Returning as a judge for the 2018 Event Technology Awards is Alison Church, Marketing Director at Easyfairs.
Alison is an experienced exhibition and conference marketing professional with 17 years’ experience encompassing conferences, exhibitions, marketing and PR. She is as passionate about delivering exceptional events to both exhibitors and visitors as she is about travelling the world in her spare time.
As Marketing Director at Easyfairs UK & Global, she ensures best practice and effective marketing strategies across its event portfolio, including shows run in the UK, France, Algeria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Singapore, China, the UAE, and the US.
Before joining Easyfairs, Alison spent nine years at Venture Marketing Group working on its exhibitions, conferences, awards and publications, with a particular emphasis on building high level and valuable content across all products.
- How did your career lead you to your current job?
After a brief stint in the wine industry, I got into events as a conference producer originally. Ultimately conference production is about audience acquisition, which is what got me into marketing in exhibitions. I love the buzz of live events, and that it’s really about bringing people together to do business – so I’ve spent pretty much all my career in exhibitions and conferences.
- What events have been your favourites to work on and why?
I’m lucky enough to work on a lot of really incredible events that add value to the communities they serve, from manufacturing, engineering and packaging, to energy and oil & gas… Even if I had one favourite, I couldn’t possibly say!
- What type of event technology would you like to see improved or developed and why?
I really like all the developing influencer engagement tools and also some of the really smart matchmaking tech. There’s a lot of tech that’s can be interesting to a marketing geek, with some interesting analytics, but I really like to see things that add real value to the visitor and/or exhibitor, and also that can really increase our reach. The challenge to make these really powerful for organisers is seamless integration with our existing systems and platforms; otherwise it can be confusing or too hard from a USX perspective.
- Is there a particular piece of event technology that has impressed or inspired you?
I’m a huge fan of Gleanin (social registration tool), which is working really well on our shows. The team there is really responsive and adaptable, and I’m always really excited to see what they’re going to develop next. It’s incredibly effective, increases our marketing reach, and drives advocates – which is really valuable for me as a marketer!
- What technology do you think is overhyped?
I think I answered the same last year – but event apps. I think they could add value if they had a really powerful benefit to visitors in a long term way, but I don’t think in general they do. There’s always the odd exceptional example I hear about, but I’m still to see something that really adds value to our events. I don’t believe apps for short term needs will have a future as really good mobile websites develop; why not just invest in a great mobile platform that does everything an app can do?
- What professional experiences can you draw on to judge the Event Technology Awards?
One of our internal missions at Easyfairs is to adopt the latest ‘visit the future’ marketing tech and event tech to really lead the way in events; but I’m also not a believer in tech just for the sake of it, it’s got to be used as an enabler for a real business need. So as a keen buyer of many event technologies, I always look to see what can add true value to a visitor or exhibitor – and if something does, it will add value to an organiser and therefore will be worth investing in. I’m also really proud to be a mentor of the Event Tech Start Up Clinic, which is giving me exposure to some really interesting start up tech businesses and products.
- What are you most looking forward to as an Event Technology Awards judge?
Seeing some of the latest tech that I’ve not yet come across, and hopefully things that challenge the current solutions we’re using.
- Name one app you cannot live without and why?
Whatsapp – that has ongoing value to me on a daily basis, so it’s an app worth installing 😊
The Event Technology Awards ceremony returns to Troxy on November 7, between the two days of Event Tech Live 2018.