee wants.

[00:29:52] Around those video translations and accessibility features as well. So I gear towards features versus saying that this particular tech is end all be all. And then, you know, with PCMA partnering with Sparkit, I think that is wonderful. Keith and I, my podcast show host, we’re going to do a workshop kind of talking about that and looking at the event journey and what that’s like. So kind of think about what things you need and not so much that I need to sell that vendor. Right? Exactly. You don’t need to be selling anything. 

[00:30:28] So let me just talk to you about the, what I think the future of our events industry, well, tech in general, but definitely the events industry is focused on voice. Voice has always been, we’ve always talked about how voice is where it is. People are slow to innovate around voice. Audio has to be in the forefront of what we’re doing. I need to tell you what I need to get out. I don’t need to type to you what I need. Hopefully one day we’re gonna quickly get to mind so you can see and you can know what I want. But voice is going to be where it is. So all or be able to create around that. And I should be able to avoid bias in that. Voice algorithms around what the need is and listening to that.

[00:31:09] And there are a lot of tools around doing that. So human centered AI to me is where the future is going to be around our time. 

[00:31:16] Rachel Moore: Love it. Well, I think we can end on the human centered AI needs to be where it’s at. Tess, thank you so much. This has been so great to have you on. Really appreciate you joining us to tell us where we’re going to wind up with AI in the future. Thank you. 

[00:31:31] All right. We’re going to head into our final trend to resurface from the past into the present, which is event data, tech consolidation and the changing event technology landscape. It is changing all the time. I think we can all agree the data is there -so much data -over 150 data points about our attendees while they’re at our events is out there for the taking.

[00:31:57] And also today wearables are a thing. As Nicola Kastner declared on our December webinar, wearables are a game changer. And Bizzabo, as we know, puts this into practice with Klik wearable badges. I even had one at ETL. It was pretty cool. So why is so much data being gathered yet unanalyzed and underutilized?

[00:32:18] Could it be because event tech stacks still lack consolidation? That’s the question we’re about to tackle. Joining us for this final trend segment is Matthias Gutzmann. Matthias believes in the power of tech to transform business and society. As the founder of DPW, his vision connects leaders in procurement and supply chain and led to, and I’m quoting here, “the best new procurement event in years” when he launched DPW Summit. Matthias favorite go to event day shoes are sneakers, and I think we can all appreciate that. Matthias, we’re so happy to have you here in the event. Thank you. 

[00:32:54] Matthias Gutzmann: Thanks for having me and I’m flattered to be among those event luminaries here. 

[00:33:00] I agree. There’s a lot of data out there, right? And you know, they said in the past, data is the new oil. Not really anymore, in my opinion, because we have so much of it. It’s not an asset anymore, right? So it’s not about the data, in my opinion. It’s really about the kind of insights you get out of the data and how you use that insights to inform the next event to improve your event experience.

[00:33:23] So that is key. And I said to set out when I launched DPW 2019. As a conference initially to become the most data driven event in procurement and supply chain. And yeah, you might be shocked. Also going back to the baseline one of our previous speakers said, yeah, a lot of basics, not out there and a lot of events.

[00:33:47] So I thought, okay, it will probably be easy to double check them as well, but becoming more data driven. So, yeah. 

[00:33:54] Rachel Moore: And that’s what we’re excited to talk about too. And, you know, talking about the data and the tech my first question for you. We talked and referred to quite a bit today, Gartner’s new Magic Quadrant for Event Technology Platforms and the findings from that referred to a shift toward event tech consolidation.

[00:34:11] We’re all imagining an ecosystem where data from new tech like wearables is flowing seamlessly between our event tech stacks. That looks great on paper. It sounds fabulous. But what’s the reality? Is the data, is everything flowing seamlessly through event tech stacks from your perspective? 

[00:34:30] Matthias Gutzmann: No, it’s not, but I guess you know, when I said, when I launched DPW as a conference, you know, I said to my team, okay, so let’s make tech the key, the core part of the event as well.

[00:34:42] Right? So to enable experience and initially I said, let’s get the best networking app. Let’s get the best app for the onsite check, check in process. Let’s get the best app For, you know, for the actual event app. So, you know, I was actually initially taking a best of breed approach, right?

[00:34:57] So looking for the best point solutions, I quickly realized that’s not really possible. I mean, it is possible, but for the attendee point of view, really want to have a unified experience, especially if you have multiple events per year, you want to have unified experience also from the back end to get all data.

[00:35:15] Quickly realized so you need an all in one solution. I quickly realized that this is the way to go for, but even on those all in one solutions, you’d sometimes bring in you know, point solutions on top of it. And sometimes they are the flow between those solutions you know, if data is not really working.

[00:35:31] Bizzabo, I must say, because you’re in all in one suite and you’re covering the end to end kind of value chain of the event experience. And that was really good. And you know, the data flew, of course, we are connecting also, you know, Bizzabo with HubSpot. We are still using HubSpot to do the marketing outreach, for example. I know this can be done in Bizzabo as well, and we’re moving into this as more and also then connecting HubSpot with our accounting system. And also with the badges that we brought in from Klik I must say that was actually a nice experience for the attendees.

[00:36:02] Bring this wearable technology in. We also brought in the touch points from Bizzabo, which are amazing. I don’t know if anyone has used them so far. These are actually basically little devices that you can put on your on, on booth, expo booth. And so instead of the sponsors now having to print out collateral and shipping it over to the venue, people just go with their Klik badge and click on the touch point.

[00:36:25] And then they get the collateral, the digital brochures actually delivered into the inbox, which is obviously a great attendee experience. Then it’s great for lead generation for the sponsors. In fact, they get leads from that, which they wouldn’t get if they hand out a collateral on site and it really makes the event more sustainable and forward thinking.

[00:36:43] But yeah, data, I mean, data is key. That is an issue. It’s not really working quite perfectly. But I think in the future, we’ll get there. 

[00:36:51] Rachel Moore: Well, let me ask you, I want to dig into the wearables thing. As you just referred to, they’re among our events yeah, thank you for bringing up the Klik badges. That’s just one of those examples. So today, we’re using badges. What do you think might be the future frontier for wearables that track data at events? Are we going to go beyond the badge and do other things that people wear and use them to track?

[00:37:12] Matthias Gutzmann: Yeah, I think anything that’s trackable and measurable, you want to kind of measure, right? In a way. The badges. Yeah. It’s first time that we brought them in. The touch points is something, you know, obviously we didn’t, we done last year.

[00:37:27] We tested them out as well. This year we make them mandatory, by the way, default on each booth. What we want to also measure more in the future is how people walk across the venue. So really, there’s this seat mapping of movements that, you know, of attendees.

[00:37:43] Yeah, any type of behavior you want to type of measure. I don’t know where the future will go. Maybe we’ll have no badges in the future. I think the badges it’s still probably something a bit old school, right? To have printouts. Now, the good thing with your badges, the Klik badges, actually, you don’t have to throw them away.

[00:37:58] You have to actually recycle them and which is great. So you can reuse them again. We are going to measure this year also the pulse rate of speakers. So we want to see how speakers perform, how we can improve the speaker performance.

[00:38:13] So we have, we mic them up or we put measurements around them when they’re on stage. We can see, you know, you know, the data coming through. Yeah, I mean, there’s so much potential, basically, right, to measure that. 

[00:38:28] Rachel Moore: Well, and we obviously can’t see what’s going to happen in the future.

[00:38:31] And, you know, we’ve got people putting chips in their heads and things like that. I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but certainly something else that stays with the attendees. They go through the badge, obviously is a very logical choice right now.

[00:38:43] Matthias Gutzmann: Also the check in process on site check in, right? I know what’s going out of what’s out there already, but yeah, I guess, you know, getting rid of the onsite check in process.

[00:38:51] Right. So last year at DPW Amsterdam for the breakout sessions, we typically have people standing and scanning badges. So we know who comes in and out. So now with you guys we put these devices into the room.

[00:39:03] So once a person is, I think for a couple of seconds in the room, the device actually recognizes that, and then recognizes that as in the person who attended the session, so we are getting rid of people as well in that sense. Right. And replacing them for technology. And again, all of these things are amazing.

[00:39:19] I’m making us better and more forward thinking. Better experience for the event and more data, meaning more insights for everyone. Yeah, 

[00:39:28] Rachel Moore: You know, and I wanted to ask you one last question too. We talked about, okay, we’re obviously gathering this data. I love that you gave some examples of like your, even your own tech stack, like the things you have incorporated together and what they’re tied to.

[00:39:41] When they’re saying, okay, let me go tackle this and make sure I integrate all my tech.

[00:39:45] Rachel Moore: What would you say are your basic advice for that things to watch out for? 

[00:39:50] Matthias Gutzmann: Yeah, I mean, we said, okay, so what’s the best event solution out there in the first place, right? So it’s in the in terms of the core technology, right?

[00:39:58] So, you know, there was Bizzabo for us. So that was, you know, that was the first decision, but then we said, okay, and then we have HubSpot also as our core marketing solution. And so how do they work together with each other? And we know there was integration already between you and them as well.

[00:40:13] Then we bought another networking tool called Brain Date. And now there was another you know, integration partnership with Bizzabo. So I looked at those kind of potential partnerships that you also build with your ecosystem to bring other solutions in and how they work together.

[00:40:28] The other thing is really around your workflows, right? Internally, how do you work? I mean, how many touch points do you want to create? How long does it take from someone registering to that creating a closed deal-won HinSpot for them then to automatically send out the invoice.

[00:40:43] So it’s really around how can we maybe digitalize the analog world and, but not only digitalizing a shitty analog process because then it’s a shitty digital analog process. So how can we reinvent the processes end to end through technology? I think I was keeping the customer in mind and then reengineering back.

[00:41:06] I mean, that’s where we’re coming from. It’s also the feedback that we got from the attendees 2019 when I launched my first event. We didn’t use Bizzabo. We used another tool there and we had three different tools. What’s also really the attendees telling us, man, you can’t have, you know, make us a lock into three or four different solutions.

[00:41:23] It’s really listening to the customer and see, you know, how these touch points work basically. Right. And create value for them. 

[00:41:30] Rachel Moore: Absolutely. No, I thank you for all that guidance. This might be about kind of setting an expectation around when wearables are happening at an event.

[00:41:39] How do you get the attendee to buy in to wear the wearables? Any advice there for like, if they’re kind of hedging, like, I don’t want to, I don’t want you tracking me. 

[00:41:48] Matthias Gutzmann: We only have those I guess, wearables and the In the context of our event would be probably the Klik badges primarily, right?

[00:41:55] That you can wear. People don’t have a choice, right? They need a badge, I would say. But you know, what we’ve done is pre event, we bragged about it. And for me, it’s always bringing these wearable technologies in, but also they help me build my brand and make me look forward to things. So we did some pre event social media posts, and we bring these things in and that’s what they can do.

[00:42:17] And that’s how they improve their, your experience, right? And your outcomes. So I think it’s really talking about those features and benefits of the wearable technologies, how this increase attendee experience. And look, I mean, we are a tech event and you know, we bring more and more younger people in as well very diverse as well.

[00:42:35] And so. They like this, right? They like these new things coming through and play around with that in terms of these touch points for the booth. I mean, if I don’t know if you define this as a wearable technology, probably for the booth. Still people are old school, like to print out stuff and ship to conference.

[00:42:52] But the good thing is last year we did for the first time, then they saw it. First of all, you know, they saw there’s actually a benefit of being more data driven because it creates leads. So I think to tell them what it can make to the bottom line, they will buy into it. But also, we had a few who already used it and some of them didn’t, honestly.

[00:43:13] Doesn’t make them look good, right? Having collateral on site, shipping this you know, out and giving this out makes them old school, it makes them look less sustainable. So I think there’s a trend of, you know, moving towards this better new world.  

[00:43:27] Rachel Moore: Yeah, absolutely. It does take time, but I think you gave some great tips on how to incentivize it a bit.

[00:43:32] Matthias unbelievably our segment has reached its conclusion, but thank you so much. I appreciate you having you on.

[00:43:38] Matthias Gutzmann: Thanks. 

[00:43:40] Rachel Moore: Thank you. All right, everyone. This one now I’m going to ask everybody to, I know I’m going to ask everybody to be very succinct with your questions over their answers.

[00:43:48] So one word or one sentence answers. And I’m gonna I’ll call you out as we go around. But what is the one trend you’re keeping an eye on as we head into the second half of 2024, I’m going to go in order of how we did our segments today. Emmanuel, I’m going to have you go first. What’s the one trend.

[00:44:07] Emmanuel Gotsis: Engage more locally. 

[00:44:10] Rachel Moore: Okay, thank you. It’s an excellent one. 

[00:44:12] Emmanuel Gotsis: The one sentence which is really hard for me. 

[00:44:15] Rachel Moore: You did so good. Thank you. That’s really good. Kayla. How about you? 

[00:44:19] Kayla Drake: People are really in need of community. So meeting people like minded chance for them to network if you build it, they will network.

[00:44:29] So community is really important to make sure that’s included in your field marketing strategy. 

[00:44:34] Rachel Moore: All right. Excellent. Talking about engagement, talking about community. Tess, what is your answer? 

[00:44:39] Tess Vismale: I said it, it’s voice. You said keeping an eye on, I’ve had my eye on it for a long time. Voice is going to be continuously moving us forward and in everything that we do in every aspect of our lives.

[00:44:51] Rachel Moore: Absolutely. And then Matthias, I’m going to you next one trend you’re keeping an eye on. 

[00:44:56] Matthias Gutzmann: Matchmaking, networking and making this less of a serendipity on site, right? Becoming more scientific around matchmaking the right people. Make sure you meet, find the right people that you want to meet and that are relevant to you. 

[00:45:10] Rachel Moore: I’m catching a trend even amongst our answers. So this is really great. I am going to squeeze in one last one and I need to keep you all very short again. Once one word answers. What is one tool that you love that you think most people aren’t using?

[00:45:25] Emmanuel Gotsis: It just popped. Kind of to what Matthias was talking about. A lot of folks are using RFID. That’s not new. I’ve seen the use of cameras being used. Obviously, you have to tell people you’re doing it. But heat mapping, I think we had in virtual events, a lot of telemetry data to see where attendees were going.

[00:45:43] That’s wonderful. We’re losing that in live. I think the use of cameras and RFID and things like that will give more value to sponsors, more value to organizers for how they’re doing their experiential design. 

[00:45:56] Kayla Drake: As a professional in events, Get to know your like Looker, Tableau, those you know, reporting metrics because with field marketing data speaks for itself. You know, you have great pipeline from an event, invest in it more. If you don’t do it again. Just be real black and white with that.

[00:46:13] Tess Vismale: This might sound really corny and it’s not all high tech or anything like that, but my tried and true is Conferences I/O period. I’ve used it since the day they created it. It’s the best polling tool I’ve ever used. I can integrate it into my actual deck.

[00:46:28] I can create a poll in a matter of 3 minutes. Right before I’m going on stage, I get an idea. Boom, it’s done. And it’s displayed really easily. And all the other tools that claim they do it are not quite as nimble. So I’m going to go back to my old Conferences I/O. 

[00:46:45] Matthias Gutzmann: So, you know, I was just about to say Slido. Yeah. I don’t know if you know Slido. It’s a Q& A to refine this and incredibly intuitive. Yes, it’s again another way to digitalize the Q& A part.

[00:46:58] I mean, as opposed to walk around with handheld mics and still handing them out, it increases the quality of the questions because people can upvote. You know, I love Slido. So it’s probably a well known tool in the event space these days, but yeah, we love it. 

[00:47:14] Rachel Moore: Excellent. All right. I have so many thanks to pass around. I want to extend our heartfelt thanks to our speakers, Emmanuel, Kayla, Tess, and Matthias, we’re so grateful for your time and knowledge today. 

[00:47:26] Have a great day everyone. 

[00:47:28] Emmanuel Gotsis: Thank you. 

[00:47:29] Kayla Drake: Thank you. 

[00:47:30] Matthias Gutzmann: Thanks guys. Bye. 

[00:47:32] Tess Vismale: Thanks everyone.

[00:47:33] Thanks again to Emmanuel Gotsis, Kayla Drake, Tess Vismale and Matthias Gutzman for sharing their expertise with us. And thank you for listening. If you’re enjoying the show, we’d love to hear it. Connect with us on social and subscribe rate and review us wherever you’re listening. I also, don’t forget to share the show with your colleagues and friends. 

[00:47:53] You can find transcripts of each episode and key takeaways on Bizzabo.com/podcast. 

[00:48:00] You can also watch the webinar on demand and check our blog for 9 Event Technology Trends, Insights from a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader at bizzabo.com. On behalf of the team. Thank you. We’ll gather again soon for a new episode of Event Experience. 

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