April 29, 2024
By Paul Cook

The event technologist is one of the newest roles that seems to be on everyone’s lips.  As technology and events become increasingly intertwined, there’s a growing need for event professionals who understand the tech and are hungry to stay on the cutting edge. 

This leads to the important question: how can aspiring professionals become event technologists? Read on the learn the key steps to becoming a highly successful event technologist and how to carve your success in the role.  

7 key steps to becoming an event technologist

1. Research the role  

Event technologists are vital for event success as they use technology to streamline processes, enhance attendee experiences, and adapt events to changing trends and demands. 

It’s important to understand what the organisation needs from an event technologist. Don’t assume you already know, as every business is different. 

Use your network to find people who are already working as event technologists and listen to their experiences. Tapping into their insights can teach you a lot about what it’s like in the role. 

Read widely, trawl the internet, and listen to industry podcasts to find out all you can. 

Once you’ve gathered your intelligence, you’ll be better equipped to decide whether this is the career path for you. 

💡Check out this webinar for more top tips on the event technologist role: 

2. Build your experience 

There’s no direct path to becoming an event technologist. While having an event planning background can be helpful, it’s not essential. Understanding the event planners’ perspective and how technology can help is arguably more important. 

Before you can build more experience for the role, it’s essential for you to understand the skill set and experience you bring. 

So, do your own experience audit. Identify what you’ve done in your career to date and look at the projects that demonstrate how you would make a great event technologist. 

For example, if you have experience in project management or in a leadership role, this can be incredibly beneficial. Similarly, maybe there are projects where you have shown an understanding of the strategic value of technology in marketing or event production and communicated that effectively.

Write everything down and identify any gaps. These will show you what you need to do next to develop your capabilities. Look for opportunities to acquire experience in the areas you are weakest.

3. Gain the skills needed  

As events become more sophisticated, being an event technologist requires continuous learning. Think about taking relevant industry certifications, such as those provided by the Cvent Academy.  

The role of an event technologist is multi-faceted. It’s not just about data analytics and understanding event tech; it’s also about having effective communication and negotiation skills. 

What skills do you already have? Make a list and keep it handy. For example, having a good eye for detail and strong presentation skills are essential when pitching ideas to the C-suite.   

Compare the skills needed with those you have.  Make sure you keep refining the skills you hold and develop new ones. 

💡Learn more about the top skills you need to be a successful event technologist here.

4. Attend conferences and networking events 

Attending conferences and networking events is an important way to keep abreast of the conversations that are happening in the industry. What are the issues, and what does that mean for you? 

Conferences and workshops address the core issues of their audience. You’ll learn a lot just by attending them. If you’re working in-house, attend company events to get a feel for where the organisation is going and how you can impact it.  

Attending external conferences provides diverse perspectives to draw from. For example, the Cvent CONNECT Europe conference provides thought leadership sessions on the latest trends impacting the events industry. 

In addition to conferences and workshops, take every opportunity to attend networking events. Networking events tend to be places where people speak more openly, and you’ll be able to make valuable connections. You never know where a conversation may end up taking you on your journey. 

5. Publicise yourself  

Publicising yourself isn’t about appearing on TV. It means letting relevant people know what you do, including your work and industry colleagues.

Raising your visibility and building your personal brand is always valuable, so find opportunities to market yourself to new people. 

You can demonstrate your authority as a subject expert in event tech by writing blog posts or creating short-form content for social media.  

Podcasts are another great way to build your network, so take the opportunity to guest on relevant podcasts and discuss topics related to the field. You could use your network to get a referral or simply contact the podcast host directly.  Or, if you’re a freelance event tech expert, you might want to start your own podcast series.

By engaging with the broader event planner community, event technologists can stay informed and empowered to drive innovation and career success.

6. Keep on top of the latest tech trends  

To be valuable to any organisation, you’ll need to stay current with the latest trends and what they mean for you in your role as an event technologist. 

Taylor Bohn, Event Technology Lead at Cvent, says, “Proactively examining the latest trends, such as sustainability and accessibility, and participating in leadership meetings can help you position yourself as a strategic asset.”

At the end of the calendar year, trade mags and websites make predictions about the future, which can be a treasure trove of new intelligence. 

Similarly, regularly seek out reports and reviews for insights into trends. Look at other industries and see what’s happening elsewhere.  Are there ideas that could be adopted? 

Events and event technology are constantly evolving, so it’s critical to stay up-to-date. 

7. Update your portfolio  

It’s easy to lose sight of projects that could benefit you in the future. And you can be certain that someone will ask you for your experience.

Every piece of work you do adds a bit more to your experience and insights. After a project, do a debrief for yourself. 

You could write down what you did, what you learned along the way, and what you would do next time. 

This will help keep track of your progress and highlight any gaps in your experience.

So, keep your portfolio up to date, you’ll be glad you did. You never know when it’s going to be needed. 

Experts share their tips

Start small  

You can start small and develop the role from there. For example, Bohn, says, “If you’re already an event planner, you could ask your boss to let you spend 10% of your time working on event tech. This is better than saying you want to work on a project but don’t know how much time will be needed.” 

Build your C-Suite relationships  

Abi Cannons, Senior Strategic Account Manager at Grip, points out that relationship and trust building will also need to be in your kit bag of special skills. She says, “You’ll need to convince other people - from the coordinators on an event team to the C-suite - that the budget and resources you intend to use will be worth it.” 

Develop supplier relationships  

Event tech suppliers have enormous experience delivering their solutions and can help you obtain the data you need to prove the value of investment in their tech. 

Stay ahead of event tech 

Event technologists need to stay ahead. You can stay on the cutting edge by continuously exploring and experimenting with emerging technologies, especially in making the most of AI.

According to Cannons, “A good way to stay ahead is to subscribe to product updates from the various event tech suppliers. Many will have public roadmaps, allowing you to learn about what's coming next before the features are released.”

Provide ROI on tech investment  

It’s important to have a good understanding of the ROI of your event tech

Vanessa Lovatt, Strategy Consultant at FT Forums, advises “Provide quantifiable ROI on event tech investment wherever possible and if you run any event tech tests always provide as much detailed statistical analysis as you can, with particular attention on how those results feed into your business' overall goals.”

Establish KPIs and metrics   

It’s important to establish clear KPIs and metrics for success and to collaborate closely with managers to refine goals. 

Event technologists can demonstrate their impact and drive innovation within their organisations by prioritising timeline management, attendee usage metrics, and project management proficiency.

Learn from success and failures  

Cannons advocates using your personal network and event community to ask planners with similarly formatted events about their successes (and failures). 

“Personal experience is precious. Just make sure those experiences are recent; tech moves fast, and just because something was great a couple of years ago, it doesn't mean it is now.”

The constantly changing role of the event technologist    

Anyone with the necessary skills and expertise can become an event technologist, regardless of their previous career path. It takes honing the necessary skills and embracing continuous professional development. You need to always be ready for change as the needs of your organisation evolve. If you can do these things, you can position yourself for success as an aspiring event technologist.

To discover more about the role of event technologists, download our eBook, The Evolving Role of the Event Technologist.

Paul Cook

Paul Cook has been immersed in business events for over 20 years, as a writer, producer, speaker, advisor, and educator. He is the author of three event focused books; Supercharge Your Virtual Speaking, Remotely Engaging and Risk It! Paul is a Past President of the UK Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and he is currently serving as a Jury President for the Eventex Awards.

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The Role of the Event Technologist
Discover the new role that's taking centre stage in the events industry

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