After 48 hours in Vegas, it’s not easy to get up and at ’em for another full day of learning, networking and demos, but EventTech attendees are a hearty breed and took on the final day of the conference with gusto.
At 6:30, a second wake-up 5K gave attendees a chance to connect while they worked up a sweat across Sin City’s top run routes. At 8:00, it was time to fill up on bacon and eggs before heading out to another day jam-packed with breakout sessions and case studies. Among the offerings: Using blockchain to enhance events, digital ergonomics in experience design, next-gen photo moments and a viral architect’s guide to creating viral video.
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At noon, celebrations were in order as the winners of the 2018 Experience Design & Technology Awards were announced by EM’s own Jessica Heasley and Jeff Fortmann. Winners were recognized across 21 categories ranging from best stage experience to best combination of event technologies.
The conference wrapped at 4:00 with a fireside chat featuring Visa’s Jenny Stahl, senior director-global sponsorships event management. As attendees enjoyed snacks and cold beers, she discussed the rapidly evolving sports sponsorship landscape and technology’s role in that evolution. From the Olympics to the Super Bowl to the FIFA World Cup, Visa’s sponsorships have run the gamut, with tools like 3D avatar scanning and contactless payments helping to lead the way, says Stahl. Attendees walked away with a host of fresh tips on elevating their sponsorship activations, inspired by Visa’s leading-edge programs.
And just like that, chapter one of EventTech came to a close. The second chapter opens in May 2019, when the conference merges with the Experiential Marketing Summit, taking place at Caesars Palace (more Vegas, baby!). The industry’s new super show will feature dedicated EventTech sessions, an all-new EventTech Village and more than 80 EMS sessions.
We wrap our final recap with a selection of top tips, quotes and insights from the day’s sessions below. We want to thank everyone who came to the show for another successful year, and we look forward to seeing you in May.
“We get all of this development time, and thought and creativity and planning, and at the end of the day we need to figure out the best way for you to be successful at Dreamforce. That’s job number one. But job number two—we’re in the business of making money and we need to convert these attendees into dollars, so what we end up with this is this amazing data profile that gives us this granularity of all our attendee, but this is so detailed the you can go into every single person that’s gone through these journeys and see what they’ve completed and where they’ve gone.” —Scott Owens, senior director, events technology, Salesforce
“We’re all tempted to use as many brand elements that we can to promote within a video. But if you appeal to anybody with too much information, you’re going to end up with nobody. Pick one element. Busyness is not what we want.” —James Percelay, co-founder, Thinkmodo
“My question after every event was, what was the ROI? And as usual, all I got was ‘We got 800 leads.’ Have you tracked the last five years of events and how much of that came through the pipeline? Just gathering the leads of people walking by is not the best investment of our dollars at events… I’d rather have 100 good meetings than 800 good leads.” —Ravi Chalaka, ceo, Jifflenow
“If you’re a brand, focus on the experience. Don’t worry about the tech so much. The tech is just there to serve your message, to amplify, to express. It’s much more important what your message is.” For an agency, however, “Tech is table stakes. You have to know what the landscape is like to know what’s possible and what the best solution is.” —Steve Chen, creative director, Float Hybrid
“When it comes to event design, given that we are in technology and deal with a lot of complexities, our biggest challenge when we design SAPPHIRE NOW is how we make that complexity digestible for customers.” —Philip Smeed, creative director, SAPPHIRE NOW
Ergonomics is defined as the study of people’s efficiency in their environment. At events, “Good ergonomics weave digital right into the fabric… We’re all bringing our social media personas along with us. Tell people where to take that selfie. Make it easy for people.” Other tips include creating staging and lighting for that perfect “no filter” photo, having good wi-fi and ample charging stations, and creating digitally immersive spaces where attendees can interact with and directly affect experiences. —Jack Spilberg, managing director at The XD Agency
“You need to redefine what ROI means to you and your business. You also have to think of the investment of time, resources and your brand’s reputation… It doesn’t take just one touchpoint to drive action; it takes many because the advertising space is so crowded that it takes consumers time to connect with your brand.” —Becca Lyon, senior manager-marketing strategy, agencyEA
“VR is far from dead. It’s really a matter of what content you use, the purpose of your content, the message. And when people pull off the headset if they’re not smiling, you’re losing. We are supposed to be entertaining—and you can market and entertain.” —Bobby Ennis, partner and evp-digital experiences, Groove Jones
Takeaways from “Tactile Technology: Strategies for Multisensory Content”:
-Props keep people engaged
-Movement and gestures are addictive
-AR can bring people together, and get them up and moving
—Jeremy Patuto, ceo, Gramercy Tech
“At the end of the day we continue to innovate payments because we’re solving for consumer pain points. We’re actually taking a look at what they want and need.” —Jenny Stahl, director–global sponsorship event management, Visa