The event technologist, an interview with Tim Somers, who is the manager of event technology at ITA Group, Inc. Tim has been in the technology industry for over 20 years. Hear his thoughts on event technology and how the role of the event technologist will adapt to the pivot. You can also follow him on LinkedIn.
How would you describe the role of an event technologist before the pivot and now?
The role before and now hasn’t really changed. We are still working with the client to understand the needs of the event they are running, and then, defining the technology solution to meet those needs.
The difference is that today we’re looking at different technologies and working with different partners, as events are going virtual as opposed to being in-person. However we’re still understanding their needs and providing technology recommendations, so It’s pretty close to what it was.
What measures of success do you have? How do you know you have done a good job?
First, getting everything set up to make sure the client is satisfied with the solution that we’re putting together for them, and secondly touching base with attendees to understand how they felt about the event.
We are really trying to understand the client and attendee satisfaction levels. And then as we understand that then potentially adjusting things for the next time.
What is the hardest part of your job as an event technologist?
At the moment, we’re seeing a lot more of what I think is the hardest part of our job, and that is the high number of different technology providers getting into the virtual meeting space. This means that we’re kind of flooded with all the available options, so it becomes a question of “do we use this technology or this technology?”.
There’s just a lot of technology available for running events. And so the hardest part is really picking through that to find the best ones to use or partner with.
How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends? Particularly right now?
Fortunately, the way our team is set-up is that we have somebody specifically to keep up-to-date with new trends and technology. So, when we start talking to clients about an event, this person is able to understand their needs and match potential partners and the technologies that we may use for this event.
When this person is not working directly with clients, they are off trying to understand and keep up-to-date with the latest solutions. This gives us a better idea of what direction we’ll be moving towards in six months, a year, or even two years from now.
And finally, what advice do you have for people as they pivot to digital?
The advice I would give is to just approach it the same way as you would approach your events today, and let the people that understand the execution side be your experts. Not everybody will take the time to figure out exactly how to take your face to face event and make it virtual. But there are people like us that do that and we’re in it on a daily basis. So trust us.
When you’re trying to figure out what you’re going to do with your event to go virtual, just think about it the way you would today: What am I trying to accomplish? What are my goals and objectives? Then it’s just how we execute that will be different.
If you are an event technologist and would like to be interviewed, feel free to email the team.