13 Apr 2016

EventManagerBlog.com recently asked: ‘Will technology replace the event planner role?’ It’s a big question, and one that certainly has us more than a little bit concerned. Event technology is changing the face of the industry rapidly – and with numerous articles in circulation discussing the potential for robots to take on various human jobs, it’s natural for those in the sector to be worried.

Some companies already employing robots over humans include the Orchard Supply Hardware warehouse in California; here, Oshbot robots help customers locate products they require instantaneously and even speak seven languages. Similarly, the Yotel hotel chain has robot butlers and other robotic members of staff on hand to carry luggage, make coffee, clean the rooms and deliver laundry.

An article in CIO notes how up to 50% of today’s jobs could be performed by robots within the next 20 to 30 years. The robot revolution has already started; but what does this mean for the events sector?

As the Event Manager Blog article notes, many professionals believe the new generation dislikes face-to-face interactions and actually prefers to communicate digitally or through apps. If this is true, then perhaps event professionals do need to consider a robo-future.
But events are an emotional and very real experience – they hinge on human interactions and so it seems more likely that event tech will become a partner, not a replacement, for event planners. The value of event apps is evident: they allow organisers to better manage events and consumers to learn more about them and communicate more easily. Similarly, virtual and augmented reality are capable of creating a multi-sensory experience for event attendees – this does not make the technology a perfect substitute for actual human professionals, however.

It seems that despite the tech-forward nature of this generation, technology will never truly replace face-to-face interactions. Event planners: breathe a sigh of relief!

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