Few sectors were hit harder during the height of Covid than events. With the pandemic forcing offices to shut and driving people indoors, networking face-to-face became a distant memory for a while, replaced by Zoom calls and Teams meetings. Where, then, have a tumultuous few years left the events industry? Are delegates now craving human contact or is the convenience of meeting online just too tempting?
Assessing all this and more, is Claire Singleton, Marketing Manager of new FIPP members Evessio, the award-winning company that provides event management software for awards and conferences. Launched in 2017, the company delivers end-to-end solutions to manage events, including nominations, secure judging and guest bookings.
We sat down with Singleton to look at how the events industry has been transformed, the rise of AI and Evessio’s commitment to making event management hassle-free.
How has the events landscape changed over the last few years? Where does the balance now lie between live and digital events?
Over the past few years, the events industry has witnessed a shift towards virtual events, accelerated by the impact of Covid-19. While virtual events gained prominence during 2020-2022, the current trend is witnessing an enthusiastic return to in-person events. There’s a growing desire for the tangible and interactive experiences that in-person events offer. The human connection, networking opportunities and immersive experiences associated with live events contribute to this shift. The balance now favours in-person awards and conferences with a heightened focus on sustainability and best sustainable practices. Whether clients organise in-person or digital events, Evessio’s software supports both to ensure clients achieve their objectives.
What are the biggest challenges facing event organisers at the moment?
One of the major challenges for event organisers is technology integration, with user adoption and scalability being common issues. Another one of the significant challenges is the difficulty in securing sponsorships. In today’s climate, various factors contribute to this – including economic uncertainties, shifting marketing strategies and increased competition for sponsors’ attention.
How will the rise of AI transform event organising, and how will Evessio adapt to these changes?
Evessio recognises the transformative potential of AI in the events industry and has taken a pioneering step by seamlessly integrating AI technology into its platform. This includes using ChatGPT to assist participants in crafting submissions, aiding event administrators in creating engaging content, and summarising judges’ feedback. Evessio’s approach ensures increased efficiency, enhanced participant experience, and empowered event administrators while maintaining the value of human judges to uphold the authenticity and integrity of the awards process. Evessio stays at the forefront of technology by fostering a commitment to innovation, as evidenced by CTO Paul Schnell recently being named the Best Chief Technology Officer at the Event Technology Awards. The company continually invests in cutting-edge solutions, like integrating AI technology into our platform. This groundbreaking step enhances award submissions, empowers event administrators, and elevates feedback mechanisms without compromising the authenticity and integrity of the judging process.
How big a role will events play as a revenue stream for media companies in the future?
Events will continue to play a substantial role as a revenue stream for media companies in the future. Evessio’s platform has consistently helped organisers maximise event success, with customers typically growing their revenues by 30% within the first year and in many cases leading to new and additional events being launched. The flexibility, scalability and innovative features provided by Evessio contribute to creating outstanding attendee experiences, attracting sponsors, and ultimately driving revenue growth for media companies hosting events.
You mentioned common obstacles like technology integration and securing sponsorship. How does Evessio help to tackle these?
In terms of technology integration, Evessio designs user-friendly software, backed by onboarding, training and customer support. The platform is built to scale with the evolving needs of events, providing flexible solutions for both small-scale and large-scale events. Additionally, Evessio emphasises transparency and consistent uptime, minimising disruptions to ensure uninterrupted operations. When it comes to sponsorships, we provide innovative solutions for advertising on awards websites. The platform enables organisers to offer advertising space on their awards websites, presenting an effective means to generate revenue, promote relevant products or services, and enhance the overall user experience. Evessio builds customisable websites for awards that include designated spaces for advertising. The team also guides events on maximising advertising effectiveness by considering the context and relevance of ads on different pages, such as placing sponsor ads on the homepage or within relevant award categories. This approach not only creates a new revenue stream for organisers but also provides sponsors with increased visibility and a direct connection to the event’s audience. In addition, Evessio offers a full e-commerce platform, empowering events to sell additional products like sponsorship packages, trophies, certificates, and even items for the awards ceremony. This revenue-boosting approach enhances the financial sustainability of awards programmes, creating a mutually beneficial arrangement that strengthens relationships with sponsors and consistently contributes to year-on-year revenue growth for Evessio’s customers.
Could you give us a case study of a successful media event that Evessio played a big role in helping to organise?
The William Reed case study exemplifies Evessio’s success in supporting the digital transformation of events. The integration of Evessio’s platform allowed William Reed to consolidate software, achieve scalability and provide a seamless user experience for attendees, judges, and internal staff in in-person events. Since adopting Evessio, William Reed has significantly increased the number of live events, hosting 150 events with approximately 20,000 attendees. The success measures include scalability, consolidation, usability, support, and cost of ownership, all of which Evessio’s platform effectively addressed.