Technology Manager Prem Bhawnani first joined Arinex 9 years ago. In our first staff Q&A, Prem shares his thoughts as to what he enjoys about his job and how to use technology to enhance events.
I enjoy my job because: I manage a fantastic team that love technology as much as I do! Each one of us has different skills to problem solve and come up with new solutions. It is great working with such a passionate team to bring out the best result for a client that fits both their goals and their budget.
The event I’m most proud of is: Most recently it has been the 19th International Microscopy Congress, or IMC19. We pushed many boundaries for that event with more than 2,000 live posters, an engaging event mobile app and advanced speaker presentation systems. This was a prominent, international event and we helped our Australian clients to leave a strong legacy using technological advancements throughout the Congress.
Three must-haves while on-site are: a laptop so I am always looped in, reliable internet connectivity and a live chat app to instantly communicate with our team.
The biggest challenge in managing and delivering events is: Being forced to do more with less. Many clients have limited budgets which means that my team needs to get creative to deliver technical solutions that are still of high quality. The other challenge is addressing the misconception that many technologies are optional spend, whereas I see technologies being more integrated into events, directly related to event goals. For example, an event mobile app boosts delegate engagement and networking; it’s not just a program book.
My two favourite venues are: Don’t make me choose! I have close relationships with several venues. My preference are convention centres and hotels in metro cities as they often have the experience of managing complex events and have the infrastructure to support it.
Three tips for anyone hosting an event are:
- Choose the venue wisely – take the event manager’s opinions and use their experience to your benefit.
- Focus on the attendee journey – and remember this journey begins pre-event. Map out that journey from the awareness phase right through to post-event to maximise the impact on attendees, as well as give them the value they seek and an experience they’ll remember.
- Embrace technology – don’t think of technology as merely software or hardware. Think of your event’s goals and then work with trusted partners to find the right solution to fit those goals.
On the weekends you’ll find me: spending time with my wife Reshma and two kids, family and friends. I also play squash and follow my football teams Barcelona and Man City, even if they do play at odd hours of the night… Though as a parent, I’m usually up throughout the night anyway!
In 5 years time events will be: Far more experiential than today. I see the gap between someone attending physically and digitally or virtually diminishing over time – though there will always be a need to meet face-to-face. Technology offers endless possibilities to enhance events and it is exciting to think where it could take the events industry.
Want to learn more about Arinex’ technology services and products? Contact Arinex Business Development Manager Kevin Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.