Technology

Does the Events Industry Really Need a New Conference for Digital Strategy?

Yes, according to the organizers of Transform USA, which debuts in Washington, D.C., next month.

AMR International’s business is strategic consulting, primarily in the exhibitions industry. “We’ve worked with most of the world’s leading organizers,” said Denzil Rankine, executive chairman of AMR, which is headquartered in London. “We’ve also worked with venues, associations, technology companies across the piece in the industry.”

But recently AMR stepped into the ring as an event organizer, in December presenting the Data and Digital Events Strategy Symposium in London. Next month AMR will partner with Lippman Connects on Transform USA, a U.S. version of the program, in Washington, D.C. Given the amount of attention that’s already given to technology at various industry programs, do business-event professionals really need a new conference focused on data and digital strategy? Yes, absolutely, according to Rankine:

Speaking with various people in the market that we work with across a bunch of different organizers on both sides of the Atlantic, what we found is that a lot of people were scratching their heads, asking themselves how to go about this. There are, for example, a large number of technology providers to the industry, and it’s very hard to understand which technology providers to work with, what solutions to obtain from them, and how to go about using the available solutions to drive value for participants.

Because people were scratching their head about that, we noticed that there was no forum for the industry to come together to discuss these topics. We noticed at certain events for the C-suites there would be one or two sessions on technology or on data and digital, but there was no dedicated thought process and no one place where leaders could get together and really figure out how they should be approaching this. Yet, one of the top items on the agenda of any leader is to figure out how to approach data, analytics, and digital. So we said, “Let’s just create an event for the industry.”

We want attendees to take away big points around their organizational structure — what type of organization is fit for purpose to embrace data analytics and digital. We want them to understand what the latest trends will be and where these technologies will go. We want them to have practical information which will come through some case studies of seeing some of the leading-edge examples of the use of, for example, digital marketplaces or other new revenue streams that can be obtained through the technologies. It’s really important that we give people practical takeaways for their strategies, for their organizations, and for the partnerships that they should be operating.

Christopher Durso

Christopher Durso is executive editor of Convene.