Out with the Old Technology

If you’re relying on these five outdated solutions, it’s time for a tech upgrade

The evolution of technology means that software and tools go out of date quickly. It’s no wonder, then, that keeping up with tech ranks among planners’ top challenges. 

But old, outdated event technology can pose its own risks and hindrances to meetings, too. If you’re still using the following tech solutions, it’s time for an upgrade.

Outdated: Audience microphones
Replace with: Q&A features within your event app

We’ve all seen it: The incessant handling of a microphone from one attendee to another during a live Q&A session. The result: Tangled cords, dropped mics and a lot of back and forth as microphones are shuffled from audience member to audience member. 

No more. Include a Q&A feature in your event app, which will give all attendees the opportunity to ask questions from the palms of their hands, no shuffling required. For meetings where an event app doesn’t apply, have guests ask questions on social media with your unique event hashtag.

Outdated: Paper tickets
Replace with: Mobile tickets

Still having attendees print out tickets—or worse, sending them in the mail?
Although not technically technology, printed tickets’ lack of digital integration comes with big pitfalls. Not only do they increase the chance of lost registration materials, but they also risk security issues in the hands of the wrong person. 

Eliminate the paper trail by sending mobile tickets instead. Digital check-in information will both help the environment and keep ticketing materials easily accessible come registration time. To streamline the entry process further, consider a self-registration system, where attendees can scan their mobile tickets for fast and easy entrance to your event.  

Outdated: A one-size-fits-all digital communications plan
Replace with: A segmented email marketing campaign

A communication strategy needs to connect with your audience, but if you’re sending out vague, blanketed messaging to your whole email list—well, good luck.

To spark engagement, you’ll need an email strategy that emphasizes segmentation so that attendees receive the communications they are most likely to connect to. Start by breaking down your email list into different categories: new and returning attendees, for instance. Then, create an email marketing plan tailored for each group. Going back to our example, in an email to potential attendees, you’ll want to tout what makes your meeting worth attending. But for returning guests, your messaging should focus on new elements or loyalty perks

Outdated: Low-bandwidth Wi-Fi
Replace with: High-speed Wi-Fi

Let’s not sugarcoat it: A meeting without a fast internet connection is a planning fail. Attendees don’t just want speedy, reliable Wi-Fi—they expect it. So, talk to your tech partner, or your venue’s technology provider, about internet options. Wi-Fi 6, for example, might seem like the right fit for increased speed—it does claim to be four times faster than other wireless internet options, after all—but it also requires new equipment, which can hike up the price.   

Outdated: Legacy hardware 
Replace with: Updated, compatible devices

The biggest threat to your planning processes: decades-old hardware and operating systems. With data at the core of throwing better events, planners can’t risk storing this key information on systems that can give out at any moment. 

Although it can be an investment, the only real workaround is to upgrade your devices or software to their updated, compatible counterparts. But don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. Audit your planning process to see which programs or hardware are most important to your work, and make purchasing decisions from there.