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The Rise of the Event Technology Stack

July 5, 2017 | B2B | Marketing

Alon Alroy
Co-Founder and Chief of Marketing

By now, every marketer has heard of marketing and advertising technology stacks, but the idea of an event tech stack is fairly new. As business-to-business (B2B) events and trade shows become increasingly digital productions, however, event technology is now required to help companies manage and measure them. Alon Alroy, co-founder and chief of marketing at event management platform Bizzabo, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about the fundamental components of an event tech stack.

eMarketer: What is an event technology stack? What are some examples of key event technology?

Alon Alroy: When it comes to events, there’s a whole world of technology involved. For example, there’s website creation. An event website should perform like any good marketing website in order to attract the right people and convert them to registrants. Companies also need technology for email marketing, registration and event apps, as well as on-site tools to manage real-time surveys, check attendees in and monitor audience engagement during sessions.

Technology is also required to enable networking capabilities and to build a community around the event. Plus, a whole suite of analytics has to come into play to analyze data from all of the pieces I just mentioned.

Another big module is contact management, or a CRM [customer relationship management] system that can segment the event database into speakers, participants, exhibitors and sponsors. And of course, there are other pieces of technology needed for venue sourcing, vendor sourcing and travel.

“B2Bs can run a successful event without mobile.”

eMarketer: What are the challenges that come with putting together an event technology stack?

Alroy: One of the biggest challenges is that the market is still very fragmented, and there are many different tools to choose from. Plus, B2B marketers sometimes need 12 different tools to run an event, so gathering insight from these separate pieces of technology makes measurement a challenge in the end.

eMarketer: How does using an event management platform overcome some of the challenges?

Alroy: An event platform can collect all of the data in one place. It can combine registration data with responses to surveys or polls and pull in information on who the most popular speakers were. A platform can connect all of those pieces of data to make it easier to gather insight and draw conclusions.

“Once the event objective is defined, B2Bs need to have technology in place to actually measure data after the event is over.”

eMarketer: Is a mobile app a must-have for a successful B2B event?

Alroy: B2Bs can run a successful event without mobile. Companies should instead focus on creating an amazing experience at events, and realize that mobile is just a medium. It’s just one way to create engagement and deliver the experience that you want to create. Rather than building their event around one channel, B2Bs should focus on the holistic experience.

eMarketer: How can B2Bs measure event success and return on investment (ROI)?

Alroy: Measurement requires understanding the business objective behind the event. Is it lead generation, brand awareness or something else? Once the event objective is defined, B2Bs need to have technology in place to actually measure data after the event is over. The key is knowing the goal before the event, and then being able to measure whether or not that goal was reached after the event.

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