Insight: Issue 120 | Wed 25 Jan
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie faces, it’s event news time!
Herein lies our Address to the Haggis Industry, a bona-fide bounteous supper of all things live events knowledge. Time to tuck in to a few poetic headlines, bard worthy tales and a decent helping of Tam o’ Banter. Slàinte Mhath!
This week we’ve got for you: Glasgow Venues Victorious at UK Ticketmaster Awards; Competence is confidence; What does the next wave of experiential events look like?; Five Ways Brands are using Cutting-Edge Tech to Elevate Consumer Experience; and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Are Good for Your Meetings (and Business).
Glasgow Venues Victorious at UK Ticketmaster Awards
Congrats OVO Hydro and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut – the UK’s Venue of the Year and UK Indie Venue of the Year!
At this year’s inaugural Ticketmaster Award’s Ceremony G-town absolutely smashed it, with two of the city’s stalwart venues taking home top prizes. With record attendances across its shows throughout 2022, the Hydro beat the likes of AO Arena Manchester, Utilita Arena Newcastle and P&J Live Aberdeen to become the UK’s Venue of the Year.
Director of Live entertainment at the OVO Hydro, Debbie McWilliams commented, “We are thrilled to receive this recognition amongst so many incredible venues across the UK. 2022 was a special one for us at OVO Hydro, as we welcomed fans in record numbers and had our busiest year of shows across multi-genres.”
Glasgow icon and 33 year strong King Tuts was awarded UK Indie Venue of the Year, a compact venue which since it’s opening has played host to the likes of Oasis, Florence and the Machine and The Killers.
Venue Manager Davie Millar said, “It’s down to music fans across the country who have supported the venue that we can continue to celebrate the rich music scene in Scotland, and welcome back established acts who have a strong affinity to the venue.”
Competence is confidence
Think you’re tech savvy? Cameron Roberts gets the lowdown on the importance of tech competency for us events profs.
In an interview with Identity Director Mary Carter-Lee, eventhub.jobs founder Robert Kenward and Elevate Managing Director Joe Sheppard, Roberts finds out how invaluable up-to-date tech expertise is in an ever-changing events landscape.
With the rise in virtual events, on-site tech and growing trends like the metaverse, the role technology is playing in the delivery of live experience is picking up pace like never before. As a valuable tool for things like content creation, achieving CSR objectives and data analysis, harnessing of its true potential comes with a whole new skillset requirement.
Carter-Lee comments, “Technology enhances event experience for attendees, sponsors and clients, and there is no end to its versatility. It can be used to establish a ‘wow-factor’, as well as support in the planning of events.”
On the flipside, Kenward and Carter-Lee agree that a more holistic approach to tech might be the way forward: “Being ‘tech savvy’ is not as important as tech companies say it is. Not everything new and shiny will have an impact. That said, eventprofs need to be aware of what’s out there and have a wide breadth of tech knowledge, but no-one should be expected to be an expert in every piece of tech available.”
AN EYE FOR TALENT
It’s agreed amongst the experts that there is enough resource out there for tech competency to be achieved through teaching, but they suggest that what’s harder to to be taught is interpersonal skills that make for successful event management.
Sheppard observes: “There’s ready and available training for someone to understand tech, social media behaviour and tone of voice. Those things are much easier to train than teaching someone to communicate better.”
Carter-Lee suggests the overall broadening of the skillset is crucial to the industry’s investment in people: “The aim is to place skills at the centre and address gaps as soon as they appear, maximising the potential as a business. This way, eventprofs are held accountable through effective leadership and are encouraged to develop continuously.”
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
So what’s the current state of affairs? Sheppard looks at how COVID-19 changed the industry’s use of tech, but argues the need for interpersonal skills remains top priority: “The pandemic sped that process up, everyone was on Zoom, everyone was doing something that involved tech because the world needed you to behave that way. So, I think the gap has shortened in that sense, but I think the in-person element of bringing a brilliant event to life will absolutely require someone to have good people skills.”
Roberts concludes that while tech savvy skills are increasingly more important to industry prof’s toolset, it’s the core competencies of event management that remain most valuable.
What does the next wave of experiential events look like?
In a sit-down with Event Industry News’ James Dickson, Managing Director of London brand experience co. Chorus Andrew Perrott discusses what’s in store for immersive events.
Perrott draws on his agency’s recent collab with luxury Diageo brand Johnnie Walker Blue Label in Singapore, and talks bringing theatrical elements to enhance live experience.
The 45 min interview also touches upon topics such as ‘blank age briefs’, the house term ‘radical creative’ and becoming more integrated with the bigger picture. Listen below.
Five Ways Brands are using Cutting-Edge Tech to Elevate Consumer Experience
From AI ‘Oracles’ to holographic projections, the way technology is changing the experiential marketing game is undeniably staggering. Massive brands such as Mercedes-Benz and Disney are harnessing the power of new tools to bring audiences a whole lot of ‘wow-factor’.
1 Mercedes-Benz and Mixed Reality
During December’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at The Peach Bowl, lux car manufacturers Mercedes-Benz dazzled viewers with a mixed reality spectacle – the display simulated a lightning storm eruption, a 4 electric car race and a larger than life Mercedes logo.
2 AT&T, Avatars and Gaming
AT&T utilised the power of 5G to deliver a range of experiences throughout this month’s College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship Weekend. A highlight was the 360-degree XR tech used to scan fans to create a personalised avatar that they could use to compete in a custom-built American football video game.
3 Disney and Holographic Projections
Disney channeled the use of holographic projections to promote “Avatar: The Way of the Water” in Niagara Falls State Park. The projections were enabled by 4K projectors and a lighting truss holding a 60-foot by 30-foot translucent screen, which through reflection created a hologram effect.
4 QC Termemilano and an Immersive Storm Spa
Italian resort brand QC Termemilan presented their immersive “storm spa” – a pioneering ‘therapeutic’ experience involving constant downpour and a/v-fuelled thunder – a game changer in in multi-sensory marketing and a/v tactics.
5 Pantone and an AI ‘Oracle’
During Miami Art Week – Pantone revealed it’s ‘Magentaverse’ an homage to 2023’s Colour of the Year. One of it’s exhibits was ‘Urban Oracle’, an AI chat bot that when asked a question triggered a light installation within the room that reacted to text.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Are Good for Your Meetings (and Business)
In an interview with Smart Meetings, Elevated Diversity’s founder Rhonda Moret, MPI Southern California Chapter (MPISCC) Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Khris Baizen and MPISCC Director of Education, Event Logistics Jennifer Minzey, discuss the benefits of DEI in the meeting planning process and the improvement it makes on the business.
1. All speakers agree that all clients and attendees prioritise DEI.
Monet comments on the value of a diverse range of speakers, “There’s richness that created when you have varied perspectives varied experiences varied life stories.” Baizen adds, “With the attendee experience at the forefront of our planning, intentionally optimising speaker selection for diversity results in a richer, more engaging conversation and also makes our audiences feel included and welcome.”
2. All speakers agree that progress can only be made if it starts at the very top.
Monet believes it’s important that leaders realise their personal privilege and implement change:
“Until you start going through the process of identifying what it looks like, what it feels like to be a member of an underrepresented group then it’s really hard for those in the majority—like a white male CEO—to really understand,”
“Once (meeting planners) have those different perspectives underneath their umbrella, they can be much more effective in making sure events they produce are addressing DEI topics.”
3. The speakers believe that Gen Z and Millennials are the most DEI savvy.
Beizen suggests that they hold it in top priority:
“If they feel they are unable to bring their authentic selves to an environment, they will simply not attend,”
“Gen Z and Millennials are able to sense if DEI initiatives are thoughtfully integrated in a program and when planners are just checking a box.”
4. Monet stresses the importance of engaging the disabled community:
“Quite often, it’s something people don’t want to talk about it. It makes them uncomfortable,”
She believes that we need to do the work “to understand that segment of the population and find ways to use their influence and power to bring that to the forefront and identify where those issues are and where the shortcomings are and what do we need to fix it.”
That’s your lot for this week folks.
Enjoy your haggis, neeps and tatties and we’ll see y’all next week for more event wisdom.