When Event Tech Goes Wrong: Solutions From Behind The Scenes
We love it that technology can turn a simple event into one with global impact and that’s why, when there’s an opportunity to integrate it into our events, we grab it with both hands.
It’s no surprise that more and more events are seeing an increase in their attendees, with trends such as AI and VR making waves in the industry. The experiential dynamics due to the presence of technology are not only evident in the number of guests attending these events, but also in their engagement. While we’re big fans of tech, we can’t dismiss that when we say things can go wrong at events, technology is often the reason why. Something as simple as a power trip or poor attention to technical elements can cause an event to take a turn for the worst, and while tech slip-ups are hard to avoid, our key response is to manage it.
Remember: These things happen
Managing tech failures is always easier said than done because, if we’re completely honest, no one wants to go into a job anticipating the worst, but we’ve been in the industry long enough to know that this is a reality. Having this knowledge, and not shying away from it is where proactive event planners succeed, because they’re able to anticipate problems and put measures in place to counteract them so that the event runs smoothly.
Once, at a conference with about 2500 delegates, technology created a major hiccup for us. We had talking head videos of senior delegates lined up to play and, despite having multiple dry runs and testing all the videos prior to the event, the CEO’s lips were out of sync! Fortunately for us, we had a great Show Caller who quickly identified the issue and, through an in-ear monitor, notified the MC who was able to adlib and entertain the crowd with equal agility and professionalism while our technical team quickly fixed the video in the background. Just by thinking on their feet, disaster was definitely avoided.
What To Do Behind The Scenes
- Having a great team on board and maintaining a good relationship with suppliers is really the foundation of successfully tackling any kind of problem at events, especially when it comes to tech, so choose your team carefully.
- Have a backup plan as far as possible. If it means checking with the venue for a second power supply option, or having second tech supplier on speed dial, then do so, but remember to keep your budget in mind and manage that process. It’s also worth finding out everything that could go wrong with your tech supplier, and identifying their backup plan so that it’s swiftly carried out should anything happen.
- If there’s a slight chance that you can communicate the same message without tech and maintain the standard of the guest experience and quality of engagement, put that plan in place.
- Be honest with your guests if you find yourself in a situation completely out of your control. However, the truth of the matter is that, if you’ve set alternative solutions in place, there will always be a way. Event planners need to know how to put out fires and/or use the fire to create fire-works!
- Having onsite support is a practice we personally prioritize, and we could chat about multiple experiences where things could have got wrong but didn’t because we had a team on the ground managing the situation. At the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Events have successfully run independently of technology for a long time, but we’re living in a different world now, so shying away from using tech isn’t an option, especially if it eases your event creation process and creates a unique experience for your audience. Our outlook has always been that with every obstacle, there’s an opportunity to find a solution, so if you’re wondering how best to use tech at your next event, get in touch with our team and we’ll show you.