New technology: QEII Centre asks ‘who is leading innovation?’

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At a recent roundtable discussion held by the QEII Centre, a conference, events and exhibitions space in Central London, select panellists were invited to discuss issues facing the events industry. From emerging technology, to CSR and sustainability, industry experts examined various issues and deliberated the best ways of driving the industry forward.

Chaired by our very own Adam Parry, the panellists included Jordan Griggs, (pictured bottom left,) business development director at Glisser, Alan Newton, (top left,) COO at Eventopedia, Jo Shore, (top right) senior AV project manager at QEII Live, Robin Purslow, (bottom centre,)managing director at Eclipse Global, and Johnny D Martinez, (bottom right,) head of marketing and business development at Shocklogic.

Using their own knowledge and industry experience, the panellists discussed topics such as introducing new technologies to events, the lifespan of these technologies, leading innovation and how technology changes the face of events.

New technology is often produced due to organisers’ requirements. Mr Martinez used automated registration as an example of this: 15 years ago, this technology was still new, and it was created because organisers needed to utilise their time more efficiently. In this case, the need for the technology came first, the technology came second.

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Mr Purslow agreed that organisers drive change. The need to create easier and more seamless experiences at events drive the organisers’ and clients’ requirements but they don’t necessarily have the know-how to create or implement the technology. Suppliers therefore step in to provide the tech.

On the other hand, Mr Newton stated that, should there ever be a time when suppliers are having to push a technology, it is probably not needed or even wanted. Plenty of apps have been created for millennials that haven’t been successful purely because there had been no call for them. 

Drawing on her own experiences, Ms Shore stated that many of QEII Live’s clients aren’t averse to spending money but aren’t educated on what to spend it on. For example, some clients have insisted on “4k everything” but their content wasn’t compatible.

Bringing into the discussion the future of technology in the events industry, Mr Parry questioned Mr Griggs on his experience providing for events all over the world. “We’ve done a lot in Pakistan. We don’t have to change features, but we do have to explain the value – value isn’t seen the same everywhere.

“We’re still learning, constantly. We’ve had some firewall-related issues in China. Something to be conscious of as we look to expand our presence in the world.” Mr Griggs explained.

Relating to QEII Live, Ms Shore stated it went through a major change three-four years ago and are hoping to a large fourth floor refurb next summer. “Though it took a while to go HD, we are currently in a good position in terms of technology.”

The QEII Centre is holding a series of closed roundtable events throughout 2019. These events are designed to explore issues affecting the events industry, from emerging technology to CSR and sustainability, and bring together experts to discuss best ways of working and driving the industry forwards. 

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: molly@eventindustrynews.com