2 July 2014 – We had the pleasure to speak with Mr. Steve Mackenzie, VP of Global Channel for etouches, the integrated in-cloud event management software providing full support to event planners. With a wealth of experience in the event technology industry and operations in Asia, Mr. Mackenzie shared many insightful thoughts and advice on the latest industry trends, the transformation of the event technology industry, and the tips to survival in the Asia event technology market.
Mr. Mackenzie points to the increasing focus on audience engagement as the most prominent trend in the event technology industry nowadays. Tools such as mobile apps, Beacon technology, even wearable technology like Google Glass, are all serving to aid and facilitate audience engagement.
‘Being able to interact via technology is going to help delegates tremendously in Asia,’ says Mr. Mackenzie. The Asian audience’s reluctance to actively interact or engage is one of the common challenges for events in Asia. However, Mr. Mackenzie sees event technology as a solution, as technology offers the delegates the opportunity to express their opinions and interact without having to necessarily be exposed in public.
Indeed, Mr Mackenzie sees great potential for event technology companies in Asia. ‘I think there is a hunger for information, and a desire to learn how technology can help with events, especially in places like Mainland China,’ he says.
However, there are other challenges in entering the Asia events market as well. ‘It’s often the mindset for corporates or American companies that what works in America works anywhere else, and that is simply not the case,’ says Mr. Mackenzie.
The vastly different culture and language often pose challenges for companies trying to court the Asian market, and Mr. Mackenzie emphasizes the importance for companies to ensure that ‘the software has to speak to the people who are going to need it.’ One way to do that is to establish local partnerships.
Mr. Mackenzie also mentions that whilst the delegate-facing pieces of etouches are available already in many languages, it is etouches’ ambition to offer a multilingual backend administrative platform for its software, so that event planners outside of the English-speaking world can get greater access to event technology. If successful, it would be a huge step in opening the Asian market to event technology.
We are excited to see the changes that etouches is making to the event technology industry, and even more excited to welcome etouches to MICE Asia Pacific Exhibition X Event Tech 2014 in Singapore this November.