Tech Labs Transform EduCon Participants’ Ability to Interact With New Technology

Have you wanted to get your hands dirty trying out a new event tech? You’ve come to the right place.

Author: Magdalina Atanassova       

smiling Asian woman and man

Anh Nguyen (left), founder of Spark Event Management, and Shawn Cheng, senior strategist at Dahlia+ Agency, will be at PCMA EduCon to help attendees in the Tech Lab sessions.

Event professionals have reported feeling trapped at tech demos, politely nodding as reps go into great detail about the tech’s features, while mentally figuring out their exit strategy. Tech people, in turn, can be frustrated by having to figure out their best pitch approach, depending on how techy — or non-techy — their audience is.

The fact that the traditional demo model could use an overhauling became especially evident during the pandemic when event planners suddenly needed quick solutions to pivot to virtual. This resulted in countless hours spent in demo sessions that left neither side happy — and is what led to the #EventProfsBreakShit initiative,

The idea behind this initiative is simple: Event technology providers set up a virtual event that allows planners to truly experience the platform, no strings attached. No rules. No pre-canned demo videos. No sales pitch to sit through. Just a group of event professionals using the platform, exploring its capabilities, and putting it to the test. As a result, event planners are better equipped to make tech decisions and create better meetings for their clients. And the companies receive candid feedback from their core audience.

On June 26 and 27, EduCon is fleshing out the concept IRL (in real life) with Tech Lab sessions.

Two of the people behind the initiative, Anh Nguyen, founder of Spark Event Management, and Shawn Cheng, senior strategist at Dahlia+ Agency, will be on site today and tomorrow, helping EduCon participants get introduced to six hand-picked suppliers the right way. “Attendees will actually get to see the tech in action, use it, and then share their candid feedback with the tech companies,” Nguyen posted on LinkedIn.

Here is what Nguyen has planned for EduCon, in her own words:

CaptagHuman Digital Events, which recently won the Event Tech Live Startup award, will deploy their tech-powered networking solution.

Zenus Inc. — oh, you know them. The AI sentiment analysis team that stirred up a bit of controversy over facial analysis and privacy at Convening Leaders is back. Bring it on, Nick Borelli!

Encore will be showcasing their Augmented Reality solutions and discussing how the recent Apple Pro Vision launch will impact AR at events.

Scooter Taylor from West Peek Productions will invite you into the Metaverse to explore Virtual Reality and its impact on hybrid and virtual events.

Andrew Dorcas from ARHT Media is beaming speakers and guests in using their Hologram and Capsule technology. You’ll even get a chance to try out the tech first-hand.

And last, but not least, we can’t talk about tech without talking about AI. The team from Gevme will be showing you all things Generative AI, LLMs, and their new AI-powered event management tool, Spark.

None of these companies have paid to take part in the Tech Labs. “As a result, we can sit and dissect when it would work, when it wouldn’t work,” Nguyen said in a recent PCMA webinar.

Make sure to save your seat via the app. And, as Nguyen said, get ready to “roll up your sleeves” and adopt a “lab-coat kind of mentality.”

Magdalina Atanassova is digital media editor at Convene.

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