“A revolution is needed not in action, but rather in the way of thinking”
Q: What do you desire the most at the moment?
Well, that depends on whether you are asking the event professional or the private person. As an event-pro, you might not be very surprised if I say that I want everything to get back to normal as soon as possible. Event organisers and tech companies have now adapted quite well to the situation, although the sector has numerous essential players who do not have the possibility to do so. These include tourist guides, hotel staff, bus drivers or caterers. I hope that the time will come as soon as possible for us to work together again. As a private person (laughs), I want to crowd surf at some dirty punk concert, though I have not done that since I was 15 years old.
Q: Why do you love organising events?
It would be difficult to single out a single reason. Being an event pro is not only a profession but rather a way of life. Seeing and being an active part of the process when an idea is converted into physical reality. The positive feedback of the hundreds and thousands of people who attended our events, the unique quality of teamwork, the common challenges, the feeling of the backstage initiative. These all contribute to such a special relationship with our industry.
Q: Can you present the tool or app you use the most during the corona crisis?
It would be difficult to single out anything. As a technology provider, I think it is much more our job to help our customers adjust to the many solutions available in the market to find the best tool for their needs.
Q: How would you explain to a client why organising events is essential?
Because we are social animals. I do not think it would fit into this interview to go deeper into the subject of human ethnology or cultural anthropology, but I can assure everyone, it is scientifically proven that events can only have a positive impact. Whether we want to improve the performance of our workforce or the brand loyalty of our customers. There is not a more effective solution than a live event.
Q: Is it easier to organise digital or live events?
Both have their own challenges. Of course, it is true that because we are now forced to digitize faster than under normal circumstances, the technical maturity of the participants and performers will largely determine our capabilities. Of course, this is not different for live events. Just think about how many different aspects we need to consider when organizing a children’s event or a corporate party. The new circumstances need new approaches. After all, that is what we are best at – adapting to the situation.
Q: Is organising digital events cheaper than organising classic events?
Not at all. In a digital event, the resource requirement increases in direct proportion to complexity in the same way as in a live event. Of course, there are things you can save on like the travel costs, but it is much more beneficial if you allocate financial resources skillfully. Just consider the fact that we can invite a star performer to an online event whose travel and accommodation costs could not have been supported by the budget, but now we can bring them to our audience online.
“Our environment is digitizing at a rapid pace, yet still, nothing can replace a real handshake or a hug”
Q: If the future of the meetings industry will be green, where do we start?
A revolution is needed not in action, but rather in the way of thinking. It does not matter where we start, let’s just start. On a personal level, at each step of the way, we should consider whether there is a more environmentally friendly solution for a given task. All those little steps are driving this case forward. The higher the demand for such solutions, the greater the supply. This is a self-propelling process only the initial impulse needs to be given.
Q: What will be the key trait of a great event organiser after the corona crisis?
I do not think that is going to change. Adapting to circumstances, this is what our profession is about. The wider your horizons, openness and awareness it is all the better for this profession. This brings to the fore the best ones from the multitude. That will never change.
Q: What is your view of the future? Where is the meetings industry headed?
Events are more important than ever. Our environment is digitizing at a rapid pace, yet still, nothing can replace a real handshake or a hug. It is, of course, obvious that in the future there will be plenty of digital technologies in our profession that we are only now getting used to. I think the biggest hits in the coming years will be wearable devices and the IoT. If we are thinking about the longer term, I think the most exciting thing is that we are probably going to be organising the first Martian event this century.
Q: What is the most surprising fact about organising events?
A wizard never reveals his secrets ?.
EXTRA QUESTION FOR JANOS
Q: High Tech or High Touch?
Both! I warn everyone against conceiving this as “one or another” question. They are not mutually exclusive, in fact, the most important thing is to learn how the two can strengthen each other.