As technology continues to transform the industry, event professionals everywhere have familiarized themselves with new day-of enhancements like video mapping, virtual reality, and innovative photo booths. Yet, with the focus on experiential tech, digital business solutions often get lost in the mix.
While operational tech may not seem as flashy as its celebratory counterparts, it’s vital to give your backend the attention it deserves. After all, a strong business foundation allows you to show up for your clients with poise and professionalism.
So what’s on the horizon for 2023? Here are five tech trends to optimize your business in the new year.
An ongoing appreciation for virtual meetings
While in-person events are (thankfully) back on the scene, virtual consultations continue to support a smooth and comfortable client experience. Apps like Zoom and CloudHQ offer easy scheduling and allow you to hold meetings from a distance, which is particularly helpful for busy professionals and destination clients who are planning from a distance. Don’t downgrade your video-calling app of choice just yet!
A move toward digital onboarding
Digital onboarding tools go hand-in-hand with virtual consultations, providing clients with a seamless, touch-free experience from inquiry to booking. Companies with e-signatures report shorter turnaround times, increased productivity, and up to 80% more conversions. In 2023, industry-specific platforms that provide contracts, invoices, and e-signing features will continue to innovate new ways to streamline onboarding workflows for event professionals.
An increased focus on security
As the threat of cyberattacks increases, online security should be top of mind for business owners in 2023. Keeping your digital environment safe doesn’t just protect your internal data; it also safeguards your clients’ personal details, including addresses, credit card information, and other sensitive information. Here are two great places to start:
- Keep your logins safe with a password manager like 1Password or LastPass.
- Start using a secure cloud storage system to back up your data confidentially. Backblaze is a great option!
A fresh take on communication
Successful businesses rely on effective communication, both with one’s team and clients. While emails certainly have their place, expectations have shifted toward shorter-form messages. Consider trying apps like Slack and Voxer to skip the extra-long emails! Loom is also an excellent option to record videos and embed a personal touch into your communication with team members and clients.
A new appreciation of data
In an industry that runs on aesthetics, it’s time to lean into the quantitative side of your business. From advertising results to social media messaging, you can gather a wealth of information from your data! Set up Google Analytics (or hire an expert to do so) and review your numbers regularly. Look to your social media metrics as well, cross-comparing the results of your marketing efforts to determine the best ways to attract and engage your ideal clients.
The future is bright for event businesses, as technology helps to pave the way for enhanced client experiences, streamlined backends, and effective marketing strategies.
Implementing new tech requires time and effort, so start small and build from there. Aim to adopt one or two of these trends in 2023—like upping your cybersecurity or digitizing your onboarding process—and be patient as you and your team transition to a more optimized digital workspace. After that, the rest will come naturally!
Elizabeth Sheils is the co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, the first software platform to bring together wedding planners, couples, and vendors into one system for managing and paying contracts and invoices. Elizabeth is also a lead wedding planner with award-winning firm Bridal Bliss, where she manages the Seattle team. In addition to recognition by Special Events in its Top 25 Event Pros to Watch series, she also earned a spot in The BizBash 500 for 2021.