TOPIC OF THE MONTH
Digital Transformation & Events
Sure, everybody talks about digital transformation and how it affects their life, business and everything. But why should you even care about digital transformation & events?
The internet has fundamentally changed our ability to access knowledge, communicate and collaborate. This highly impacts conferences and similar events. The meaning of the expert (speaker) has changed as they barely hold exclusive knowledge anymore and the role of the participant has altered as access to knowledge, resources and tools to communicate and collaborate has increased. If you take a look into conference programs, however, it’s very likely that you’ll still find one keynote after the other with very little by way of additional formats. It looks like conferences are still stuck in the “age of TV” where the roles of the sender and receiver were clearly defined.
Although interaction and participation are essential parts of our everyday realities, many conferences still only offer a passive top-down experience. But in the 21st century—where information and knowledge are easily accessible online—we need new conference formats that are worth travelling to, that is, worth meeting in one physical location. Formats that reflect these kinds of changes facilitate human interactions to tackle the unchanged need of participants to learn, exchange and network.
Event Experience Design provides the tools to create conference experiences that facilitate human interactions, designing user journeys across all touch points—no matter if they’re physically tangible or digital.
This is essential since (temporary physical) conferences take place in the context of the digital space, that is, a space that is continuously present, not only during a conference, but before and after the conference as well. Conference organizers shouldn’t ignore the before and after and instead must develop formats that include touch points in digital space. This applies not only during a conference, but long before and after a physical meeting has taken place. Participants need to be offered additional ways to interact and therefore learn, network and exchange information.
The same counts for the physical space that is hosting the conference. It is insufficient to merely provide a neutral multi-purpose space (as offered by many convention centers). Instead, there is need for a physical space where your participants can experience the topic(s) of the conference that support and enable participant interaction. Event Experience Design tools & methods will support you in making the trip to your conference worth the journey.