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Technology Driving Event Management Industry to the Next Level

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Technology Driving Event Management Industry
to the Next Level
Anupam Mehrotra Johanna Lobo
Business & Management, Business & Management,
Amity University, Dubai, Amity University, Dubai,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates Dubai, United Arab Emirates
amehrotra@amityuniversity.ae johanna-dominica@hotmail.com
Abstract Events have become a part of our social life
and management of events is a rapidly developing industry. The
major events that take place around the globe like the olympics,
conferences, musical live concerts, corporate meetings as well as
gala weddings need flawless management. A rapidly growing
complexity and scale of events require innovative technology to
organize them with ease and splendor. The need of conducting
the following research is to determine the influence of
technological innovation on the events management industry.
This report highlights the intervention of diverse technologies
that are being used in events management and their positive and
negative impacts. The findings are based on primary data
collected via a structured questionnaire as well as secondary data
from previous research papers as well as the internet and the
findings have been presented in the form of graphs and pie charts
in this research paper.
Keywords Event Management, Innovation,
Technology, Conferences, Social Media, Event Diagramming,
2D, 3D Mapping, Live Streaming
I.
INTRODUCTION
Event management basically means organizing an event in a
professional way for an individual, companies or any specific
target audience. It is associated with planning, budgeting,
selecting the site, authorization, transportation, entertainment,
catering and security for events. Technological innovation in the
events management industry has significantly affected the way
in which events hosted have undergone a change. Many
individuals as well as companies use events management firms
to coordinate their various events like exhibitions, conferences,
campaigns, weddings, engagement parties, anniversaries, stage
set ups, etc. for different occasions and so on. In this respect,
event planners help in planning and execution of these events in
an organized way. Events as well as gatherings have had a
crucial part in connecting people as well as communities over
generations. Egyptian Queen Cleopatra is said to be one of the
earliest planners of events as she held extravagant meetings in
pursuit of lovers. This wouldn’t have been possible without the
free labor and her royal servants. In those days communication
used to have a limited reach. There never used be any of the
modern means of communication or technology that we have
today. Any messages that had to be communicated were
manually delivered and it would take long time to reach the
targeted audience.
Extravagant parties and events also took place with the
French Royalty. Aristocratic women were responsible for the
management and planning of these events. Madame Pompadour
was most notable among them. There were costume parties and
musical concerts at that time. The Industrial Revolution
strengthened the economy and brought along with it the
necessity for meetings and events. With the growing richness,
people started spending more on hosting events. With the onset
of mobile phones and internet there has been a massive impact
on event planning. Using electronics and the latest technology,
communication is possible across the world in flash. Everything,
such as creating, finding, registering and documenting an event
is possible at the fingertips on just a small portable device. With
the current technological innovation people as well as
organizations have much better edge over events management.
The latest software and available websites enable individuals as
well as companies to create advertisements for events by
providing formats that are user-friendly, slick and professional.
Registration and sale of tickets are organized at one spot.
Websites for events management and available apps save time
and also provide easy options for creation of events. [2].
II.
LITERATURE REVIEW
Gaur and Saggere (as cited in Sudesh & Shukla, (2005)
believe that an event could be an occasion wherein anything
good happens, and it has to be organized well. [1]
McCartney, (2010) discusses that events essentially are a
gathering or reunion or meeting of individuals for private/public
celebrations or rituals. [3]
Getz (2005) highlights that events are important and add to
the vital individual experiences; they are grounded in our
ethnicity and also help in defining our civilizations. Thus, events
symbolize unforgettable experiences plus traditional identity of
a person. These instances and new society trends emphasize the
significance of planning events. [4]
Kang et al, 2014 states that technology is utilized by
organizations in order to stay in touch with their customers, by
the use of websites and social media to share information and for
collaboration. [5]
Goldblatt (2000) discussed that with changes in an
individual’s maturity and age are observed the changes in
preferences for technology and a desire for greater technological
experiences. Further, the shifts in income from less to more and
the time shift have led to increased demand for a range of events
worldwide [6].
Bowdin, McPherson, and Flinn (2006) states, although event
management formerly were seen in travel, hospitality, leisure
and tourism sectors, this has now declined, and events have on
their own flourished as an industry. He also mentions that
festivals, public events and a wide variety of entertainment have
started gaining more importance over the years as a result of
more leisure time and excess incomes [7].
R Waring, (2014) states that as technological innovation
keeps continuing and fresh technologies become available,
adaptation to the changes is something that is forced upon
competitors and if they can’t adapt, they are left behind[8].
Flowers and Gregson (2012) discuss innovation in technology
& the impact it could possibly have on the events industry [9].
III.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
For the purpose of this research on the impact of technological
innovations on the events management industry, the author has
used primary data as well as secondary data. Primary data has
been collected through a structured questionnaire using Google
forms that were sent randomly to the staff of “VK Exhibitions
and Decor Industry LLC” via email and also to various classes
of people spread over a wide area who attend events. Secondary
data has been collected through various research papers and the
Internet. Around 300 responses were received, and the results
have been analyzed using graphs and pie charts.
IV.
INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY USED IN EVENT
MANAGEMENT
Figure 2: India’s Internet Subscriber Base
Source: “India’s Internet Subscriber Base Rises to 636.7 Mn” [17]
Internet:
The internet has a variety of computers as well as
networks that distributes information worldwide. The internet
provides the opportunity to event holders for better
communication with their audience and better endorsement of
their event (Goldblatt, 2008). [6]
Social media: Social media has become a great means of
communication and has connected people worldwide. It consists
of blogs, podcasts, forums, social network, micro blogging,
video streaming platforms and Wikipedia, etc. Event planners
have taken appropriate advantage of the innovation and used it
in their interaction with audiences and clients.
Projection mapping: Projection Mapping relates to using
many projectors together and projecting on a given surface to
make marvelous visual displays. It is said to create an enchanting
experience of lighting and movement over static objects all the
while by playing animation or graphics or even videos of
different textures and shapes. There are two types of mapping:
Figure 1: Projection Mapping
Source: Red Hot Arts Central [15]
2D Mapping is done on flat surfaces, like walls or screens. 2D
mapping can be used to design vast displays over walls, from top
to bottom, within the venue. 3D Mapping is projected on a 3D
surface and these can include cars, buildings, and any other non
2D surfaces. These are widely used in advertisements, concerts,
theaters, games and decoration. It is a cost effective means of
creating optical illusions at almost every location [11].
Cashless payments: Earlier people used to wear wristbands to
be identified as a given type or group but recently these
wristbands have become technology driven and can be used to
have transactions completed in no time. The RFID technology in
wristbands is used by events nowadays in order to reduce long
durations of waiting in queues. The cashless payments system
allows many attendees to recharge their wearable to make
payments during an event conveniently. Payments can be made
securely and instantly through these wearable at the time of
check-out.
Branded multi-use apps: There is no shortage of apps that can
aid the events management industry. Apps that are branded offer
opportunities for interaction with attendees on their very own
mobile phones. Event planners are able to use multi-use branded
apps in order to connect with attendees and engage them before,
during, and after the occasion.
Live Streaming: one of the greatest revolutionary
technologies used in the events sector in the form of apps and
platforms that allows sharing live video.
Event diagramming: Event Diagramming is software which
enables planning of the seating, tables and chairs for guests and
also plan out the venue properly. This latest technology will help
increase attendance as well as cut costs for event planners at the
same time.
Figure 3: Event Diagramming of a Grand Ballroom
Source: Event Draw [16]
Event planners can devise a plan on a computer screen much
faster than they can on paper because this software includes
many templates that can quickly be adjusted. Social Tables will
simplify seating chart management, guest check-in, room layout
design and event attendance tracking.
Crowd sourcing: People attend conferences and events for
many reasons like to learn new skills, to keep abreast of industry
trends, to meet new people, to hear from industry leaders and to
establish themselves among the tops in the field. It gives
conference attendees exactly what they want by crowd sourcing
before the meeting. Crowd sourcing is an online process. It is
done by asking the attendees and potential attendees what they
want from the conference via social media, a group email list, an
event app or a poll on the event’s website and then incorporating
their needs into the conference or event [10].
V.
POSITIVE IMPACTS
Technological innovation in the event management industry
has made it easier for event managers to do their work with ease
and efficiency. Usage of technology in events management has
helped the enhancement of attendees’ overall experience. The
work of an event manager has considerably reduced, and they
can perform the same tasks with greater ease and at the same
time they can focus on the important aspects of an event with the
help of technology. There are numerous event management apps
that can be used for planning any event.
Ways in which technology can make event planning more
efficient:
1. Save Time: Technology has helped in saving considerable
amount of time by making the work of event planning easier and
quicker. Software used for managing events helps the event
managers to concentrate on the more significant areas of
planning. The software arranges data systematically thus making
it more convenient to use.
2. Cost-Effective: Tools used in event planning help in
tracking the overall expenditure of each event planed. The
amount spent on an event can also be compared to previous
similar events. Hence it helps in making events management cost
effective.
3. Better Communication: Technology creates better
opportunities for employees of an organization to collaborate
with each other while working on the same event. Effective
communication is crucial in determining the success of an event.
4. Better Networking: It is easier to get feedback from
attendees by event planners through shared experiences. This
will help improvise future events. Marketing through social
media is a great tool that can be used in advertising an event
because of the large number of people on these platforms. People
from around the world can access and view the events through
live streaming of the event.
5. Better Planning: It is easier and more convenient to collect
data about attendees through crowd shaping and this in turn helps
improve the event. This data is collected via social media portals
or event management apps. [12]
VI.
NEGATIVE IMPACTS
1. Complicated event software can be a put-off: Most of the
time event technology is used along with other software or
technology. This would require expensive data transfers and
would be time consuming which is a put off for the clients mostly
around the time when data needs to be manipulated between
applications.
2. Expensive event technology: All technology can be very
expensive at times, however an expense with a low return or
without a return are unacceptable to the organizations.
3. Learning new technology can be difficult and expensive:
Technology used in events must be the finest and in order to
deliver the best, people need to be aware of the proper working
of this technology and also the companies need enough funding
to invest in educating the employees on the technology used in
events.
4. Technology can replace the labor: As the events industry
is growing globally, more innovative technology is being using
to host events which have started to reduce the manual work
involved in events; hence there are chances of growing
unemployment and people losing their jobs [13].
A survey was conducted with a sample population of forty-
eight respondents from the event management industry in the hot
and happening event management environment in the UAE.
Care was taken to see that the respondents, in the age bracket of
35 to 55 years had relevant qualification and ample exposure to
the operational aspects of the event management industry.
VII.
DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS
The responses to the questionnaires are analyzed and
interpreted with the help of graphs and pie charts.
From the above pie chart, we observe that majority of the
respondents either strongly agree or agree that technology in
events saves time and money for the organizer, this means that
they feel technology reduces the time taken to carry out the
various activities involved in events and also saves money
involved in engaging more staff for jobs that can be taken care
of by technological innovation, which is becoming more and
more effective. Around 13% respondents disagree because
technology along with its convenience can also be a very
expensive option for some and everyone will not be equipped
with knowledge on how to use technology.
From the above pie chart it transpires that the majority of the
respondents agree definitely that the technology used in events
they attended/organized was properly utilized and heightened
the attendee experience, this could be because they may have
seen the right usage of technology in the right way, for example,
projection mapping which actually makes an event come alive.
While at the same time some respondents were unsure as either
they may not have attended many events that use modern
technology, or they have not really attended many events. The
rest of the respondents disagree as the events they attended may
not have captured their interest.
With the growing use of technology, it has become easier to
promote events and target a larger audience through the use of
social media, as you can see majority of the respondents either
strongly agree or agree that the use of technology in events has
a direct impact on the success of events promotion. While the
rest disagree because either they are unaware or some of them
feel that over decades people have promoted events without the
use technology as well.
Majority of the respondents agree that technology brings
added value for the event goers because they may be exposed to
better visuals, rotating mechanisms etc. as well as they will be
able to communicate with the organizers better though crowd
sourcing and social media. While the rest either disagree or are
unsure as they feel they may be so entertained and engrossed in
the content that the event has to offer that they are not particular
about or aware of the technology used in events.
62%
25%
13%
1. The use of technology in events saves time and money
for the organizer
Strongly Agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly Disgree
55%
42%
3%
2. Among the events that you have attended/organized,
do you think the event technology was properly utilized
and heightened the attendee experience?
Definitely
Maybe
Absolutely not
67%
27%6%
3. The use of technology in events has a direct impact
on the success of event promotion
Strongly Agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly Disgree
79%
12%
9%
4. Do you think technology brings added value for the
event goers?
Yes
No
Maybe
As you can see here, majority of the respondents have used
online ticketing to purchase/sell tickets through online portals as
it is time saving and widely used nowadays, it also prevents
standing in long queues, and you can book from the comfort of
your homes. The rest of the respondents may either not be aware
of online ticketing or they prefer the traditional way.
Majority of the respondents agree that technology offers a
platform for events to increase their brand awareness as creating
awareness through social media, emails, newsletters etc. will
increase the value of the brand as well as spread the word about
your brand.
From the above graph we can infer that majority of the people
agree that technology plays a greater role in areas such as
ticketing, providing event information, marketing as well as
improving the efficiency and effectiveness of an event as
technology makes tasks easier and more convenient for the
organizers as well as the attendees. People nowadays are more
informed and wish to know more about the events they are
attending, and technology provides them with that edge.
Majority of the respondents either strongly agree or agree with
the statement. Through social media, there is always a tendency
to create hype about anything. In case of events this gives the
organizers a better opportunity to make the people more aware
of the event and there will also be a possibility of the
involvement of a larger audience at the event. The respondents
that disagree feel that hype created using technology may result
in the reality of the situation not meeting their expectations.
Majority of the respondents strongly agree and agree, as they are
able to gain easier access to events through ticketing, social
media, live streaming of events etc.
Majority of the respondents agree that technology will help
increase interaction between the organizer and attendee.
Technology such as crowd sourcing gives the attendees and
opportunity to directly interact with the organizers from the
venue itself.
82%
9% 9%
6. Do you think technology offers a platform for events to
increase their brand awareness?
Yes
No
Neutral
0 5 10 15 20
Ticketing
Marketing
Event Information
Improving Attendee experience
Efficiency and Effectiveness
7. Please tick the box where technology plays a greater
role in the events industry according to you?
64%
24%
12%
8. Events with an online presence offer a superior event
as opposed to events that do not have an online presence
Strongly Agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree
58%
39%
3%
9. Technology makes events more accessible
Strongly Agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree
76%
15%9%
10. Do you think technology will help increase
interaction between the organizer and attendee?
Definitely
Maybe
Absolutely not
At the end of the day businesses, artists and event organizers aim
to create the best experience for the attendees by using the power
of technology.
VIII.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
From the above observations and research relating to various
parameters of the use of technology in event management
industry, we can conclude that innovative event technology has
become a part of the event management industry and it is here to
stay. Almost universally, the respondents have voted in favour
of the dramatic impact the technology creates in the success of
any event that they had been part of. Quite apparently, the
positives outweigh the negatives. Technology is an endless
journey. Going forward there may be more innovation in
technology that will claim to create new and effective event
experiences. However, making the right choice to achieve
desired outcomes will always remain important. Event
technology is more than just a latest trend that will play
significant role in future upcoming events and the event planners
will unavoidably need to have a thorough understanding and an
up to date knowledge of the wide range of options available to
work with and to create the desired effect [14].
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... Effective communication is crucial in determining the success of an event. Besides, it is more comfortable and convenient to collect data about the attendees which helps improve the event (Mehrotra & Lobo, 2020). ...
... The major events that take place around the globe like the Olympics, conferences, musical live concerts, corporate meetings as well as gala weddings need flawless management. A rapidly growing complexity and scale of events require innovative technology to organize them with ease and splendor (Mehrotra & Lobo, 2020). Emerging technologies which change the business environments, operations and the customer engagements can effectively be used in the event industry. ...
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Event management: An Asian Perspective
  • Glenn Mccartney
Glenn McCartney, "Event management: An Asian Perspective". Singapore: McGraw-Hill Education (Asia); 1 edition (March 9, 2010), ISBN-10: 0071272151ISBN-13: 978-0071272155
Event marketing and management
  • S Gaurand
  • S Saggere
S. Gaur and S. Saggere, (2005), "Event marketing and management". New Dehli: Vikas Pub. House ISBN 10: 8125914498 ISBN 13: 9788125914495
Special events – Resource Guide and Bibliography
  • J Goldblatt
J. Goldblatt, "Special events -Resource Guide and Bibliography",New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990, Available at https://library.gwu.edu/sites/default/files/scrc/Special_Events.pd f
Events management, Reed Educational and Professional Publishing, Melbourne. i-xviii?+?321 pp. 18.99 ISBN 07506-4796-5
  • G Bowdin
G. Bowdin, Et al, (2014) "Events management, Reed Educational and Professional Publishing, Melbourne. ixviii?+?321 pp. 18.99 ISBN 07506-4796-5.", International Journal of Tourism Research, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 246-247, 2003. Available: 10.1002/jtr.431.
Research in to the Impact of Technology in the Events Industry
  • Jenelle Sherlock
Sherlock, Jenelle, Et al, (2019), "Research in to the Impact of Technology in the Events Industry", .Available: https://www.academia.edu/30194863/Research_into_the_Impact of_Technology_in_the_Events_Industry. (Accessed: 28.09. 2019).
Projection Mapping on 3D Surfaces
  • Rijnieks Krisjanis
  • Irina Spicaka
Krisjanis, Rijnieks and Spicaka, Irina, 2014, "Projection Mapping on 3D Surfaces" http://schprc.github.io/betahausmapping-workshop-august-2014-slides/#/ [Accessed: 04.02.2020]
The Role Of Technologies In Event Management | StartUs Magazine
  • R Bronson
R. Bronson et al., "The Role Of Technologies In Event Management | StartUs Magazine", StartUs Magazine, 2019. [Online]. Available: https://magazine.startus.cc/roletechnologies-event-management/. [Accessed: 28-Sep-2019].