Brent Taylor of Timewise Event Management talks tech in the Event space

Brent is a partner with Timewise and the founder of Event Technology Solutions. Brent did very well in front of the camera, but he was too fascinated with the magic behind it so he built a company that focuses on delivering stress-free AV services. He has 25 years experience as an audio-visual technician, professional cameraman, and producer.

Learn more about Brent at: Timewise Event Management https://www.timewise.biz/

Linkedin https://ca.linkedin.com/in/brentjtaylor

Transcript follows:

I'm Brent Taylor, I'm a partner with Timewise Event Management based in Edmonton, Alberta. We're a conference incorporate event management firm. We've been in business since 1999. We also operate Event Technology Solutions, which is an audiovisual company that works regionally within Alberta, and we've been operating that company since 2011.

There's so much technology out there now, and engagement seems to be the key word these days. Well, there's another word too, innovation and engagement. When it comes to the events industry, engagement's huge. Everybody's talking about engagement and how do you engage people, or get them better engaged?

Some people choose to do that through innovation, so they're trying to innovate with their events, and whether that's through technology or just through the design of the event, it could be anything from seating, to right up to the technology side where, you know, apps are pretty much commonplace with events of a larger size. Especially with conferences, like conventions, when you start dealing with 500 plus people.

When we're talking about the events of the future, there's virtual reality, augmented reality, how that's going to effect them. One of the things that being done now, and I know FMAV, which is a Canadian audiovisual company, is all ready doing it, where with VR, where they will completely do a rendering of your event within that ballroom that it's going to happen, and they will send you out googles that you put on, and you can actually put them on and you can actually see what your event's going to look like.

[Off Camera] Oh my gosh.

So, they're quickly advancing that technology, but it's all coming. So virtual reality, augmented reality, who knows where that's going in the future? Especially on site, maybe we'll be walking around with googles on site and doing the Pokemon style thing, winning points-

[Off Camera] Or we wouldn't have to physically go to the event anymore.

Well, and even that. Actually, you know what? That brings ... one thing ... I get asked a lot about the death of face to face meetings, is it going to happen based upon the virtual aspects? Well, not only virtual reality and augmented reality, but the virtual presence of events, because you can broadcast your speakers or your whole conference, so is that going to hurt the face to face?

There's just some things that cannot be communicated through the web or virtually, and that's your non-verbal, your chemistry, like I don't know, there's just something about face to face that it has to be there. You just don't form the same connections as you would through a face to face connection. So, yeah, are they going to replace? No.

There's a whole program that's being offered now online through ... I think it's through PCMA, which is the Professional Convention Managers Association. Digital events, that's the future, but they're going to augment the face to face events. Face to face will never go away.

One of the cool things that's happening right now, and you're going to start seeing this term, is called second screen technology. Second screen would be that device that's in front of you, whatever it might be, somebody might have a computer, a tablet, or a phone in front of them, but interacting, doing anything on that device, so that includes the event tab.

What's really cool though is there's companies like [Slidol 00:03:22], which are actually providing a way for the speaker upfront, who can actually now interact with the person in the audience. So, if I'm sitting in the audience, through Slidol I can ask a question to the speaker up front.

Some of the innovative ways I've seen it used though is where the speakers ... I've seen two people co-presenting and one speaker's talking, and while he's talking the other one's looking at the screen, and they're actually dynamically changing their presentation to adapt for that audience in the room. That's where everything's going with presentations. So, you're going to see the word dynamic presentations, that terminology being used a lot.

The events industry is being driven by advancements in technology like crazy. Some of the things that we're seeing happen is there's RFID technologies, which are for tracking the people flow. They're being put right into the name badges that you'd wear. Very cool.

We're also seeing just in the way that things are done, because we were talking earlier about engagement, and one of the cool things that companies are innovating now are different ways of engaging people within things that typically have been boring, and one's like the question and answer sessions. Catchbox has a new product, well, I shouldn't say it's a new product, it's been out for a few years, but they've got a product where the microphone goes inside this actual box, and then you can toss it from one user to the next for them to ask their question to the speakers.

When it comes to technology within the events industry, I have to recommend Corbin Ball. He's based out of the US, but he's pretty much the guru of event technology worldwide. He knows it all, he travels internationally speaking, and he has a newsletter that he puts out once a month. He also speaks, and publishes, and everything else, but go follow him if you're interested in event technology.