Such is the flow of novel content and information – across three stages – there were plenty of faces new and old at Event Tech Live’s 10th Anniversary edition last week.
Co-located with Event Sustainability Live, ETL is one BIG show. With innovation and excitement around every corner.
‘Using event technology to enhance the customer journey’, a day 1 morning session on the Main Stage, is a stellar three-strong panel – think Bloomberg, Meta, Google – chaired by Will Curran from Bizzabo who is so riddled with enthusiasm and engagement it’s like listening to a rodeo announcer. A full house, nobody wants to miss a word.
Dana Walcott, program manager for global event technology at Bloomberg, Ewelina Dunkley, who’s events lead at Meta, and Google’s event technology program manager, Lee Stimmel, carry the big, impactful presence of the brands they represent.
Curran includes questions from the floor early on, so the subjects jump about, ‘invisible tech that makes the audience journey better’, ‘where is virtual’s place in the 2023 event stack?’ ‘Best ways to network online’, ‘how do we make our events more accessible and not over-engineered?’ A few examples.
I don’t know if technology people are more energetic than other trade show-goers but there was no trace of burnout among the ETL attendees, despite day 2 being the morning after the Event Technology Awards. Stands were busy with people putting new systems to the test, and there was constant movement between the content streams.
From Michael Barnett, CEO at InGo, chairing a four-strong panel looking at ‘Digital Detox: The critical role of events in building real-world relationships’ to the Launchpad Competition final, information is everywhere – an engaging mix of practice and theory.
Adam Parry chaired, discussing ‘Digital evolution’ with a panel consisting of Alison Church, CMO for EasyFairs, Duncan MacOwan, head of marketing and events at FESPA, and Raccoon Media Group’s COO, Jo Tyler. Aimed at show organisers or those involved in that process.
A product of increasingly bruising headlines, artificial intelligence, in some shape or form, was a key element right across the ETL 2023 schedule. And Nick Borelli from Zenus teaming up with Nick Fagan, creative technologist at DRPG, to talk ‘Navigating the risks of AI: from robots to face recognition’, at the INGO Theatre, was too intriguing to miss. There’s no tabloid-style shock and awe from the platform, instead a focused, qualified look at systems and responsible, containable use. Benefitting the events model rather than running away with it.
The Launchpad final was beaten by the clock this year. Each of the three pitches went to the wire, judges’ questions were answered more fully than anticipated and you can’t hurry the ensuing cogitation which ranked the winners Gold, Silver and Bronze. That’s Let’s Calendar, Run Events, and Vosmos respectively, each receiving a deserved ‘cheque’ in the shape of an Event Industry News advertising campaign.
Adam Parry, who introduced the pitches and presented the prizes, said: “Big congratulations to the winners, you impressed, and thanks to the judges who had a real job on their hands to rank the companies. Once again, this competition really delivered.”
Ten years in, Event Tech Live’s methodology works perfectly, the proliferation of new components in every layer of its makeup keeping organisers, sponsors, suppliers and visitors busy at every step of their journey. Next years iteration taking place on the slightly later dates of the 20th & 21st of November 2024 should be no different.