How Has Event Technology Changed?

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My grandmother was right: time gets faster the older you get. At the ripe old age of 41, and having worked the past 20 years in event tech, I’ve seen plenty of things change.

In general, the types of people, the conference themes and venues are same. The one thing that has changed the most is event technology. And boy that has changed a lot since the day I first donned my newly pressed show blacks.

I’m going to take you back to the mid 90s now (think the era of Spice Girls, Wayne’s World and baggy jeans).

There were very few digital projectors. The majority of slides at events were made using Kodak 35 mm and light projectors with carousels. Not to dissimilar from the technology your aunty used to have when showing her holiday pics in the 80s.

It was commonplace for the 35 mm slides to be put in the wrong way or upside down. I’ve seen many a presenter squirm on stage when their slides were a bit of a shambles.

It used to cost a small fortune to get these slides made up and making changes wasn’t possible. Many presenters used to resort to the good old light projector, a marker pen and a clear plastic sheet.

Whatever they drew was projected on screen and typically it resembled nothing like what they were talking about. Audiences quite liked this as it created a bit of a game from figuring out what the heck it was meant to be.

And there were no plasma screens. Yep that’s right, late 90s when these came out and they cost a small fortune. I remember going to a venue where they were selling this marvellous technology. People stared at the big screen in a sense of wonder with their jaws open. Fast forward 15 years and you can buy them for a few dollars at Aldi!

The new entry to the event tech industry, like so many other industries, was the smartphone. Such a handy and addictive little device isn’t it. From here we now have event apps and conference apps, which is where we have based our whole business.

I wonder where we will be in the next 20 years?

Pete Hair – CrowdComms, Co-Founder

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