Adam Parry | Perspective is Key

Welcome to Allseated Exchange. Learn what’s next for event design with event industry change agents. This season focuses on helping event professionals prepare for hybrid events. In this podcast summary, we’re visiting with change agent, Adam Parry, Co-Founder, Editor Event Industry News.

Are most planners correctly prepared for the level of hybrid experience attendees will demand?

Most, no. Some, yes. Tools, education is important, but perspective is critical, says Parry. Sometimes there are individuals on their own, sometimes they’re a part of a bigger organization with a bigger vision. You need individuals within an organization to take the reins, scope out what others are doing. Learn from others. See what’s on the market. Test things. There are many people out there that have great opinions and a great vision of where events are going.

What is a hybrid event?

It’s an event, Parry says. We’ve had these technologies, these platforms for over a decade now. In the last 18 months, the event industry has gone through digital disruption, and they’ve been forced to catch up. Some, no doubt, will make the mistake of focusing more on live or ditching the virtual digital side of things altogether. Some will embrace it. There will be a number of new players coming into the market and disrupting existing ecosystems with maybe better experiences, more accessible experiences, Parry adds.

Hybrid isn’t a new concept. If you’ve been promoting your in-person events through digital channels (e.g., YouTube or social media) and then sending out additional information post-event through digital channels (e.g., digitally delivered surveys or data collection, follow-up emails) you’re already doing hybrid events. Now, in addition to using digital components on the front end and back end, you’re using it in the phases in the middle. You’re in the middle of the hybrid generation of events.

Investor Focus on Digital

There’s so much money being put into the digital side, it’s tough for digital to be ignored. Parry explains that as Allseated and others existed before this, the capability and the foresight, and the vision for these companies were way, way ahead of where the dollars were from a buyer perspective. Things have been different for the last 12 or 18 months. You know, if we took every single platform and went back to the end of 2019, the landscape looks totally different. Now the light-bulb moment has gone on in investor world, in dollar world, and they need the next thing, Parry says.

So, yes, the money has gone into technology platforms. And obviously, there are certain ones that have carried the PR message, the wave very, very successfully. That’s created a scenario, which will hopefully benefit planners and organizers long-term because it will mean more tightly knit ecosystems, more fulfilled platforms, Parry adds.

Shift your perspective

According to Parry, event organizers need to think like publishers. Because there is a raft of not only ways to help a company promote and get visibility and value, but drive traffic to their websites, get leads, get thought leadership opportunities, get the opportunity to network. I think that’s one of the biggest shifts, but that takes the step out. it takes a much longer view, a more thought-out experience. So as part of this event, this is one touchpoint. Then, we’re going to get you on a podcast. We’re going to write a feature on you. We’re going to push a very welcoming, thank you message… So, that’s the main shift. If you want really healthy, successful businesses in the event space, you clearly need other revenue models and opportunities outside of events. My biggest question to every organizer is when those sponsors and exhibitors are not at your event, where are they spending dollars? Parry asks. Because they don’t stop marketing, trying to reach customers, getting their message out.

Lightning Round

Why do you enjoy working in events?

Parry: The people.

What’s your superpower that you apply to your role?

Parry: ADHD.

What’s your favorite city you’ve visited?

Parry: Nairobi and New York.

What’s an event planner’s greatest strength?

Parry: Problem-solving.

What’s an event planner’s greatest weakness?

Parry: The ability to take time to reflect.

Outside of events, what’s the topic that planners should study to be stronger?

Parry: Digital transformation. Four key pillars: technology, data, change management, and project management. Block chain technology.

What can planners do to increase their value?

Parry: Stop calling themselves event planners.

What’s the change you most want to see come to events?

Parry: Recollection and less of a divide of virtual and physical events.

Fill in this blank. The best events …

Parry: Are with your friends.

What’s the secret to your success that anyone could do if they worked at it?

Parry: Having an opinion, but be willing to change that opinion based on new information provided that you weren’t aware of before.

Listen to the podcast.

Guest Bio – Adam Parry

Adam Parry, with 10+ years of experience in the event industry, is the co-founder and editor of the event industry’s global online magazine, (EIN). EIN’s readership comprises professionals from across the events industry. Additionally, Adam is the co-creator of Event Tech Live and the co-organizer of the Event Technology Awards.

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