New year, new events industry tech standards! Well, maybe not. But one thing is for sure – Brandt Krueger and Will Curran agree on this. More specifically, on the fact that our industry needs to start implementing more tech standards. And this is something that has been creeping in for years now. Not just where the events industry is concerned either! We live in a world where technology has become key. And we challenge you to think about an industry or sector that doesn’t use technology in some way, shape or form. Hence, integration and standards in tech have never been more pressing than now.
Of course, events have been quick to jump on the bandwagon. Here at Endless, we’ve covered everything from AR and VR in events to mobile-tickets only, among many other interesting topics. So it’s only fair to expect that event profs start thinking about events industry tech standards. And who better to tell you why than our tech-savvy hosts, Brandt and Will? Press play right now, it’s time to start the year with some tech-talk!
As Will explains, recently news broke that “Google, Amazon Alexa, and a few other partners said hey, we’re going to fill up a standard for smart home technology. He continues to explain that they are “going to try and create standards across all these technologies” in an effort to try and bring all these technologies together.
Events Industry Tech Standards Are A Good Thing – Just Look Around
Brandt feels like this sets a great precedent. “So it’s very difficult anytime you’re trying to get somebody together, everybody on board to the same page. Because everyone’s worried that somehow they’re going to lose their market share or something along those lines. So I for one am really glad to see that at least they’re making the effort”, he says.
Will adds that “the most fascinating thing, is that this standard, not only did it bring together and say we’re going to all figure out a way to create one single open standard. But it also forced one of the players that weren’t open to be open, which I think is the perfect case of what you want when it comes to this sort of stuff”.
The Internet of Things
“One of the things that really bothers me in the IoT world is the fact that we’ve got all these different standards”, says Brandt. “If I’m trying to get in my lights on one thing and then we’ve got the Nest doorbell, and then we’ve got the Google Home hubs and we’ve got all of these things. And they’re all sort of talking to each other, but not really. And I’ve got a physical hub for this and a physical hub for that. It gets really messy really fast. And as consumers, you want things to be easy. So the more that we can standardize this kind of stuff, I think it’s going to be ultimately better for consumers”.
“My hope is that with this sort of thing too, that kind of brings parallels to it, is that even though it technically does lose market share, I think it hopefully causes them to work harder to build better products”, adds Will.
What We Can Learn From The Big Players
Before diving into events industry tech standards, it pays off to look into big names in tech. “I think the first major company to start thinking along these lines was Microsoft”, Brandt explains. “That the last couple times they’ve done major keynotes, they haven’t mentioned the word Windows at all. And they’re understanding now that they are a service that you can layer on top of other things, and so they’ve really been very intentional over the course of the last couple years of making sure that Office runs well on iPad. And it runs well on other systems, but it runs the best on the Microsoft systems. So I’ve been slowly getting sucked deeper and deeper into the Microsoft ecosystem, because of how well my Surface works and how well it works with the Office apps and how well it works”.
“I feel like the conversation is having more and more of I want this, but it doesn’t integrate with it and there’s no standard for what it needs to be done”, says Will. “And you would think it’d be easy because we have API’s now. But it is not and it’s because everyone’s using different standards of the database entry. And I don’t even know that the super technical side of things, but it just doesn’t exist right now. I’ve been noticing that too that people that say, I want this tool, it has to integrate with this. But there’s nothing that integrates with it”.
“It’s been a struggle in event land and event app land. But also just in business, in general”, adds Brandt. “The integrations between platforms has been that same fear, right? Is that we want to be open but not too open because then we want to lock people into our own ecosystem. And again, it goes back to that juggernaut conversation. If we’re going to own a registration platform and then an event app and a room block a designator and we want people in that ecosystem and so there’s less incentive to open things up. And so that’s why when you see an alliance like this come through, it really starts to be very pro-consumer”.
Tying It Together
Going deeper into events industry tech standards, Brandt goes on to add that “we’ve spoken about the interactivity level. About the fact that we want our IT provider, not our IT but our technology providers to get along better, to play along better. So if I want best in class registration and I want best in class room diagramming software and I want best-in-class this. I know if I’m the type of person that wants to pick and choose, I want all of those things to talk to each other and we’re just not there”.
“The same thing needs to happen in the events industry, if you’re a planner out there, you need to start asking for a sort of thing”, says Will. “I think when there’s enough push from the market, the market can help dictate these sorts of things”.
Brandt adds that !there are ways to use APIs and things like that. But I think it’s still kind of a hodgepodge and kind of a mess as far as how you’re getting your data in and out of these systems”. And on this topic, Will adds that “that’s not integration in any sort of way. Because if it requires the user to do more, as much work to get the data out and connect it. It’s not an integration that’s just cool, you have a slightly open system where we’re talking about, it’s like it truly just works together”.
Where To Begin With Events Industry Tech Standards?
“So I would love to start to see that happen in the technology in our industry where we can agree upon the basic fundamental data transfer”, says Brandt. “And there’s still plenty of opportunities for you to show that your product is a superior product. How easy is it to use the registration system? How intuitive is it? And how fast is it? How accurate is it? There are all of these measurements that can be used to quantify how, whether or not this is a good fit for our organization as opposed to just, does it work and can I get my data in and out of it?”.
Will believes that when it comes to events industry tech standards, we need to “have a standard that works perfectly and allows you to do what you need to do. But then make it so damn good that no one can turn away from it”. He goes on to add that “if you’re an event technology provider out there, let’s start to see some better alliances between everybody. And we’re not talking about just three vendors. We’re talking about everybody all together”.
“And I feel like that’s the only way if we all work together and have a voice as an industry. But as event tech, we have to have the voice in order to provide a better solution for the customers. Because technology is complicated. There’s so much happening. We don’t need to make it more complicated for people just in order to keep our markets”, he concludes.
And that’s a wrap on today’s episode of Event Tech Podcast! Do you agree that we need to come together and fight for events industry tech standards? And what do you think are the first steps towards this implementation? Make sure you let us know. Plus, don’t forget to tune in next week for another exciting tech talk!