5 Easy Ways to Justify Technology at Conferences

5 Easy Ways to Justify Technology at Conferences | HTR

A recent survey of 55 meeting planners and 25 tech execs conducted by The X Letter, an event marketing company, showed the following results when it comes to technology:

  • 84% felt it was very or somewhat important to incorporate the latest technology into their events
  • 77% said their budgets kept them from adopting new tech solutions and
  • 37% cited the resistance to change on the part of their management or clients.

So if technology is important, yet you are having a hard time justifying the expense and changing management’s mind, how can you overcome these obstacles in order to get technology into your conference?

Here are a few key ideas to help convince management about the benefits of technology for conferences.

Tear Conference Budget Apart

Many times, you don’t think you can justify technology such as iPad rentals or touch screen rentals because you have never introduced this technology into your conference before.

However, if you really take your budget apart and include printing, assembly time and shipping of conference binders, along with all the paper generated for speaker handouts and surveys, you will find that the cost differential is not as great as you thought it might be.

In addition, rather than pouring money into large directional posters and trade show maps, touch screens can serve as directional signage and interactive trade show maps.

If cost is still greater than you are comfortable with, consider gaining more sponsors and allow them to post videos, photos and/or their logo several times within each app or on the Wi-Fi splash page where attendees sign in.

Set Up a Learning Lounge

Rather than converting everyone to technology all at once, perhaps you set up a testing lounge at your workplace or at your event where management and attendees can try a series of laptop, iPad and tablet rentals – each with different applications on them. If possible, staff the area with vendor experts who can inspire timid users to try the devices.

Implement Technology Slowly

Rather than replacing your old system all at once, perhaps you implement the process slowly and allow management and attendees to value the benefits of technology themselves. Perhaps you start with asking attendees if they would prefer mobile devices or binders and provide the event rentals to those who do. Ask them to blog or post on social their technology experience.

Get Management Involved in the Process

Invite management to all the product demonstrations and meetings you attend when evaluating which technology makes the most sense for your conference. You may find that once their eyes are opened by the vendor, you don’t have to sell the advantages of technology any longer.

Ask the vendor to provide a loaner to your manager for a few days so they can test the app in the privacy of their office.

Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of Technology

For the first time in history, technology is changing faster than we can adapt to it. Therefore, it behooves you to keep abreast of these changes as they may affect the technology you recommend. Corbin Ball has a great site filled with technology articles that are specifically geared to meeting planners. PlannerWire is another great resource, as are the many LinkedIn groups that filled with meeting technology updates. Make it a point to check out these sites once a month and copy your management team on interesting articles.

So, the more comfortable you, your management team and attendees are with technology the more it will sell itself!

About Hartford Technology Rental

Before your next conference or trade show, call us at 888-520-5667 or contact us online and let us show you how we can make your next event stand out and still come in within your budget.