David Adler | Accomplish More with Technology

Welcome to Allseated Exchange. Learn what’s next for event design with event industry change agents. This season focuses on helping event planners prepare for hybrid events. In this podcast summary, we’re visiting with change agent and industry veteran, David Adler, chairman and founder of BizBash, the leading trade media provider for the event industry.


What exactly is a hybrid event?

Live and virtual events continue to evolve as technology improves. New technology means new ways of doing things, new ways of connecting and interacting with one another. Hybrid events combine aspects of live and virtual events to allow real-time interaction between participants attending an event in person and participants attending the same event remotely.


The technology enables planners to do more. It works because you’re scaling intimacy by bringing people into smaller and smaller rooms. People get to know each other via the networking, the programming, all the different aspects. Intimacy and democratization go hand-in-hand.


Effective event planning

Bringing people together is an incredibly powerful skill set that is potentially world changing. People don’t get together, necessarily outside of the things they have on surface level. Anything beyond that requires intentional design. Effective event planning is key.


According to Adler, the event industry includes collaboration artists and experience creators. Collaboration artists provide the tools to get people talking to each other, and experience creators provide a place for people to talk.


Once you have the incentive and the location for people to interact, a facilitator (or host) helps get people talking. People in a room at an event without a facilitator (whether it’s in-person, virtual or hybrid) commonly won’t talk to each other without a nudge, Adler explains.


Current and evolving technology allows these different players to create truly immersive, interactive experiences that bring people together across different platforms and tools. Moreover, you’re exponentially expanding your audience and creating conversations. You’re connecting people that, otherwise, would never have met, Adler explains.


Are most planners prepared to provide the experience attendees want?

According to Adler, yes and no. Business happens on more than just the main stage. Business also happens in the hallway. At a live event, the hallway is part of the hybrid experience. Now, the dinner, the lines, the hallway, the coat check, the limousines between the events are as much part of the event as the actual main stage and hybrid.


The technology enables planners to do more. It works because you’re scaling intimacy by bringing people into smaller and smaller rooms. People get to know each other via the networking, the programming, all the different aspects. Intimacy and democratization go hand-in-hand, Adler explains.


The biggest problem with hybrid is that people think hybrid is just turning on a camera at your event. Before COVID, people primarily used hybrid to live stream educational components. Some of the technology wasn’t available yet. Planners were using off-the-rack technology not specifically designed for events. Now that’s changed. Current and evolving technology allows planners to have more creative flexibility.


Long-term success could mean focusing on specific use cases

Being all things to all people may not be the best approach. Often, trying to do everything for everyone leads to not doing anything very well for anyone. Rather, finding specific use cases (niches) may be key to long-term viability. Sticking to specific niches means doing a few things incredibly well. Do what you do well enough, and you’ll drastically reduce your competition and improve profitability. Using industry specific, customizable technology is crucial in supporting clients.


Event industry trends

Planners are deconstructing their events, creating smaller events out of bigger events, which is nothing new, Adler explains. Digital and hybrid events allow planners to customize events for smaller, more targeted groups of people, creating more intimate, productive interactions. Technology is simplifying the process, making it faster and easier to develop design ideas and make changes on the fly.

Lightning Round

Why do you enjoy working in events?

Adler: Serendipity.


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

Adler: Creativity.


What’s your favorite city you’ve visited.

Adler: I love wherever I am.


What’s an event planner’s greatest strength?

Adler: Flexibility.


What’s an event planner’s greatest weakness?

Adler: Rigidity.


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

Adler: Read fiction.


What can planners do to increase their value?

Adler: Think strategically.


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

Adler: More purpose.


Fill in this blank. The best events …

Adler: Transform me.


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

Adler: Managed serendipity.



Guest Bio – David Adler:

David Adler founded BizBash 21 years ago as a media platform for the event and meeting market. BizBash has more than 200,000 monthly users and includes magazines, events and digital components.


Create fully branded virtual and hybrid events with Allseated EXVO

Experience everything you love about in-person events remotely with Allseated EXVO, your in-person event’s digital twin. Explore the event floor. Listen to speakers. Browse booths. Network one-on-one in the hallway. EXVO, the next-generation hybrid and virtual event solution, provides immersive, engaging ways to explore, connect and share. Book a Demo.

No Comments

Leave A Comment