DEI Spotlight: More Businesses Are Investing in Digital

Author: David McMillin       

Statistics show that digital transformation is a top priority for the majority of business executives. As more leaders embrace a digital-first mindset, they’ll need event organizers who know how to navigate the world of live-streaming and on-demand video.

As 2017 came to a close, a report from Forbes and Dell revealed the importance of digital in today’s business environment. The research asked 500 senior global executives about their plans for digital, and 85 percent indicated that they planned to spend up to a quarter of their entire budgets on IT transformation. The top three investment areas in 2018? Big-data platforms, cloud services, and social-media activities. Now that 2018 has passed the halfway mark, it’s easy to see how investment in digital has been transforming the live-events space. From connecting with at-home attendees via expanded live-streaming programming for concerts and sporting events to simplifying the on-site experience with facial recognition, new digital tools are fueling the success of the face-to-face industry.

The digital revolution has plenty of exciting possibilities, but there is a significant barrier standing in the way of realizing its potential: hiring and training the right talent. “Digital transformation involves much more than adopting additional technology,” Linus Dahlander, associate professor of strategy at ESMT Berlin, and Martin Wallin, professor of innovation management at Chalmers University of Technology, wrote in a Harvard Business Review article earlier this year. “It is a deeply rooted managerial challenge. To succeed, companies not only need to attract, train, and retain new talent; they must integrate those people into core business practices. Firms won’t see results if there is no clear vision for how digital capabilities will improve operational efficiency and customer value.”

That vision for improvement is particularly important when considering how to launch a digital- engagement strategy that connects with new audience members who are looking for education and networking opportunities. “You have make sure that you have a solid business case for why you want to live-stream your program,” Donny Neufuss, director of digital engagement at PRG and the company’s eSports vertical market leader, said in the PCMA webinar “What Is Digital for Events?.” “Will it grow membership? Will it increase revenue? Will it give you more time to focus on other initiatives? You have to figure out the reason why you are investing in digital.”

Digital Education at No Cost, Thanks to Meetings + Conventions Calgary

For several years now, obtaining the DES (Digital Event Strategist) certification from PCMA’s Digital Experience Institute has enabled event professionals to propel their organizations forward with digital strategy expertise — free of charge. Applications for the Meetings + Conventions Calgary DES scholarship opened last week, and event organizers can apply to be part of the program. Each scholarship is valued at approximately $1,000, and Meetings + Conventions Calgary has sponsored 175 DES graduates over the past four years. Click here to apply.

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