With a prodigious and unrivalled passion for technology and progression, John has spent the last four years improving the adoption of event technology for UBM’s EMEA Region, working on various events including CPhi Worldwide, IFSEC International, MedTec Europe and Decorex International before progressing on to managing the global adoption of Technology across the Informa Group, with a focus on improving the End User Experience.
With a 20 year background in and around technology, only rivalled by a 30-year-long passion for Formula One technology and the racing, of course, John considers himself as a strong ambassador for all things technology related.
What experience can you draw upon to successfully judge the ETAs?
Experience in business and event technology adoption, experience working in the event industry as well as working directly with companies to increase product development and improve overall end-user experience. As a qualified learning professional and quality assessor, with 19 years in the technology industry, I am both impartial and equipped to assess and make decisions by considering multiple or single factors.
How long have you worked in the events industry and what keeps you interested in it?
I have been working in the event industry for five years.
Events are dynamic, energising and creative and so are people, therefore, the technology also has to be. I adore engaging with people as equally as I love technology and improving how we adopt and utilise technology is one of my passions.
Best (and worst?) moments working in the events industry?
FI Europe 2015: The 13th November 2015 terrorist attacks in France had sent shockwaves across Europe, more so for those who had been working and was about to travel to Paris for an upcoming event. The decision to continue FI Europe in 2015, just three weeks after the attacks was a courageous one. The unity and un-wavered support from colleagues, exhibitors and visitors was special. Though the period was a shocking one, the event itself was a tremendous success for all involved.
Favourite piece of tech for work and personal life?
Mobile devices (a computer in the palm of your hand, that takes great photos) and has the added benefit of making calls.
What’s your go-to piece of tech when working on an event and why?
Visit by GES. As a product, it is constantly being developed to meet growing client requirements and demands. It provides an easy-to-use registration form building interface that is easily customisable and able to adopt third party scripts and immigrations with minimal effort. Reporting and visibility of show performance are clear to understand through their service centre database. I think the Visit Connect side of the business really helps in the delivery of customer ROI from both an exhibitor and visitor perspective using a variety of lead capture tools. Being a Saas solution, it puts more control with the organisers at a cost-effective rate rather than having a dependency on the supplier to produce events registration.
What was the last event on which you worked?
CPhi Worldwide 2018
From your experience, what’s the best way to utilise tech at an event?
- Keep it simple.
- Pilot the tech first and gain feedback.
- Always have support onsite for tech issues
(nothing worse than something going wrong and your left standing grasping at straws).
- And remember, tech should enhance the experience of an event for all end users (visitors, exhibitors and organisers), so get people using it and make it fun!
We all learn from our mistakes! What was the biggest lesson you learned from a mistake since being in the industry?
Technology is great, but like human beings, it can sometimes fail. Always prepare and have an alternative ready for if (or when) that happens.
What are you most looking forward to at the ETAs?
Networking with industry experts and like-minded individuals and paying dues to all the nominees and winners.
Why is it important to recognise the achievements of tech companies?
We are in the era of technology and, with so many companies and products emerging and delivering high quality tech, it is important to recognise and showcase their achievements and products. I feel it contributes to their growth and progression.
If you could only use one piece of tech when working on an event, what would that be?