|This is a paradigm shift for the events industry, necessitated by the pandemic and facilitated by the emergence of new technology and truly creative imagination. To take full advantage of innovative technology platforms for engagement. To expand the event beyond in-person, to facilitate data-driven decision-making as standard and drill down on events’ effectiveness through smart integration across the cloud.|
I’m passionate about developing data-driven strategy centered in AI and Predictive Analytics that focuses on moving the needle for customers. For the majority of my 15-years in the events sector, delivering 250+ events I am most known for pushing innovation to upgrade the experience.
The next-era of digital events (virtual, live & hybrid seen as one category) has the potential to deliver transformation more powerfully than any other customer channel. For me, Hybrid not only means connecting virtual and In-person audiences but also measuring and enabling effectiveness, across the digital core. So that data-rich virtual engagement is matched & consistent in precision by digital-enabled physical.
- How long have you worked in the events industry and what keeps you interested in it?
I’ve worked in events for over 15 years now, ever since 2008 when digital marketing strategy began eating into event budgets I have always strived to quantitatively prove its value vs other channels. For a long time that’s proved difficult, but now, with a renewed focus on a new digital core, I believe digitally-enabled events are about to have their moment. Prove quantitatively that they are the most powerful channel to change the mindset of the customer. That’s very exciting.
- Best (and worst?) moments working in the events industry?
Worst is easy, March 2020, enough said. Best is harder but would probably either be delivering Google Next EMEA 2018, I have never seen a show build look so polished or maybe one of my moments on site at Glastonbury Festival. It truly is a magnificent event to be a part of.
- What was the last event on which you worked?
We have just delivered a series of global virtual events for Switzerland Tourism.
- From your experience, what’s the best way to utilise tech at an event?
The best way to utilise technology is to go all in. Let it become significant in its impact on the attendee experience. When Networking technology really works, for example, it creates relationships between individuals that wouldn’t have met. Lots of them! When you see that happen everywhere constantly at a live event it creates an electric atmosphere, especially once the evening entertainment begins. It’s really noticeable. It almost feels like everyone knows everyone, or at least opens everyone up way more to just say ‘hello’, that’s all human beings need. Its impactful for many reasons.
- We all learn from our mistakes! What was the biggest lesson you learned from a mistake since being in the industry?
The biggest lesson I ever learnt is to trust instinct and act early to find solutions quickly, never sit on a problem in the events industry. Things always move at a rapid pace.
- What are you most looking forward to at Event Tech Live?
This year Event Tech Live US. & Canada is running on the Grip platform. We have many new features and the ETL team are always fantastic at embracing them. I am looking forward to attendees getting increased value from this collaborative work we have all done to present them a world-leading virtual event experience.
- What do events, such as ETL, mean to you?
Events are curated experiences where I can have shared experiences with like-minded individuals, I enjoy them stimulating new professional relationships. There are so many interesting people out there to meet. I always enjoy any designed environment that helps me to meet them.
- What can our delegates expect to take away from your session at ETL?
We will be looking far into the distance allowing our imaginations the room to gaze into the future of the event industry and taking views on what it may look like in 2031. But we’ll also be qualifying those with practical examples of how it will evolve in the much nearer term that will help shape those visions. Critiquing whether what’s happened over the past 12 months fundamentally changes the shape of what events will be like in 2031.
- Which one piece of tech couldn’t you live without?
The Dark Sky Weather App on my mobile phone for clean energy trading & surfing purposes. Both pastimes.
- Most pointless tech you have purchased?
I bought a very nice camera and then still use my mobile phone to take photos.
Join Neil for his session: A Vision of Virtual Events in 2031
at ETL US & Canada on June 9th on the Main Stage – Book your ticket here