Event Tech Live US & Canada wraps day one

Questions and feedback flooded in as Event Tech Live US & Canada launched today, Baptiste Boulard, CEO at Swapcard, hosting the first session. 

And the appetite for more, tomorrow, is palpable – registration numbers running about as fast as Trayvon Bromell.

Working on a super secure platform, ETL US & Canada content is equally strong and seamless, wherever you are watching it apparently – certainly according to the ‘Quebec tuning in’, ‘NYC here’, ‘Hello from Austin!’ ’Hello from Brazil’ ‘Bologna here’ ‘Seattle calling’ messages popping up in the chat and the comments about the speaker’s pedigree, delivery, and quality. 

By way of snapshot examples, Boulard’s ‘What’s Next and Why Everyone’s Focused on Building Community’ looked at lessons learned over the last 15 months and the stats are astonishing. Eighty per cent of event organisers are planning hybrid events while just five per cent want to go back to exclusively face to face. 

“Become the voice of your industry,” Baptiste said. “Think like the media and foster a real community, 356 days of the year.  Acquisition without retention is a waste of money.”

A very enthusiastic Will Curran, founder of Endless Events, put questions to former South By Southwest CIO Scott Wilcox in ‘A Journey Through the Years at SXSW’ looked at the leaps in tech Wilcox oversaw in a 21 years plus journey that took him from opening mail and inputting data to shaping the first fully virtual SXSW in March this year. 

“If you don’t have the environment for your audience, and the technology, you’re not going to succeed,” Wilcox said, highlighting how, as the festival found its tech feet – very quickly pivoting to audio and video and putting it out for free on top of the event – the more tickets it sold. 

“We were early adopters of social media and it took off. There was no good wireless around so we found experts in that area and we brought it in. Introducing RFID in 2004 was up there with the big risks we took but we saw the reward immediately and I would encourage people to take those risks.” 

I can’t finish without mentioning ‘Why We Need Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Events and the Role of Technology. 

A four-strong ILEA panel, moderated by founder/creative director at Be Events, Ryan Hanson, the session featured Anh Nguyen, head of community engagement at Twine, Anthony Vade, director North America at the Event Design Collective, and Megan Strahle from the University of Essex.   

At the top of a thorough, enlightening introduction, Hanson stressed they were about ‘wrestling with good questions rather than providing a suite of answers’ but those 45 minutes were thick with both in fact as the panel and their international audience discussed the three values and how providing for them is everyone on the non-marginalised side of the equation’s responsibility. 

Crucially, change will happen when the accessibility conversation comes at the front of event logistics and not at the back. Ask your attendees ‘Do you need accessibility?’ don’t wait to be asked. 

If you didn’t make it to Event Tech Live US & Canada yesterday, make sure you sign up for Day Two, which features among another weight of phenomenal content: Your Event Community, the Gift that keeps on Giving, Hybrid Event Essentials, Hot Takes & Hot Potatoes on Pandemic Innovation

Find the full agenda and latest news at: https://eventtechlive.com