Event tech as an industry is still in its infancy compared with the sprawl of MarTech. Cramer has just shared their 2019 Event Technology Landscape featuring 444 technology solutions, whereas the 2018 version of the famous MarTech 5000 contains... 6,829. So what can the Event Tech industry learn from MarTech?
That was the question posed by Integrate Events General Manager, Chris Wickson, on the second day of Event Tech Live 2018.
According to the Internet Trends report, the average enterprise has 91 marketing cloud services making up their martech stack. Unfortunately, while events such as trade shows, expos and congresses play a strategic business role as a customer acquisition channel, these normally exist in isolation, away from the sophisticated campaigns and processes powered by companies' martech stack.
There are plenty of lessons for the emerging event tech industry to learn from MarTech, but I'll start with just three:
1) Digital transformation
Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. An important customer acquisition channel, events have been left outside of the digital transformation that organisations have embraced.
While the events industry is quick to latch on to the latest trends, like AR and VR or wearable tech, it's been slow to use it to improve the face-to-face conversations that take place at events. For event tech providers, it's important to remember that these conversations are the real value of live events.
2) The consolidation of MarTech
Major martech providers are working towards becoming true platforms, with open APIs that enable smaller, specialized martech apps to plug in to these larger platforms. These smaller apps can deliver specialist functionality and target specific verticals, while also integrating with the major martech platforms - like Adobe, Marketo and Salesforce.
With the rise of event tech and the emergence of new platforms, it's becoming easier for technology to bridge the gap between the office and the trade show floor.
3) The importance of connectivity
This is closely related to my second point, above. While there are literally thousands of martech solutions available, and organisations use dozens of innovative solutions for their day-to-day work, they become infinitely more powerful when they're connected and work together, sharing data across platforms to provide greater insights about everything from potential customers to product usage.
This is probably the biggest opportunity for the event tech industry. At the minute, events exist in a separate sphere from the majority of companies' marketing and sales activities. To provide the best experience for event attendees, exhibitors and organizers alike, connecting events with existing marketing technology is crucial.
Check out this video from Event Tech Live featuring our GM of Events (formally Akkroo), Chris Wickson: