Elizabeth Glau is an experienced event professional turned product marketing manager at event tech startup Sciensio. She is passionate about event experiences that create strong emotional connections. She designs events that integrate the participants' whole selves. In episode #4 of our #EventProfs series, Elizabeth talks about human centered event design, AI chatbots & attendee engagement.
1) How long have you been involved in the events industry?
I've been involved in the events industry for the past 16 years.
2) How did you get involved with the events industry?
I started organizing events in college and then started out as a Convention Services Manager (CSM) at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Monterey, California back in 2002. One of my colleagues from that job helped me get my first conference planner job in 2007.
3) Where do you see the future of the events industry, especially when it comes to the use of event technology such as apps, software etc.
Artificial intelligence will help us be much more efficient as event organizers. As we continue to automate decisions based on data, we'll be able to use our mental energy and time for creative problem solving.
4) What are the common mistakes you see people making when using technology at events?
We've made the mistake of thinking just because attendees' mobile devices are 'attached to them' that we have to create an experience through that device. Take advantage of the ability to communicate with your attendees directly but use human centered design when you're thinking through the attendee experience.
Excursion: What is human centered design?
Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor made to suit their needs. Human-centered design is all about building a deep empathy with the people you’re designing for; generating tons of ideas.
5) How will these trends impact organizations? (ex. Budgets, Events, Sponsorships)
By outsourcing straightforward tasks to a machine (i.e. AI chatbots), organizers free up time so they can be more creative. That little extra breathing room makes the job less stressful and gives you time to think beyond the logistics of the event to the experience.
6) Can you share any stories or examples that help illustrate key points?
Our event attendees have lots of questions. The problem is, they aren't looking for answers in the places you're providing them. So they either bombard you with questions - or worse - fumble their way through the event, and don't end up having the experience you (and they) were hoping for.
Natural language artificial intelligence chatbots answer your attendees' questions. The attendee simply texts a question and gets an answer: anytime, anywhere.
7) What’s your #1 tip for marketing your event and increasing registrations?Personalize the journey from your attendees' first interaction with your brand or event. How will their lives change because they attended your event? Customize the messaging to them instead of hoping the location or entertainment will get them to sign up.
Design your event so that participants can share what they know. Check out Adrian Segar's blog Conferences That Work for ideas.
Like what you see? Why not check out some of our other #EventProfs interviews here.