25 Years of Event Innovations

The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, London is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and to mark the occasion they appealed to key industry spokespeople, event organisers and suppliers to tell them the innovations that have made the most impact on the events industry during the same time period.

There have been so many exciting advances in the event industry this really got us thinking what would appear in our top 5 list.  The landscape has developed drastically even in the last 10 years, never mind the last quarter century!  Events Northern Ltd were keen to support this Twitter promotion as the QEIICC is an excellent venue that we have really enjoyed working with.

A summary of some of the top tweets and suggestions put forward by other key industry figures are listed below:

‘Comfy shoes!’
Mike Fletcher @MikeyFletch

‘25 yrs ago we used glass slides – chaos. Then PowerPoint invented; most important change ever!’
Martin Lewis @meetpie

Internet changed events forever. All could access info, so organisers had 2 show added value’
Rochelle Long @meetpie

‘Internet, opened regional events 2 world: instant comms, bringing people 2gether virtually 2 improve face 2 face’
@harrisonrobert

 ‘The advent of social media & its ability to extend an event community, before, during & after’
@mexiaPR

 ‘Mobile phones, whatever you need there’s an app for it, or there will be soon’
Michelle Chenery @ITCMmagazine

 ‘The impact & importance of providing a sustainable catering service 2 clients’
Leiths @compassgroupuk @limevenues

Innovative minds creating successful conferences – confirming events will prosper & survive’
Ernest Vincent, CEO, QEIICC

 ‘The Event Safety Guide -where would #eventsprofs be without that purple bible’
Caroline Clift @StandOutMag

‘The single European market may still fail banks but it helped shape border-free event explosion’
@MikeBellDotEu

This campaign really got us thinking about the top innovations we wanted to put forward.  We finally settled on our final top 5 as follows:

5. The memory stick

Even the simple memory stick has made our life easier and has made saving and loading presentations so much faster!  Gone are the days of floppy discs with limited space capacity or CDs which take so much longer to transfer files and save data to them.  Memory sticks are an essential part of every event managers tool box – be it to load final presentations from speakers onto the laptop and save back the final version at the end of the event, to check electronic information quickly or reprint an extra copy of something onsite.

4. Laptops, netbooks and tablets

Technology is mobile – now wherever you are in the world your desk can come to you!

3. Communications

How did we survive before email?  Emails ensure we can be responsive and adaptable right to the last moment.

Mobile phones and radios are essential for communication between event staff and often save lengthy trips across large venues or event site.

The internet has revolutionised the way we research and has opened up conferences to an international market.

Social media has revolutionised the way events are marketed and how delegates communicate with each other before, during and after an event, especially now smartphones are so widely utilised.

2. Online event registration systems

Gone are the days of hard copy registration forms which had to be painstakingly typed into the database each day.  Now delegates have a fast, painless online form to complete and submit so they know immediately if their place is confirmed.  Importantly this gives us the details we need in real time, ensuring we have up to date registrations and information available 24 hours a day.

1. Barcode registration management

In our opinion this is the only effective way to check in 1,000 delegates in under an hour and we couldn’t operate without this technology on our largest events!

Which innovation do you think has made the most impact on the events industry in the last 25 years?  Do you agree that it is one of the advances listed in this blog or is there something we have overlooked?  To join in please comment via Twitter using the hashtag #25QEIICC on your tweet or comment on this blog post.  You can follow the QEIICC on Twitter @TheQEIICC.