Walking out of Custom House station for Event Tech Live’s 10th anniversary show at ExCel, thinking, ‘Can it really be 12 months since last time’?
There’s the familiar eager queue outside the check-in just gone 9:30am, everyone interested in the content, content, content and the people presenting it – on stage or among the exhibition stands.
Co-located with Event Sustainability Live, ETL is one BIG show. There’s sure to be a square foot stat out there, but Apple watch move rings will snap shut much faster this year.
‘Using event technology to enhance the customer journey’, a 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 wanna hear you scream for this amazing panel,” Curran shouts at the mic afterwards. And we do.
Across at the InEvent Theatre, ‘The Metaverse – think you know everything?’ was a question asked, and thankfully answered, by Kerstin Twachtmann, senior director, digital strategy, at George P. Johnson and Sam Wray, creative technology director for the same company.
The billions of dollars Mark Zuckerberg has poured into Metaverse, and what’s understood about it as a result, were discussed before we got into the allure of the subject now, notably the Meta Quest 3 headset and Apple Vision Pro, which is due to launch early next year. A key point to the marketing behind both is the fact that users don’t/won’t feel isolated wearing VR headsets anymore, which offers a much greater potential to event organisers.
“Branded experiences are going to start incorporating metaverse experiences,” Kerstin Twachtmann said. And with the metaverse still operating without parameters, that’s a sure thing.
Back in the InEvent Theatre, ‘Sustainable meeting management: How digital platforms transform a strategic event year’ could have fitted in Event Tech Live or Event Sustainability Live.
Presented by Lisbeth Hanses, director of digital solutions at Magnid, and Lennart Bendix, senior digital solution manager at Proske, both based in Munich, poured information out, quickfire commentary supported by a series of slides.
Fittingly, there’s more than ever between ETL’s partition walls 10 years on, but the drivers – in terms of camaraderie and the unmitigated want for what’s next in event tech – are set in the same fertile ground as ever they were.
The show goes on tomorrow, Thursday 16th November. Look out for the likes of ‘Digital Detox: The critical role of events in building real-world relationships’, ‘Unleashing data’s potential: How tech empowers data-driven decision making’, and ‘ETL Launchpad: The Startup Competition Grand Final’.