technology

Tech Giants: Encore CEO Ben Erwin Changes With the Times

What used to be a regular sight gathers some attention during an interview with Encore President and CEO Ben Erwin. Namely, an employee is seen in the background walking down the hall. Slowly but surely, Erwin is calling in the troops for some limited office work. It may never be five days in the office again, but the blending of physical meetings with Zoom calls has begun. Hey — that sounds a lot like the events industry.

There is no company touching as many meetings, events and trade shows as Encore. 

Tech News: MeetingPlay Funding, Encore-Cvent and Explori-Evolvio Partnerships; Bizzabo and Event Farm Additions

Just because in-person events are returning doesn’t mean technology is going to take a back seat. The past few weeks have been filled with news of mergers, partnerships, innovation and the funding to make it all possible. See how the event tech world is positioning itself for the future of gatherings.

Amid the Hybrid Revolution, Confusion Muddles the Discussion

A large majority of events will have a blend of digital and in-person elements this year. Many event professionals expect this to be the case going forward. After that, there is a mix — or dare we say “hybrid?” — of opinions, confusion and certainty, according to a recent Swapcard survey studying hybrid events.

The biggest takeaway is that three-quarters of the 364 respondents say they are planning to have virtual components of their program, but 30% don’t know how to define hybrid events.

Tech Giants: Hubb CEO Allie Magyar on Mastering the Future

Hubb CEO Allie Magyar knows first-hand what it’s like to face gender discrimination and unconscious bias in the technology world. In the early days of the event software company, she remembers being consistently asked to explain how she wouldn’t fail rather than how she would succeed, an over-arching attitude made more apparent by the prevalence of male-led companies able to raise large sums of money while female-led companies struggled to get investors.

New Technologies to Help Keep Events Safe

With the COVID-19 pandemic hanging over the event industry’s head for more than a year now, creating safe in-person meetings and conferences has become a laser point-of-focus for meeting and conference planners. To meet that demand, event tech companies have been rising to the occasion with new and contactless software tools to provide peace of mind for attendees, exhibitors, event staff and planners alike. Here are a few to consider as organizations welcome back groups in person:

How to Solve the Virtual Appointment Problem

Soon after founding Meetaway three years ago, Scott Barnett conducted research for how his platform could work best for conferences. All it took was one question, asked pre-COVID: What is your favorite part of an event? About 90% of respondents cited one-on-one hallway meetings — impromptu or pre-planned.

“There’s something magical about that one-on-one conversation,” said Barnett, who has built his product to “take that magic moment and run an entire networking session around that.”