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Lisa Hurley Photo by Nadine Froger Photography

Editor's Page: Tech with Tact

Special Events editor Lisa Hurley stresses the importance of including all-important tech tools in events with a deft use of tact.

As I write this, the media—both professional and social—is all agog over the products—the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch—just introduced.

The media frenzy actually started well before the launch itself. In the world of Apple, even the mere mention that Apple is scheduling an "event"—that is, a press conference—brings a round of breathless speculation about what any possible new product will be, could be or should be.

Of course, we can debate about what flavor of technology we prefer, OS versus Windows, Facebook versus Twitter (or Instagram or Tumblr or … )

What isn't up for debate is the juggernaut that technology has become at special events. And nowhere is this more evident than in our latest "50 Top Event Companies" list.

Every year (and this is No. 13), we ask these great big event producers to share their forecast on major trends in event production. And this year, we said, "the integration of technology into events is important" so many times that I double-checked myself that we weren't writing about the same company over and over.

But the impact of technology of events is more nuanced that this. No one—at least, no one any longer—is suggesting that piling on tech elements is the path to success. Instead, these big event producers are looking for that sweet spot, when tech tools stop being an attraction in themselves and instead serve the overall goals of the event.

The team at TBA Global cautions against confusing adding technology with driving results: "When speaking about trends, people in our industry frequently rattle off a list of new and interesting techniques for grabbing attention and delivering content—holograms, 3D printing, RFID, mobile apps, projection mapping, etc. These are great and have a place in our industry, but do they really drive people to take action, motivate behavior and drive businesses forward? Technology should be utilized in such a way as to allow you to have relationships with people, not just mere interactions. Relationships create a greater level of responsibility and motivation."

For more on our latest list, click here.

You can give guests a cocktail or two, or a bucketful. I love Mae West, who famously said that "too much of a good thing is wonderful." But that's the one thing she got wrong.

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