Virtual and hybrid event platforms, and the entire tech stack they support, continue to evolve at a rapid rate. However, a recent survey suggests that although event tech is advancing in its products, integrations, and innovations, the level of comfort event professionals feel around it is not. This pain point speaks to the need for enhanced, white-glove assistance services from event tech providers.
Essentially, if event tech is evolving, but the assistance given is not, professionals need solutions structured to bridge the gap between the two — before, during, and after an event. For example, AI chatbots are great and have their uses, but what about in emergencies when getting real-time guidance around the clock from qualified people is crucial? Or working with a virtual event platform partner that understands individual levels of tech-savviness and helps fill in the blanks? It’s one thing to have a client experience team that can troubleshoot tech issues, but it’s an entirely different story to have one that will help you with planning and execution of your event from beginning to end, as well as in the green room support on the day of your event. Will their team show you how to master event data interpretation?
By having access to the type of assistance range described above, professionals can ensure that their event frustrations are minimized, allowing them to focus on what is important — creating enhanced and intuitive event experiences.
In order to avoid some of the most common event tech pain points, it’s important to establish a client experience communication plan upfront, know what questions you should ask your event tech support team, and identify the types of services that will help you level up your own tech skills.
In today’s event landscape where your audience is scattered across the globe and attendees expect a seamless digital experience, there are four key types of assistance you should count on from your event technology partner.
Confidence-Building Dress Rehearsals
At the onset of the pandemic, inaugural digital events featured plenty of funny mishaps. All those Zoom windows felt new and strange, so who minded a dog interrupting a presentation or a speaker struggling to figure out how to unmute? Now, however, we have all experienced top-notch online meetings and conferences. We’re digitally impatient. We don’t have time for mediocre online events. We have higher expectations from anything that requires our attention. When your audience logs in, they’re anticipating pristine audio and video, multiple camera angles and award show-worthy production quality. If the event doesn’t deliver, those attendees are just one click away from finding something else.
With that in mind, it’s essential to have an event technology partner that becomes part of your pre-show team. Instead of simply walking you through a tutorial of the platform and letting you handle everything, work with a provider that puts in the early work with a full dress rehearsal of the program. Think of your digital event the same way you might think of a debut on Broadway: The curtains shouldn’t open until you’re sure that every piece of the production is in the right place, the actors know their lines and the understudies are prepared in case the unexpected occurs. Your event technology partner should be a co-director during those dress rehearsals to identify issues before they happen at the big show.
Are all the main speakers’ internet connections functioning well? How does the lighting look for your CEO’s big town hall address? Will it be clear to attendees what they need to do when the breakout sessions begin? Is the online exhibit hall easy to navigate? Will your sponsors be pleased with their branding? Does everyone on your event team understand how to join the platform? Hubilo’s customer support team, for example, is always part of a dry run of an event to help answer these questions and make any necessary adjustments. After all, a smooth dress rehearsal is part of the pathway to a standing ovation after the real event.
Support That Never Sleeps (And Speaks More Than One Language)
The digital event landscape delivers a huge opportunity for your organization to expand your reach and serve an audience around the world. While they might not all be able to travel thousands of miles for the next event, they can easily tune in from their mobile devices. However, seizing that opportunity to grow your numbers is only possible if you can respond to attendee questions and troubleshoot issues in real time. Imagine this scenario: You wake up at 3 a.m. to be part of the chat room during an opening general session in another time zone, but the platform isn’t working. What good does it do if someone from your tech support team finally responds to your inquiry at 9 a.m.?
Your tech partner will need to do more than be able to stay up around the clock, though. In an increasingly global event landscape, you need a tech partner with the multilingual infrastructure to accommodate requests in your audience’s native tongues. Hubilo offers assistance in 10 languages – plus a footprint of offices spread across Asia, North America, and Europe (and an event platform that allows attendees to set their language preferences).
As you look for a tech partner, have an idea of your strategy for international audience growth. Meet with your marketing team to get a sense of which countries are top priorities, and make sure that your tech partner will be able to offer assistance for their needs – without forcing them to speak a second language.
Teaching — Not Just Troubleshooting
You aren’t just looking for technology – after all, technology is around every corner an event professional can turn. You should be looking for a true partner that is invested in empowering your team with a deeper understanding of the ever-changing digital frontier. As you consider companies and review RFP responses, look for the option that can lend a hand with helping your team members fill their knowledge gaps. Wait, you might say, shouldn’t everyone in the industry be experts of event tech after two years of virtual everything? Not so. Remember that EventMB’s most recent State of the Event Industry report shows that event professionals are becoming less comfortable with technology. Once you fully understand the tools available, you’ll be better equipped to take full creative control over your event tech rather than simply following tried and tested paths.
It’s not just about offering help with technology, either. Comb through the company’s blog and browse their social media feeds to see what it can offer from a subject matter expertise perspective about the entire industry. Are there valuable lessons that you can pass along to your sponsorship team? What about insights that will extend beyond the here-and-now to help with your organization’s next generation of attendees? If an event tech company shares public resources to help all event professionals, it’s safe to say it will go the extra mile to deliver additional white-glove assistance once a client signs on the dotted line.
Post-Event Data Empowerment
For attendees, the most important moments of your event will come while the action is happening – meeting a new contact, being inspired by a session, or discovering a new product, for example. For your event team, though, the most important moment of your event may actually come after it’s over. That’s when you can review insights from all those attendee interactions to get a sense of what worked, what didn’t, and what you can do to make next year’s edition even better.
However, your post-event data analysis is only as powerful as the reporting and analytics tools your event tech partner offers. Data is the new currency of success in the event industry, so your event tech partner should help you know how to tap into its value. Take a full test drive of a company’s reporting dashboard to see what metrics you’ll be able to gauge. It’s not about seeing how many people registered and logged in, either. You’ll want to know how many were active, when they were most engaged, what moments caused them to tune out, and more. All this data plays an essential role in designing your next event for attendees, and it plays an equally important role in crafting a compelling narrative to help sponsors understand why they should invest, too.
Your event tech partner’s support shouldn’t be over when the event ends. Find a platform with a support team that will continue to offer assistance after the lights turn off and everyone has logged out.