By Dan Rose, Event Insurance Services
As an event organiser, you already know that you can’t stand still, with every year, your event needs to evolve to create fresh new experiences for those who attend. Whether this fresh outlook comes from an updated format or switching the mix and bringing in new exhibitors or performers, it’s that constant looking to the future that will keep your event on everyone’s calendars year after year.
The increasing integration of technology in all aspects of our daily lives is something that we can’t escape from. The involved of technology in our lives has gone beyond the obvious way of keeping us more connected, but it also impacts on our health, entertainment, lifestyle and education.
With the rapid development of technology, staying on top of new developments and emerging trends requires the active engagement on behalf of event organisers to master these new innovations and use them to communicate, engage and promote events in new and exciting ways.
How can technology impact on customer experience at events?
There is increasing evidence to prove that the positive experiences of event visitors can help drive the success of future events. “Customer experience” can sometimes be written off as a buzzword, but with the shift of focus moving away from the acts and products at events, the experiences, memories and feelings of customers are increasingly becoming a key factor to success.
Events that ignore positive customer experience will find it increasingly difficult to command a leading edge in a fast-moving competitive environment.
Customer experience refers to the perceptions, emotions and relationships they have developed with something. These experiences can affect behaviour, enhancing their overall rapport in either a positive or negative manner.
Customers are becoming more demanding, and with customer loyalty decreasing, and new events competing for the “customer wallet”, real-time customer reviews are becoming more and more an important measure of event success.
By creating a happier customer, it increases the likelihood of them becoming advocates for your event and potentially attracting new visitors, as well as returning themselves. Events that focus on creating strategies to provide a better customer experience are more likely to achieve better customer satisfaction rates.
With new technologies always emerging and the ever-increasing pressure on attracting and keeping customers, providing a great customer experience can be your most potent differentiator.
What is customer experience in relation to events?
Customer Experience is now a becoming a core strategic business focus, shifting away from the previous view of it just being a marketing tactic.
New technologies can be great tools that can develop customer experience when integrated into your event, but they aren’t helpful unless they are given a purpose.
One of the best ways is to put your clients first, by creating a simple and easy customer experience. For example, communications that are tailored to each individual customer can strengthen relationships with them by identifying their wants and needs and providing them information based on this through an app or chatbot.
The Connected Customers
Everyone is online nearly all the time. With the emergence of the era of the “connected customer”, this can be a major benefit as events will have the opportunity to gather as large amount of data and feedback provided by their customers.
Large volumes of detailed and up-to-date information about your customer’s preferences and behaviour can be readily available. This information provides the knowledge to empower, and make better decisions on how best to serve customers, to develop future events.
Event organisers need to be able to connect with their customers, providing the information they demand whilst satisfying their sophisticated needs. Additionally,
they need to build platforms where they are able to communicate with the consumer directly and provide the information that they are looking for.
Getting ahead of the trend
Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, big data, chatbots and cloud computing are some of the technologies beginning to take centre stage, opening up new opportunities to engage with customers. Events that are willing to embrace the creativity offered by technology will stand out from competitors and provide customers with a new and richer experience.
There is a lot of interest surrounding technology, with around 80% of businesses aware of its implications. However, only a small percentage of these have
incorporated it into their strategies – so incorporating technology could give that leading edge ahead of the competition and enhance the overall customer experience at events.
We’re all aware of the exciting potential presented by new technology but understanding exactly what can be done with it is sometimes less obvious.
There are no indications that this level of tech adoption is going to slow, and we can only predict that with the advancement in functionality of our mobile handsets, our engagement with tech at Events is only going to be more commonplace.
For Event Organisers, this can be a difficult concept to understand – but with an increasing amount of resource available, as well as a fantastic free-to-attend event in London called Event Tech Live, there are plenty of ways to keep you up to date with the new and exciting technologies that are emerging.
Dan Rose is a director of Event Insurance Services, which specialises in insuring events. His team provides itself on providing affordable, reliable insurance, tailored to fit the scale and size of any occasion- from conferences and weddings to high profile festivals and events.