As a provider for digital guest solutions, we are, of course, at the Best of Events in Dortmund – just like every year in January. This year's main topic is technology. With our solution for digital guest management, invitation, admission, and check-in management, we are at the right place. BOE is also an annual Road Trip for AirLST – 600km on the motorway. But the roads are actually empty when we leave on Tuesday for the set-up, and so we arrive relaxed at the exhibition center and can immediately plunge into the hustle and bustle of hall 7.
Our booth (D52) has got a new and fresh design, the colleagues from Party Rent have already delivered our furniture. We only have to take care of small things and can install our technology as well as the Print Station for printing name badges on-site. This year Karli Karlsson, the photo bus is our neighbor, a mint green T2 - converted into a mobile photo box - it's a real eye-catcher. The neighbors of Chariot Event are old buddies, we are supplied with coffee and chocolate by them and look forward to two intense days at the fair.
Two days of Best of Events, many conversations, exciting discussions, and lectures on the stages of each hall and at our booth are about to follow. According to the official figures, 11,000 visitors came to find out about the latest trends and developments in the event industry.
Especially on the first day, a lot is going on, and we are noticing: digital guest management is in demand. We will be presenting our solutions AirLST ONE for single events and AirLST PLUS for the planning of several events. We are especially pleased to be able to present our latest development: The AirLST Studio. Here,AirLST users will have the possibility to design and edit their invitations and landing pages in self-service and completely independent registration forms will be created, images exchanged, and calendars inserted on the landing page via drag & drop. Our contribution to increasing flexibility and autonomy through digital tools in the event industry.
On Wednesday, we attend various lectures and talks in Forum 6 on the topic of Future Meetings & Events, for example, the Pecha Kucha lecture by Dr. Christina Buttler: Success Factors for Events - How do we meet the expectations of the participants? The answer: We should know our target groups exactly, story telling is still the strategy, but creating unexpected situations and dynamics is also at the top of the list. Dr. Buttler appeals: Have some faith in your participants! And don't leave them alone, but give them orientation and guidance. The subsequent panel discussion with Dr. Buttler, Stefan Kirchner, and Rainer König follows precisely this.
Far too often, the sentence would be: "I can't do that with my participants." Will the problem eventually resolve itself because future generations are more familiar with innovative formats and the use of technology? Do new technologies even help to make events more participatory? Dr. Christina Buttler, Stefan Kirchner, and Rainer König discuss controversially but agree that innovation should be accompanied by careful moderation. If participants are not left alone and confronted with excessive demands but are introduced to changes, then, according to experience, innovations are accepted.
At the end of the discussion, the panelists had questions for the audience and presented the live voting tool from SwarmWorks. The panelists ask whether, according to the audience's opinion, more and more events are taking place both online and offline? The audience holds up ladles with mirror pads, which are captured by red-light cameras. It can be noted that 85% of the audience agree with this question. Another question was: Are events becoming more participatory, and are these formats displacing the classic lecture events? Here 69% of the audience agreed. The audience was not so united when it came to the question of whether virtual reality and holograms will conquer the congress rooms. 50% agreed, 42.9% disagreed, and 7.1% said they did not know.
All in all, an exciting discussion in which important questions were asked and which showed that event planners need to stay in constant and active communication with their participants.
We are already looking forward to the coming year: BOE 2021 will take place on January 20-21.