One of our recent recruits and Bournemouth Event Management graduate Bev Fraser examined the use of event management software by professional event managers as part of her degree dissertation. We reproduce a summary of the main findings here which underline the need to keep up to date with IT developments, rather than ignore them, if you want to be a successful event manager these days.
“When beginning my dissertation research, I noticed that an area of interest and an area where there is much debate within the industry is how much Information Technology actually adds value within the corporate event management process.
Technology has emerged as a key strategic tool in recent years, but there is a clear dichotomy between what is written in both the press and academic literature, compared with what is happening in reality. Therefore I set out to investigate the current theories behind the event management process itself and where technology is seen to add value. Then, using investigative research and interviewing various industry professionals, I critically analysed the reality of the roles and benefits of technology for corporate event management.
In order to do this, I also constructed a conceptual model to diagrammatically explain these findings. I then tried and tested the model in order to adjust it to ensure it was realistic in accordance with my research. The final model can be found below. It demonstrates the role and benefit of IT within the event management process and shows examples of ways in which event managers can maximise these potential benefits.
Efficiency was identified as a key benefit of using IT; particularly the use of Delegate Registration Software for communication and the management of information. This was found to be the most beneficial IT tool for the most stakeholders; event manager, client and delegates, when used appropriately and provided employees are trained sufficiently.
Findings also highlighted that contrary to belief in certain literature, social media is not successfully being used for communication during the organisation of an event as much as people might think. However, there is a steady growth in event companies adopting this technology as part of a marketing strategy. There has also been a growth in the acceptance and integration of mobile technology such as smart phones and tablet computers onsite at events.
The significant insight from this study was the importance of keeping up-to-date with IT advances in order to remain competitive. The main challenge of this emerged as a lack of understanding. Therefore, a key recommendation for industry would be to enforce regular and appropriate IT related training in order to stay informed and remain innovative.”