Welcome to Event Tech Podcast Episode ZERO! We are so excited to launch this podcast focusing on the latest and most innovative tech. Join us weekly for a thought-provoking journey on how tech can evolve our industry. Our hosts Brandt Krueger of Event Technology Consulting & Will Curran of Endless Events will guide you through all things related to event technology and distill complex topics so that everyone can understand them, as well as give ideas on how to implement some of the technology. Be sure to subscribe to the Event Tech Podcast so you get the latest episodes and information as soon as they launch!
Event Tech Podcast – Episode Zero
Brandt Krueger: Hello, everybody. I’m Brandt Krueger, Event Technology Consulting, and welcome to the Event Tech Podcast. We’re really excited to be here today, and I would like to introduce my co-host.
Will Curran: Mr. Will Curran in the house from Endless Events.
Brandt Krueger: Working your best NPR Radio voice on this one.
Will Curran: I’m working really hard to talk a lot softer than I usually do because we’re sitting in lounge furniture in a hotel room just talking about tech.
Brandt Krueger: That’s right. So, for those of you that might be joining us from, you may have already been a subscriber to the Event Tech Podcast, we have been wanting to do this for a while. There’s been kind of a vacancy in the space. So, John Federico was the guy, Gadget Boy- John Federico was running the Event Tech Podcast for a couple years and moved on to bigger and badder things. So, when we were bantering about, “Hey, let’s do a podcast about event tech and AV and all kind of the technology …
Will Curran: We created this massive list of names. So, we were sitting over a couple beers in Phoenix and just talking through, “What should we name this podcast?” We kept coming back to it, we loved the name Event Tech Podcast.
Brandt Krueger: Event Tech Podcast. Yeah. So, we reached out to John and we were like, “John, we would love to just continue, pick up the mantle, and pick up where you left off.” There’s, what, 86, 87 episodes.
Will Curran: 87, I think, episodes.
Brandt Krueger: Great content that John created over the years that he was doing the podcast. So, we hope to pick up the mantle.We were going to rebrand it a little bit, make it our own, but we definitely want to say thank you so much to John Federico-
Will Curran: Thank you, John.
Brandt Krueger: for letting us pick up the mantle and pick up where you left off.
Will Curran: Well, what’s crazy too, I mean like John was one of the first people to do video on his podcast and do the interview style. He obviously focused on one to one. Amazing for John because he trail blazed for us to start #EventIcons too in the video podcast because he was doing this way before us. I think in 2012 was the first episode that he did it in and that’s light years. I started doing Event Icons in, what, 2016 is it now, or so? So, it’s like if it wasn’t for John, this definitely would not be possible. So, thank you, John, so much for all your support in helping make this happen.
Brandt Krueger: Absolutely. Absolutely. So kind of what we wanted to do with this initial episode was just almost a episode zero for us. Depending on where you count it, it’s 87. But for us, it’s episode zero, and just talk a little bit about what we want to get out of this show, why we’re doing it, a little bit about ourselves, just in case. Obviously, we’re hoping that a lot of folks will come over from #EventIcons Podcast and want to listen here. But just in case not. So, Will, tell me a little bit about you, where you came from, how you got into the events business, and a little bit about what you’re doing now.
Will Curran: Yeah, totally. So, I’ve always been naturally a technologically curious person. Right? I’ve been really into tech and being really nerdy in some ways. I’ve always been into gadgets and things like that. Then I got lucky enough that in high school, my parents very much let me do pretty much whatever I wanted. So, I took a little bit of money I saved up from making websites, started a DJ company. Eventually, that DJ company hired production companies to do these massive high school dances. I’m giving the short version of the story.
Brandt Krueger: This is the short version?
Will Curran: I know, right? I know we can’t babble on. Then basically started an AV production company is the long story of where Endless is now. So, I’ve always been surrounded by technology and being really excited about new lights and things like that. Then naturally, as we started to create content and start, for example, Event Icons, the other podcast that we do, naturally, I think I started becoming placed in this event tech space and asked questions about it, which I wasn’t really prepared for at first.
Will Curran: But then I realized there’s so much cool stuff and so much of it, I think that’s why I’m excited about this show is that there’s so much of bleeds in from the other areas that I’m so fascinated in and talk about how that crosses over with the events industry. That’s just going to be super duper exciting.
Brandt Krueger: Well, and we’re both gadget hounds.
Will Curran: So much.
Brandt Krueger: It’s just we’re into technology.
Will Curran: Watch the In My Bag episode on #EventIcons. You’ll know.
Brandt Krueger: Right, right, right. Exactly. So, it’s a natural for us to go down this road of, the intersections of both our personal passions and our professional passions, of how do we do it? So, one of the things, before I go into my background, is-
Will Curran: I was going to ask you about-
Brandt Krueger: Yeah. Yeah. I appreciate that. So, one of the things that we wanted to do with this one is keep it casual, keep it fun, keep it easy because this is personal passion time-
Will Curran: Totally.
Brandt Krueger: … that intersects with our professional passion. One of the things that’s fascinating to me is people are always asking us, what are the trends? What are the new things? You just got done talking about that. Yeah.
Will Curran: Yeah.
Brandt Krueger: So, just so you folks know, as we’re recording this, we’re recording this live from a hotel room in Edmonton, Canada because we just got done speaking at Go West, which is a great conference if you ever get a chance to feel it out. So, Will and Alex Plaxen were doing a thing on tech trends just today. We get asked this stuff all the time, right?
Will Curran: Every day.
Brandt Krueger: Oh, you’re techy guys. Oh, you’re an AV guy. Oh, you’re a techy guy. So, what are the cool trends that are coming down?” What’s amazing to me is that there’s actually a nice lead time on the stuff that’s coming. So, because the events industry by nature, we’re cautious, right? Planning is literally in the title. So, because we’re so cautious, we really don’t like to adopt technology until it’s bulletproof.
Will Curran: For sure.
Brandt Krueger: So, as a result, the stuff that’s flying fast and furious from Silicon Valley is several years out. So, we talk about things like virtual reality and blockchain and all of these things that are coming down the way. We can see it coming down the road, but for quite a ways, when you’re immersed in that world.
Will Curran: Totally. It’s like watching a speeding car coming down the highway about to hit you.
Brandt Krueger: Yeah. Three years later, it’s like, “Oh, wow.” Then it finally hits our industry and we’re able to use… So, those, I would consider keeping an eye. People want to know, “Well, how do you find out what the next tech trends are?” Just look at the regular tech trends.
Will Curran: Yeah, totally.
Brandt Krueger: Then a couple years later, you’re going to wind up going-
Will Curran: Sometimes, we get it faster, but it’s very rare. Very, very rare, if you think about it.
Brandt Krueger: It’s got to be bulletproof. There are very few events that allow people to get truly experimental with technology-
Will Curran: Oh, my gosh, yeah.
Brandt Krueger: … because if it goes wrong, you only get one shot at it, and your toast. So, a little bit about me and my background, I worked for meeting and event-
Will Curran: Yes. Tell them.
Brandt Krueger: What’s that?
Will Curran: Yes. Tell them.
Brandt Krueger: Yes. Tell them. Shut up about the technology and tell them what you do. So, I come a meeting and events background of about 20 years. I worked for a meeting and event production company out of Minneapolis for about 16 years, went out on my own about five years ago and created Event Technology Consulting. It’s a nice umbrella for all the little stuff that I love to do in the event industry. I love being on site, I love working with AV vendors, I love working with technology.
Brandt Krueger: So, helping mainly small to medium shows, ready to take that next step and get them two or three AV bids. They’re not ready for a production company like Will’s. They’re not ready to take the next step. But they just need a guy. I just need a guy that can come in and give me two or three. Yeah.
Will Curran: Is that Minnesota accent coming out again?
Brandt Krueger: Yeah. Totally. Totally. We were joking about that in the session today. My Minnesota accent sneaks out when I least expect it. So, that’s my background. So, I’ve had this passion for technology the majority of my life. My brother was an uber-geek and he’s four years older than me. So, I’m like first generation PC.
Will Curran: Oh, wow.
Brandt Krueger: So, I was around my first computer when I was six.
Will Curran: Awesome.
Brandt Krueger: So, 1980. So, in 1980, we got our first computer.
Will Curran: Can I comment on the fact, so obviously, there’s also a big gap in that too because for my first computer would have probably been when I was six or five years old, and that was 1995, 10 years later.
Brandt Krueger: So, yeah. For me, it was like the first possible generation of personal computing.
Will Curran: So cool.
Brandt Krueger: Yeah. So, always around gadgets and computers and stuff from a very early age. So, in all of the time that I’ve been in this industry, I’ve always looked at it through an eye of technology. I was the first one running to my boss being like, “Dude. They’ve got this new thing. You can put five CDs in one thing and you can hit shuffle and it’ll play …”
Will Curran: It shuffles across the tracks on all of them.
Brandt Krueger: Right. It’ll play dinner jazz all night long.
Will Curran: I’m lazy.
Brandt Krueger: You don’t have to be like, “I got to go flip the disc.”
Will Curran: Yeah, totally. Could be listening to Joe Jackson, then you’re listening to Beach Boys. So awesome.
Brandt Krueger: We come with the three-ring binders of CDs, of, okay, here’s the dinner jazz section, here’s the jock jams section, all this kind of stuff. So, always looking at our event industry through a technological side. So, it’s really exciting to me to be able to start to pull this together and pull these passions together.
Will Curran: Yeah. Totally. I’m just really excited too. This is definitely, I’m here for a long ride very much with you because you’ve been in since the beginning. In fact, I don’t know if we tell this story on #EventIcons or not about how we really met, but very much, I came into the space, started posting stuff on AV and these ideas I had for transparency and authenticity when it comes to AV.
Will Curran: You very much, Brandt was the AV event tech guy. Oh, my god. I looked up to you so much. I still do, obviously. That’s why we want to do this show together. But you were the man when it came to this stuff. Then you were like, “Yeah. You’re doing some pretty cool stuff too,” and I was like, “Holy crap. Brandt is really into my stuff. Sweet!”
Brandt Krueger: That’s always been a huge hot button for me. I remember vividly when I first started doing conference sessions and things like that on secrets of AV and presentation, there were people in my production company that were like, “Dude. What are you doing?”
Will Curran: What are you doing?
Brandt Krueger: “You can’t be giving away the secret sauce like that?”
Will Curran: Contrast that with today, though. We were giving a session on in house AV vs. third party. We’re sitting there with an in-house company in there and they’re saying, “Great job. Awesome job.” Obviously, they’re a great company to work with. So, totally contrasting, but things have changed for sure.
Brandt Krueger: So, Will, so what do we want to get out of this show? What do we want to talk about? What are the topics people can start looking forward to? Where are we going to take this thing?
Will Curran: Yeah. Well, I think one of the first episodes that we want to record is how to bridge that consumer electronics show aspect. All the things that are happening in the space.
Brandt Krueger: Well, yeah. Like we were talking about. Yes. It’s what coming down the pipe-
Will Curran: Yeah, it’s coming down the pipe.
Brandt Krueger: … vs. what’s coming our way anytime soon.
Will Curran: Yeah. Let’s talk about what’s exciting in that space because I think far too often that the thing I think that’s going to be exciting about this podcast is that it’s our chance to share what we’re obsessed with with people who don’t have time to be obsessed with it like we are. We’re watching YouTube videos of all the newest things coming down the line and it’s our chance to put a spin on it and say, “Is this stuff even worth looking at?” I think I’m just really excited about talking about those things that we’re passionate about, you talk about and then distilling and sharing with the rest of everybody in a condensed format, essentially.
Brandt Krueger: Well, and the other thing that I really want to try and focus on is, a lot of times when we talk about, we see these trends posts and we see … I’m not saying you guys did it, your trends thing.
Will Curran: No, totally.
Brandt Krueger: But a lot of times, when we talk about these trends, sometimes we’re light on the concrete examples of-
Will Curran: Oh, for sure.
Brandt Krueger: So how can we actually apply this to events?
Will Curran: For sure.
Brandt Krueger: So, it’s one thing to say, “Virtual reality is coming. It’s going to be awesome for your events.” Okay, but how do we actually implement that and how do we actually make it something that I can bring to my event in a way that’s going to make my attendees go, “Wow, that was awesome”?
Will Curran: That’s so true. Yeah. We’re totally guilty of it, for sure, because you have to be sometimes vague. When you’re doing it, it’s because, yeah, everyone’s saying it’s a trend, everyone’s talking about it, but is it actually going anywhere? I think that was one of the things we talked about a little bit in our session to day. But just how you have to be willing to also call BS, I think, on some trends to be like, “Yeah. Everyone’s talking about, for example, artificial intelligence.”
Will Curran: But that’s not a real thing yet for everyone and I think everyone wants to seem cool and stay on top of it. But I think in reality, we have to come for it in an educated way. I think that’s where this can also create a bigger forum vs. Event Icons, for example. We had to go through the trends so quick. I’m snapping my fingers as we’re going so quick. But with this, this format totally allows us to deep dive and get nerdy.
Brandt Krueger: Yeah, and again, what I’m hoping is that we’re not going to necessarily not just appeal to the gadget hounds that are in the audience, but certainly, that’s great. But also, those, again, that are just looking for concrete ways to apply this technology or just learn a little bit more about it, hopefully in a way that makes sense so we can break it down a little bit and be like, “Okay. Here’s what you really need to know about blockchain or all these terms. Or what does it mean when we talk about artificial intelligence in events?”
Will Curran: Yeah. Totally. Totally. I think your head’s definitely in the right space when it comes to it. I’m just really excited, I think, also just about the fact that this isn’t video and that we get to sit here and just hang out and just talk with good audio format and just do our thing and just hang out.
Brandt Krueger: All right. So, I think, yeah, that pretty much summarizes what we’re looking forward to in this show. We hope that gives you a tease of what we’re looking to do with the show. We’re still firing up all of the machinery behind the scenes to those-
Will Curran: I can talk about the machinery and what people have to look forward to, for sure. So, yeah. If you just head to eventtechpodcast.com, if you’re there right now, we’re going to have all of the subscription links. Obviously, if you’re listening to this, you’re probably listening to this on iTunes or YouTube or Stitcher, or wherever it may be. We obviously hope that you subscribe wherever you want to be. But compared to #EventIcons, which is one hundred percent live, you have to tune in to join the chat and everything like that, this is wherever you want to enjoy it, basically.
Will Curran: But if you head eventtechpodcast.com, we’re going to be starting to push out some original content and some unique exclusive content as well, some deeper dive interviews, things like that, some behind the scenes. So, if you go there, you can subscribe on there to be able to get all of that in your email inbox, and also, so you can be aware of that. To be honest, if you also don’t already, subscribe to, obviously, at the hashtag, #EventIcons as well, and yes, because definitely, that’s one of, obviously, our other pet projects that we have going on.
Will Curran: But, also as well, join the conversation. We’re using, obviously, hashtag, #eventtechpodcast on Twitter, Instagram. Everywhere you are, basically utilize that hashtag. We’ll be hanging out there as well for future conversations. Then yeah.
Brandt Krueger: As always, we say this every week on #EventIcons, but let us know what you want to talk about.
Will Curran: Yeah, for sure.
Brandt Krueger: So, use the hashtag, #eventtechpodcast. I’m so used to saying #EventIcons. So, use the hashtag, #eventtechpodcast. Let us know what technology you’re curious about, what you’d really like to see concrete examples of, like, “Oh, man, I just don’t quite get this thing.” So, really do let us know what you’re interested in, and so we can try and cover it for you.
Will Curran: Yeah. Totally. So, I think that ends the episode zero.
Brandt Krueger: Yeah. Thank you so much. We hope you’ll stay tuned. Stay subscribing and we’ll talk to you next time on Event Tech Podcast.
Outro: Thanks again for listening to the Event Tech Podcast. Be sure to rate and review us on your favorite podcasting app. Also, be sure to head to eventtechpodcast.com and leave us a comment about this week’s episode. We’ll see you next week on the Event Tech Podcast.
- John Federico @gadgetboy the original creator of Event Tech Podcast
- #EventIcons Podcast – Each week, we interview the biggest names in the events industry and give you, the audience, the chance to ask any questions you want.
- GO WEST
- Consumer Electronics Show
- 2019 Event Trends