Today, after a couple of years of fascinating conversations with industry leaders and research, we are launching our book “The face of digital.”
I have the pleasure to co-authored this book with my good friend Jay Weintraub, and our original idea was trying to understand how the massive and global live events industry could (and should) be disrupted by new and emerging technologies.
I spent the last 30+ years of my life working in technology, media, and events businesses. I was “lucky” to experience transformational changes in the tech world like the first bubble, the web 2.0, the mobile revolution. I was able to follow the early day’s from companies like Google, Amazon, FB, Netflix and almost all existing unicorns. I experienced the decline and disruption around the publishing/print industry, and I still remember physical magazines, newspapers and when TV was just TV instead of multi-platform, and I could go on and on.
All these lessons learned could be valid (or not) trying to understand how technology could continue to affect and potentially disrupt the oldest media and marketing tool: the 850+ years old events and face to face industry. A massive industry ($565 Billion+) that changed almost nothing for such a long history but it’s showing tangible signs of being ready for serious change.
As we all know, change is not easy, it’s intimidating and many times traumatic, but it’s also fascinating and generates incredible opportunities. I was fortunate to partner with the biggest event organizer in the world (Reed Exhibitions) for many years, and organize many (too many) small, big, and enormous events during my career. I understand how events could be your most successful marketing and business development tool. I also believe that the industry needs to embrace technology, innovation, and change to maximize opportunities for all players involved (organizers, associations, visitors, exhibitors, sponsors, speakers, etc.) and make the face-to-face experience more productive, measurable and profitable for everyone.
Much like Airbnb did to hospitality or Uber to transportation live events are also exposed to significant disruptive technologies affecting the way that companies and people interact with different event experiences (trade shows, conferences, sports, concerts, corporate events, etc.etc.)
As part of our research, we learned (as expected) that these are super early days for event tech and the industry is realizing the importance on the opportunity (and challenge) that all these new technologies that we covered in the book (digital marketing, registrations, ticketing, data analytics, geo-location, AI, matchmaking, AR/VR, among many others) could affect their business and customer experience.
Some of the questions that we explore were things like:
Is there an Uber or Airbnb sort of disruptor coming into the live events industry soon?
Who are the most exciting players disrupting live events and how?
Why is taking so long for the events industry to embrace tech and innovation?
As an entrepreneur, investor and advisor with many key players in this space, I can’t emphasize enough how exciting is our current moment at the live events industry and how fascinating was the experience of researching and writing this book. The conversation is just starting, and we are all learning as we speak about new and better ways to capitalize this fantastic opportunity that event tech represents. If you and/or your company organize or participate at events, or you are passionate about tech, media, and marketing I’m sure that you have your own opinions and ideas and we will be happy to hear your thoughts. As previously mentioned, the conversation is just starting, and we want to keep it open, productive and transparent for all of us who think that live events is and will continue to be an essential part of our marketing activities for many decades to come. Hope that you enjoy reading the book and help us to spread the message and continue the conversation.
originally published at www.marcogiberti.com