The Evolution of Event Technology
Live events and technology have a unique relationship, the technology must be used to improve attendee experiences without detracting from the in-person aspect of the live event world. The event technology industry is full of organizations striving to find the best possible use of technology, leading to more efficient event registration platforms, live event apps, ticketing software, and much more. According to a Trade Show News Network (TSNN) survey, event producers are moving beyond technology as a communication tool and have begun capturing and tracking large amounts of data. Specifically, data that can be used to greatly improve attendance, marketing and communications.
According to a study by Mordor Intelligence, in 2017 the event management software industry was valued at $6.89 billion USD globally and is projected to grow to $12.51 billion USD by 2023. Globalization has created many business opportunities for the industry by opening channels of communication worldwide and increasing the number of events overall. Technology solutions have evolved rapidly with the mobile and digital revolutions, and now many vendors are offering their solutions as a service.
With the rise of big data, data analytics has become one of the main focus points for event management software, as providers work to translate attendee data into actionable insights in real time and after the fact. As a result, the most successful providers moving forward will be able to collect large amounts of data and present it to event organizers in a format that is easy to understand. Data will also be extremely useful in building and maintaining attendee databases, allowing event organizers to attain greater success year over year.
The advances in event technology have been so profound that now event organizers have trouble keeping track of the latest available services. The TSNN Survey reports the most cited issues currently seen with event technology include staying up to date with the latest tech, getting attendees to engage with the new technology, and the IT skills of event staff. This is an area in which third-party providers can prove invaluable, providing expertise in the latest advancements, experience in facilitating engagement, and on-site support staff to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Event technology providers have developed solutions for the entire spectrum of live events, ranging from industry trade shows to professional sporting events. However, the industry is still highly fragmented, and it is rare to find a technology provider that can cover the entire spectrum of demands, including venue planning, ticketing, data collection, sponsor engagement, data improvement and payment services. Often event producers are forced to reach out to multiple technology providers to find all the solutions they need.
Given the benefits and advancements of event technology, it’s no surprise that consolidation is taking place among event technology vendors. In fact, according to Capital IQ, there have been more than 70 transactions in the United States and Canada over the last 12 months. Mordor Intelligence, Capital IQ and Reuters indicate Cvent, Patron Technology, Aventri and Eventbrite are some of the more prolific buyers. It’s a trend MHT Partners, as a business services investment bank, has experienced first-hand, as we recently represented FISH Technologies in its sale to Patron Technology.