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Embrace Disruption: Technology for Live Events

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Technology can be the ultimate disrupter to your business. View that as you may — either positively or negatively. Regardless of which side of the fence you sit, the fact of the matter is technology — and how to appropriately invest in it — is a large driver in the live events industry.

We caught up with Mark Ufland of digital photography company Memories in an Instant to get his perspective on which technologies are disrupting the live events industry, and how professionals should be proactively planning. 

Experience: What is the single biggest disrupter facing the live events industry, from a technology perspective (and why)?

Ufland: I think that mobile devices continue to disrupt much in the industry, as they have for the last few years. A few of the many ways in which mobile devices have disrupted the live events industry include: 

  • Changes to web design: Websites need to be responsive, as most people are viewing them on mobile devices. 
  • Changes to event design and strategy: Many events are designed around trying to create an experience where the mobile sharing of content in order to create buzz and impressions is a primary measure of their effectiveness.  
  • Snapchat geotags, Hashtag printing and Twitter walls, Instagram worthy design elements, selfie spots, AR activations: All set up to facilitate sharing via mobile devices.  
  • Changes to photography and video: While possibly shortsighted, many events are doing away with the traditional photographer and videographer and instead using mobile devices to capture the details of an event. 
  • Changes to registration at events: Many are switching to mobile devices (and RFID bracelets or badges) to facilitate registrations, as well as tracking of attendees to see how they move and interact on a trade show floor. 

Experience: What factors are influencing your budget for technology, and do you anticipate that budget to change in the near future?

Ufland: As a leader in the photo booth industry, we are constantly increasing our technology spends in order to continue to stay ahead of the competition. Our market has increased by many times over the last few years, and as more people use our services, there has been an increase in pressure from customers to keep pace with many of the things that they see on TV, on the web and in film. When pop culture unveils a new way to present content, it doesn’t take long before someone is asking us for it in our photo booths.

Experience: What is the most effective method that event professionals can use when researching and learning about new technology?

Ufland: Much of our research is done through the many social media channels in which we participate. Facebook groups and Google searches are still our number-one way to get an idea of what new tech is coming, what customers are looking for, what our competitors are rolling out and to learn new ways to do things.

Mark Ufland is Owner of Memories in an Instant, and a 25-year photo industry executive. A sales professional at heart, he has worked nationally with clients such as Benefit Cosmetics, Salesforce, Disney Worldwide and Macy’s while also sending green screens and photo booths to hundreds of social events. His energy and fun loving spirit has helped fuel his company’s 300% growth in the last four years.

Tags: technical production