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Telling Your Audience About Passive Tech Improvements: Yes or No?

On the surface, telling the outside world about improvements to your event's technology may seem like a no-brainer. Here are four considerations that may impact how you tout your show's next tech upgrade.

When a car company launches new technology in an automobile, they scream it from the rooftops. It’s a highly competitive industry, so it makes sense, right? Contrast that to when Amazon improves an algorithm or search, and it’s not like they throw a parade. In fact, I don’t think the vast majority of us realize in real-time when tech behemoths roll out new updates.

Whether your organization controls all of your event’s technology or whether you use outside vendors to accomplish certain goals, how do you know when to update your audiences on technology upgrades? Consider these four factors:

How new is it? Maybe you’re playing catch-up by employing something your exhibitors or attendees are already familiar with. In that case, touting your late tech adoption might not do any good. But if your upgrade or roll-out is so new that your audience needs instructions on how to properly use it, giving everyone a head’s up might make sense. Side note: technology adoption shouldn’t be terribly difficult for users, so if your instructions are lengthy, consider what you’re trying to accomplish.

How disruptive is it? Are you aiming to purposely alter the way veteran exhibitors and attendees interact with your event? Those who have been with you the longest can yell the loudest when things don’t go as they expect, so consider looping them in prior to any drastic technological updates. You could easily spin it as an exclusive benefit tied to their loyalty to your event, if you desire; just be prepared for feedback, and have a plan of how to potentially address their feedback before it comes.

How competitive is your event? If your show or conference is in a super-competitive space, the automobile example above may have hit home. You’re likely trying to differentiate your event from others, so talking about how your technology is bigger/better/badder may be your default.

Will you influence behavior? So much of the technology out today passively collects data from users in order to better gameplan for the future. Sometimes, by announcing a cool new update, you’ll impact the way people interact with things you’re measuring. Maybe that’s your goal? If not, spend a few moments brainstorming how year-to-year data could be altered if people were warned ahead of time about new features/updates.

BOTTOM LINE: Not all technology upgrades and announcements require a huge marketing campaign. You know your audiences better than anyone else. Drawing on experiences from your internal team or outside vendors may be helpful.

Want to chat? You can always find me on Twitter.

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