Event Technology Doesn’t Work! (And it’s the organiser’s fault!)


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Many event orgnaisers think that they can improve the experience of their events by just adding some technology out of the box, but most of the times this efforts fail miserably.

In order to help the audience do what they already what to do, organisers have to design the required behaviours into the event experience, so that it flows naturally.

A presentation on behaviour design focusing on how to use technology at events.

The following slides from my talky at TechFest 2013 have been edited in format and with added commentaries to be shared as a PDF.

Event: TechFest 2013, London (UK)
Date: July 19th, 2013
By: Gianfranco Chicco

Published in: Technology, Business

Event Technology Doesn’t Work! (And it’s the organiser’s fault!)

  1. 1. Event Technology Doesn’t Work! (And it’s the organiser’s fault!) by Gianfranco Chicco (@gchicco) TechFest London 2013
  2. 2. The following slides from my talky at TechFest 2013 have been edited in format and with added commentaries to be shared as a PDF on SlideShare.net
  3. 3. A personal story: My father, born in the 20’s, worked as an Engineer. They had fixed phones and people called them early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when they would be at their desk. By adopting this behaviour, they optimized the environment to make the most out of the existing technology. It’s not just about how good technology is but how it’s embedded in people’s experience.
  4. 4. The Physical-Digital Present
  5. 5. We’re more digitally connected than ever (here Facebook’s connections in 2010)...
  6. 6. We’re more digitally connected than ever... (a visualization of my LinkedIn connections)
  7. 7. ... and at the same time there more physical events than ever taking place...
  8. 8. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs ... this is because as humans we crave for human connection and a sense of belonging...
  9. 9. Photo by Jeremy Keith in flickr ... and even though the amount of digital clutter (devices, interruptions, etc) has piled up, the truth is that...
  10. 10. ... our “human interface” hasn’t changed much except for a few new behaviours that we’ve picked up in the last few years, like constantly looking at a glass screen, which will probably not last much longer as devices and interfaces evolve again. (pictured: a portrait by Leonardo da Vinci)
  11. 11. Balance?
  12. 12. So how can we find the right equilibrium between the physical and digital worlds? Is all this technology making our lives better? More meaningful? Follow some good examples of products trying to bring back some balance to the system...
  13. 13. A project by a brazilian ad agency Fischer&Friends: the beer glass that only stands supported by the mobile phone “rescues people from the online world and brings them back to the bar chat”. (video on next slide)
  14. 14. Video: https://vimeo.com/64643705
  15. 15. A collaboration between Evernote and Moleskine brings together the best of manual note taking and digital archiving. evernote.com/ moleskine/
  16. 16. But are all of them really useful or just fancy? This is the 3M virtual presenter was presented at SXSW 2013 in Austin, TX. Maybe useful at airports, but at conferences? (video on next slide)
  17. 17. Video: http://mms.businesswire.com/bwapps/mediaserver/ViewMedia? mgid=361172&vid=19
  18. 18. Sometimes no tech is the best tech
  19. 19. The best networking app! A research I did a few years ago among some of the best event organizers around the world showed that the “best networking app”, especially with heterogeneous audiences, is coffee/ tea/drinks offered in an area that allows serendipity to happen by being not too big so that people can bump into each other, but not too small either, so that it’s non uncomfortable.
  20. 20. The best introductions are made by humans. Having a series of “networking concierges” that know your audience members well could result in better connections (think how seating is decided at weddings by the bride and the groom)
  21. 21. mastermundo.org An intuitive and straightforward way to measure the mood of your audience (from Mastermundo).
  22. 22. Paradigm Change
  23. 23. Experience Content Networking Care (This is the secret ingredient) Technology is not explicitly mentioned. It’s a driver, not a goal.
  24. 24. And with very rare exceptions, applying technology out of the box hardly ever produces relevant results.
  25. 25. It’s the event organiser’s responsibility to design the use of technology into the flow of the event, design the environment and the behaviors they want their attendees to perform with the aid of that technology.
  26. 26. On Behaviour Design
  27. 27. "Help people do what they already want to do" BJ Fogg BJ Fogg created a framework for designing behaviors called the Fogg Behavior Model. Checkout www.behaviormodel.org and www.bjfogg.com for more details.
  28. 28. B = m a t m, a and t need to take place at the same moment BJ Fogg explains that for a behavior to happen, there has to be a certain level of motivation, ability (how hard or easy it is to do something) and a trigger, a call to action, that happen at the same time
  29. 29. How it works...
  30. 30. In this video BJ Fogg explains the basics about the Behavior Model (I explained it live to the attendees in under 2 minutes but as these are just slides, check out BJ’s explanation from minute 00:10:10). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQjLOyguXSQ
  31. 31. www.behaviormodel.org
  32. 32. www.behaviorgrid.org You have to consider that not all behaviors are equal. Some you want to happen just once (dot), others for a certain period of time (span) and yet others are from now on with no end (path).
  33. 33. Simple, Social, Fun Learn from the “formulas” that work for other people/companies/ events, especially from different industries. One example is the formula “Simple, Social, Fun” for interactive experiences.
  34. 34. A good example of Simple, Social, Fun is the interactive installation “Obliteration Room” by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Participants are given a bunch of stickers and the only rule that they can apply them wherever they want in this totally white room.
  35. 35. After a few hours...
  36. 36. After a few days...
  37. 37. RFID interactive installations by Mediamatic at the PICNIC Festival in Amsterdam. www.picnicfestival.org
  38. 38. TEDx in a box project, a collaboration between TED and IDEO, made it possible to host a TEDx event almost everywhere, even without access to the internet or a reliable power source. You just need a surface to project on.
  39. 39. At the Social Media Week 2013 in Milan we replaced the traditional media room with a series of Fiat 500L with live streaming for all interviews. The cars were an active space of the event.
  40. 40. At Internet es Tuyo in Madrid the participants could ask for ice-cream on Twitter from a sponsor by using the standard text on this roll-up banner. www.internetestuyo.com
  41. 41. www.picnicfestival.org At PICNIC Festival we created the “Twitter Towers” to share the online conversation with those not using Twitter.
  42. 42. Summary
  43. 43. It’s your job to design the tech into the event flow. Help participants do what they (already) want to do. B = m a t (at the same time!) Motivation is important but ability is even more relevant.
  44. 44. The context, accessibility and communications are often more important that the technology per se.
  45. 45. And remember...
  46. 46. “you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them”
  47. 47. Sometimes you include a lot of technology into the experience but the need of power or wifi access becomes a limitation so...
  48. 48. Photo by Andreas Kwiatkowski@ MLOVE ConFestival EU 2013 ... remember to make it easy for the attendees to recharge. At MLOVE one of the sponsors loaned portable mobile batteries to attendees. www.mloveconfestival.com
  49. 49. @gchicco gian@taikenlab.com Thanks!