There is a definite cultural distinction within the tech industry and community, and it is important to consider this when creating any tech-focused event. “Versus, say, a healthcare event, there is a very different tone and manner which is reflected within the creative and execution of the event,” says John Woo, SVP, Design and Creative, when discussing events he designed.
Corporate and user events for Red Hat, Tableau, and Facebook include completely different experiences aimed at their attendees and their respective culture. If you want to speak in stereotypes, typically those attendees from the tech space are more receptive to having open playgrounds, more analog experiences, and even using technology in unexpected ways that create surprise and delight moments. Because they are often completely surrounded by tech, they appreciate new and innovative ways of incorporating technology into experiences. Where someone attending a construction industry event might be super excited to see a giant-sized LED because they don’t see that every day, it would be more run-of-the-mill for a techie. They might prefer a built-in wall vault that, for example, creates and serves customizable cupcakes.
Woo says, “We’re in an era of ‘one-upsmanship’. Tech companies try to gain an advantage over each other, from the general sessions to incorporating technology in new ways, and doing it sophisticatedly. Sometimes they may even remove all tech and go full analog. Because this industry isn’t constrained like some others, including healthcare, they have the ability to take more risks.”
These risks often include choosing non-traditional venues. While these companies may stay in the usual cities, they are more likely to explore every nook and cranny to find a location deemed even “kinda cool.” Since the venue helps drive the experience, if the event city is negotiable, finding a unique venue could make it or break it.
We know that events exist for a specific business purpose, whether to promote a brand within a specific sector, to convince consumers to buy more products/services, or to motivate internal stakeholders to help generate more sales. No matter how you define your event, it goes back to the way your audience interprets the technology and what they are used to seeing or experiencing. Providing them with an experience that they crave is paramount to getting the results you desire.
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