Innovation: Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should

Adding value to audiences should supersede getting wooed by the newest shiny tech, says Grant Ireland, Head of Digital at Stagestruck.

Each month brings with it a new shiny piece of innovation set to disrupt the global events industry. But sometimes there’s a risk of getting sucked into the hype at the expense of genuine added value for audiences. So, what’s a better approach? 

When the iPad first launched in 2010, everyone wanted a piece of the action at their next event.   They wanted presentations distributed to each attendee, real-time feedback surveys and interactive Q&As all shared via a 9.7-inch touchscreen. Much the same happened when VR first made its way into the industry, companies shelling out huge sums on immersive experiences. And then came virtual presenters, speakers broadcast onto stages everywhere as hi-tech holograms.  

The trouble was, in each case, organisations didn’t necessarily know how or why they wanted to use the technology. Everybody else was doing it, so they wanted to as well. The consequence was audiences staring down at screens rather than engaging with fellow attendees, lacklustre VR experiences and great speakers that missed the chance to look people in the eye.