Peter Deitz is a successful serial entrepreneur committed to creating enduring companies that have a deeply-rooted social and environmental purpose. Peter serves as a full-time co-founder of Unwrapit, a social purpose business that helps companies spark and maintain meaningful connections through a fun, innovative, and easy-to-use virtual gifting platform. z to Unwrapit, Peter co-founded Grantbook in 2012. He currently serves as Board Chair. Grantbook is a 25-person philanthropic advisory firm that helps foundations operationalize mission and vision by leveraging technology. Peter is based in Toronto, ON and is the proud father of two kids, two cats, and a cockapoo.
1. How long have you worked in the events industry and what keeps you interested in it?
I’m a newbie. I only started to get really involved in March 2020 – when the industry had already turned on its head. What I encountered was a community of professionals working their way through an unprecedented situation and showing tremendous solidarity with one another and willingness to innovate.
2. Best (and worst?) moments working in the events industry?
It’s been great so far. From listening to event industry podcasts in the shower to regularly showing up to #expochat each week, I’ve been inspired by pioneers & leaders in the field and have made many new connections who I am proud to now call friends. And that’s all happened virtually. I can’t wait to get out and meet more professionals in-person as soon as it’s safe to do so.
3. What was the last event on which you worked?
I helped run a gift campaign for a hosted event of a major customer experience (CX) software company. It was a pleasure to work on with their team.
4. From your experience, how has tech been best utilised at an event? / What’s the best way to utilise tech at an event?
In my opinion, tech is best first and foremost when it works! Works reliably. And works for everyone. Technology must always be in service to an event’s objectives. Organizers can run into trouble when they start deploying technology because they feel they have to or in place of doing the hard work of strategy formation and even harder work of strategy execution.
5. We all learn from our mistakes! What was the biggest lesson you learned from a mistake since being in the industry?
I’ve learned that the niche that Unwrapit works within, event gifting tech, is just a small part of a much bigger industry. And an industry that’s undergoing rapid and profound transformation. To gain credibility, understand the context, and build relationships, I need to engage in the conversations that people need and want to be having. The topic of innovations in event gifting sometimes comes up but doesn’t always. And that’s okay.
6. What are you most looking forward to at Event Tech Live?
I’m looking forward to meeting with and networking with my peers. I have always found that the intersection of tech and a particular topic (events, nonprofit, urbanism, sustainability) always attracts smart & interesting people. I look forward to meeting others who have been drawn to this intersection.
7. What do events, such as ETL, mean to you?
Events are always about the community they form. And the relationships they spark. ETL is building a community. And I look forward to being part of it.
8. What can our delegates expect to take away from your session at ETL?
See my response to the previous question. We’ll be talking all about the importance of community formation, before, during, and after an event. The communities that form from events are the gift that keeps on giving. These communities create belonging. And if people emerging from 2020 need anything right now… it’s belonging.
9. Which one piece of tech couldn’t you live without?
10. Most pointless tech you have purchased?
In 2013, I was first in line to buy the Leap Motion hand gesture based interface for my laptop. It was completely useless. My 8 month old understands and responds to hand gestures better than the Leap Motion device. Maybe it’s evolved since… at the time, it went from extremely hyped to sidelined in record time. Sadly.
Join Peter for his session: Your Event Community, the Gift that keeps on Giving
at ETL US & Canada on June 9th on the Main Stage – Book your ticket here