Seminars and conferences are mobile-savvy if not mobile first today. Source: Shutterstock

Seminars and conferences are mobile-savvy if not mobile first today. Source: Shutterstock

How has technology impacted conferences and seminars today?

CONFERENCES and seminars are more important today than they were a couple of years ago because they provide delegates — usually business leaders and managers — with a platform to share disruptive thoughts and ideas.

However, not every conference is a roaring success. Technology is a key differentiator between those that attract and please the crowds and those that don’t.

To get a first-hand account of how modern business events are changing, Tech Wire Asia spoke to ManagementEvent’s Conference Producer Seemaa Sadik.

With more than five years of experience under her belt, Sadik is responsible for the Digital HR and Analytics 2020 Summit in Kuala Lumpur, which is now in its third year.

“Technology evolution within the events industry has been slow and steady. First, it was the emailing of event invitations, then it was online registration, and now technology has taken over onsite check-in and badging.

“As organizers, we believe technology helps provide more convenience to delegates.”

The secret to delighting delegates, winning their hearts, and having them sign up for next year’s event even before they leave the conference hall, Sadik reveals, lies in providing a cutting-edge experience that exceeds expectations.

Sadik’s organization, therefore, across the dozens of conferences and seminars they organize each year, leverages in-house mobile apps and other software to personalize agendas, arrange for virtual meetings between delegates, and a host of other things — and they’re constantly looking to add more features and capabilities.

“It took what felt like forever to convince people to use such things as conference apps and on-stage Q&A software because there was this feeling that meetings were supposed to be about people and not about technology. Now I think we are in a place where all of these things are expected.”

Of course, Sadik points out that nowadays, event technology is growing as a segment quite quickly and includes marketing and speaker management software, event management software, among other things.

“Personally, I think that investing in the attendee experience and in engagement technologies is gaining prominence because at the end of the day, by delivering a more engaging and unique experience, attendees will become repeat customers and can become your biggest advocates.”

In 2020, delegates at some of the most exciting conferences and summits will also be greeted by cutting-edge technologies such as facial recognition and enjoy private 5G or WiFi6 connectivity. “It’s going to be an exciting year and delegates are going to be pleasantly surprised,” concluded Sadik.