Joining the judging panel for the Event Technology Awards 2018 is Charlotte Hammerbeck, Director, Meetings Technology for GSK
Full Name: Charlotte Hammerbeck
Job Title: Director, Meetings Technology
- How did your career lead you to your current job?
I started out in event staffing, which mainly involved spending rather a few too many weekends chasing up fellow students to find out why they weren’t on the coach outside Hammersmith Apollo to go to a huge event somewhere in the English countryside (answer: hungover/fourth leg broken that week). After overseeing hundreds of staff onsite at all types of festivals, conferences, private parties and product launches, I developed a great grounding in how events work at every level.
From there I moved into the management and design of events (private and corporate) at a small London agency and then into the world of corporate business, via Sodexo. After a couple years heading up national comms on Sodexo’s largest global account, and leading on some large technology rollouts, I moved across to GSK (the account I had been working with) and the rest, as they say, is history.
- What events have you been involved with recently and in what capacity?
We recently had a fairly large event to launch our new CEO, Emma Walmsley, to the senior management teams across the organisation. It took place in Boston and was a great success. My role is not operational in terms of events anymore, i.e., I am not onsite and don’t usually get involved in the planning detail so it’s more of an advisory element that I provide these days, which has a lot of plusses but equally I do sometimes miss the buzz of running them myself!
- What type of event technology would you like to see improved or developed and why?
I still haven’t seen a robust technology which allows the full tracking of ROI (Return On Investment) from an event. Whether it’s via an app, or in some other format, there’s definitely a gap in the market.
- Is there a particular piece of event technology that has impressed or inspired you?
I love polling apps at events; I know they aren’t necessarily ‘cutting edge’ anymore, but there’s nothing better to get a really quick pulse check on how the attendees are feeling (and energise them a little, particularly after lunch!) and whether the content and flow you’ve constructed are resonating in the way you want them to.
- What technology do you think is overhyped?
Anything which completely de-humanises the attendee interaction and negates the purpose of holding an event in the first place. The advances of tech which allow us as individuals and businesses to meet together without having to make a collective journey across countries or water is fantastic and has served us and our budgets very well. But we sometimes run the risk of relying too heavily on the technology and neglecting one of the very best outputs of any event: better human connections through meeting in person.
- What professional experiences can you draw on to judge the Event Technology Awards?
All of the events I have advised on, and all of the events I have been to. I think the best way to judge anything like this is simply to firmly put yourself in the mind of an attendee: what would they think, like or adopt?
- What are you most looking forward to as an Event Technology Awards judge?
It’s an honour to be involved in this process, and I can’t wait to see the amazing, innovative and intriguing ways in which people have created or developed technology.
- Name one app you cannot live without and why?
Wunderlist has been amazing for me. Until that came along, I used to remind myself to do/look up/buy things by Whatsapping my husband, leading him to rebrand himself as ‘The Human Notepad’.
The Event Technology Awards ceremony returns to Troxy on November 7, between the two days of Event Tech Live 2018.