Show of strength – perfect start for Event Tech Live 2021

Event Tech Live 2021 (ETL21) landed with a massive splash today.

The first of two fully virtual days, ahead of the in-person event on Wednesday 3 Thursday 4 November, saw 557 connections made, 740 meetings accepted and 3,274 messages exchanged.

Introducing the show, co-founder Adam Parry tipped his hat to the crucial role its partners, exhibitors, speakers and contributors played in delivering an event that continues to exceed every expectation despite the trials of the last 12 months and beyond.

Parry highlighted the power and reach of ETL21’s virtual arms, which bring another level at least to the speed networking and roundtables that punctuate the sessions with sustainable input from right across the world.

“While much of our team is on site at the Old Truman Brewery preparing for the in-person show, I’ve been working from my hotel room,” Parry said. “This is the world we’re living in now. Tech steps mean we can manage the digital element of a show like ETL remotely.

“There were eight sessions today – panel members from as far away as New Zealand. Attendance was great and so much interaction, everywhere, which is exactly what we want to see. “

With COP 26 starting in Glasgow, ‘Sustainability in the hybrid events era’ was among the must-see seminars at ETL21.

Marshalled by Linked Technologies’ co-founder Nick Paul, the panel featured Nick’s colleague Baia Dudziak, global strategy director, live and direct from Las Vegas, Ruby Sweeney from The Events Hub and Duncan Reid who left Clarion Events in October last year to found Reset Connect, a sustainability platform.

Live events have a big role to play in the world’s reach for net zero and the panel was united behind Reid’s three significant steps every business, every individual, can and should be taking. Now.

  1. Switch your energy source away from fossil fuel. As fast as you can. The options are there and they are no more expensive. See the price of gas for reference.
  2. Move your pension to a greener fund. There is £30TN invested, think of the difference that single step would make.
  3. Use – a new industry initiative to address climate change.

It was a truly gripping 40 minutes, something anyone who missed it should catch up on at the earliest opportunity.

Finishing off Day 1, ‘Self-service & subscription software’ – what works for events? was a more nuts and bolts subject with an equally illustrious panel: Abi Cannons, global innovation success manager at the re-branded RX (Reed Exhibitions), Nick Westerman, senior event manager for NHS Confederation and event marketing strategist Rachel Stephan from Snöball.  

This one was steered by Joe Atkinson who’s co-founder at ETL partner Lineup Ninja.   

A perfect mix between solutions and clients, the problems and solutions were easy to identify and the conversation, punctuated by pertinent questions, flowed quickly and pretty seamlessly.

In essence, don’t take on a platform, or any tech, without rolling support unless you have the capacity – be it people and/or time – to learn to drive it.

You need an ambassador who loves the product, who takes into account the event you’re running and builds a playbook, an internal knowledge-base, Abi Cannons said. The more complex it is, the more tricks you need and the more support you look for.

The flip of that, Nick stressed, was finding a provider prepared to get to know, to really understand, your event if you go the subscription route.

“It starts with the sales people. You want them to say ‘yes’ if it’s true, not simply because they want your money.”

There were six other significant sessions across the day, together with tech demos and all the networking Adam Parry alluded to.

Event Tech Live powered through Day 1 thanks to the organisers’ market vision, their partners and the expertise built up by the fully virtual 2020 event. It puts a real marker down for hybrid shows before people have even walked through the Old Truman Brewery doors.

Look out for an equally busy Day 2, which starts with Rae Malcham, who’s VP product strategy at BW Events Tech, talking ‘Podcast style sessions for the on-the-go attendee’ at 10am.

Elsewhere among the ‘must sees’:  ‘Keep on pivoting  – an essential guide to hosting your event online’ roundtable at 11am, followed soon after by James Morgan talking ‘Technology for behaviour change’.

In the afternoon, ‘How digital twins and the immersive experience of 3D gamer environment change the way we experience virtual events’ with Sabine Reise from Allseated; ‘The best event app features’ with Andrew Pearson and Lisa Vogel, and a whole lot more. Fabulous.

See what’s on: