What Can Event Planners Learn from The Tech Industry?
By Lauren Morison /Australian Venue Expert
Fri 28th Apr 2023 Corporate Venues
Lacking inspiration for your next event? Here, we turn to the industry that’s throwing some of the most epic events in the world right now. From SXSW to Hubspot’s Inbound, it’s no secret the tech industry puts on some of the most successful, world-renown events.
Whether it’s an in-house meeting or a huge industry convention, event planners can learn a lot from how this industry approaches its gatherings. Whether you take inspiration from the sheer scale of their events or simply from the no-holds-barred partnership strategies, we think you’ll appreciate the effort that goes into planning events that reach far beyond Silicon Valley.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you plan your next event, using that tech industry mindset.
Invest, invest, invest
As the famous saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. Tech companies know this, and take it to the next level.
By investing in top-notch guest speakers, cutting-edge technology, and impressive venues, tech companies create unforgettable experiences for their guests. As such, guests associate these brands with delivering added value and one-of-a-kind events in real life. Tech companies know this increases the likelihood of attendees engaging with them again in the future.
You might not have budgets like Apple or Hubspot, but you can make really big, splashy events come to life at any price point. It may take some creative thinking and powerful negotiation to bring your vision to life, but if you work with a venue that gets it, you’ll be able to pull of some serious event magic.
Create an immersive experience using innovative technology
The tech industry is known for pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Event planners can learn a lot from this mindset.
Don’t be afraid to incorporate new technologies like virtual and augmented reality or AI into your event. These innovative services allow you to create a unique, immersive, and engaging experience. For example, if you’re promoting the Great Barrier Reef as a destination, bring a couple of VR headsets into the fold and let your guests visit the coral reef virtually.
One of the biggest trends in event planning right now is customisation. Think about ways you can use technology to make your event feel more personal and give each attendee an individualised experience.
When it comes to choosing a keynote speaker, go big
Tech companies understand something that many fail to see when putting together events. It’s pretty simple; a great keynote speaker can make or break an event.
We’re not saying you need Barack Obama or Sheryl Sandberg at your event (a la Dreamforce), but a top-notch keynote speaker can draw in attendees and create a buzz around your event. By investing in a quality speaker, you also open opportunities for more PR and influencer coverage.
Embrace partnerships and sponsorships
When it comes to events, partnerships and sponsorships are a great way to take some of the burden off your own budget. Companies within the tech world have embraced partnerships with other companies, which also allows a wider reach and helps to create more excitement around an event.
As an event planner, don’t be afraid to reach out to other companies or sponsors to boost your event’s presence among different audiences. Just be sure to cover this early on in the planning so you can maximise the relationship.
Don’t be too exclusive
VIP events can create a lot of interest. People might be drawn to the exclusivity and the discovery of something new before it goes public. However, something the tech world has found success with is opening up events to the wider public.
As with exclusive, invite-only occasions — hosting events that are open to the public can also generate excitement and interest around a brand. It can also make companies seem far more approachable, leading to better engagement.
There are plenty of tech events like SXSW that offer a mix of free events and paid events. Because SXSW takes place over many weeks and hundreds of events, this is more achievable as a format, but it’s an approach that easily translates to smaller industry events like conferences. Let’s say you’re hosting a 3-day seminar. Maybe the more formal awards night gala is a ticketed event, but you might have a cocktail party for networking the day before that’s open to everyone.
Standing out in a crowded industry
Though the tech industry is famed for throwing fantastic events, there are only a handful that truly stand out.
A great example is the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. One of the biggest tech events in the world, it is known for unveiling the latest and most innovative electronics, a unique selling point that other similar events have had trouble keeping up with.
Similarly, the Web Summit in Lisbon has become a must-attend event for tech enthusiasts, featuring must-see guest- speakers and cutting-edge technology.
Ultimately, by providing quality attractions like top keynote speakers, upcoming access to exclusive products and services and exciting partnerships, you can create an experience that will inspire, educate, and entertain your attendees.
How can we help you?
If you’re looking for ideas or venue spaces for your next event, contact our local venue experts and discover our free venue finding service.