Eventcore’s New SVP on How Technology is Changing Event Registration

May 23, 2019
Event Tech

Industry veteran David Beckett is no stranger to events, having worked with Experient – a Maritz Global Events Company for the better part of the last two decades. Yet the former Clevelander, now Seattleite, this spring joined the team at Eventcore — a company providing enterprise-level event registration technology software — as senior vice president of professional services. His main role is to oversee the quality of service delivery with Eventcore’s clients and partners.

TSNN sat down with Beckett in the midst of his big move out West to get his take on the latest trends and technologies shaping the event registration world.

How has event registration changed over the last five or 10 years?

The biggest change I’ve seen is leveraging what is acceptable in the marketplace around technology and applying it to events. Many times I hear of the Amazon effect, where [people want you to] show them you know who they are and make recommendations [based on their] history. That kind of consumer shift in purchasing has translated into event registration, which is a form of purchasing. [Everyone] is looking to leverage tech to be more personalized for their guests.

What about mobile app registration? How has that evolved?

The expectations around social media and the sharing economy in the general marketplace are all prevalent in the meeting space as well. When mobile apps came out, they were mostly just an agenda on your phone. Now mobile apps are your registration system on your phone. It’s the same way in the airline industry, where you can book your airfare from your mobile device. The expectation is that you should be able to register, sign up for sessions, change sessions, etc. all in the app.

What do planners get wrong when it comes to registration?

The challenge I see planners facing is heightened awareness around branding. The common flaw we’re faced with in building out [registration technology] is that many times the client hasn’t synchronized within their own house. We get a lot of change requests. Meeting planning is difficult enough aligning people on how they’re going to organize an event, and usually registration is the last thing they’re thinking about — but a change in event design impacts registration. [It involves] a lot of change management, which can increase their costs.

What’s your advice on how to avoid too many changes?

I see stumbles from clients when they try to start before they have enough information. The solution has to be agility — being prepared for change and making sure your application and your design can respond to those changes as quickly and efficiently as possible. A former boss said to me, ‘In registration, 10,000 little things can go wrong; what’s important is how you respond and correct something that isn’t working.’

What's the latest and greatest in registration technology?

The coolness factor is in the real-time integrations. With the influence of event apps, [there are] multiple systems — ranging from hotel systems to management systems to compliance and marketing systems — that have to be integrated so that there’s a single sign-on effect [for users]. You want that experience to be seamless and quick. I’m seeing the cost of customizing these integrations coming down dramatically because of the accelerated use of technology and the skill set of people using the tech being much higher than it was even five years ago.

How can planners use technology to enhance the face-to-face experience?

That lies in experience design methodologies upon arrival. I have yet to find anyone who enjoys standing in line waiting on credentials. But, I’ve seen [events] incorporating technology to help enhance face-to-face connections. An example of that is technology bars, where [guests] can go [to ask] questions about how to use some technology around the event. It’s basically a technology help desk populated with people to assist those needing help with a laptop, downloading the app, finding a charging station, etc. The use of technology and the help desk environment start to connect people.

What’s the bottom line when it comes to leveraging technology in the right way for events?

The good thing about technology is that ultimately, what you’re trying to do is connect the right people. [They’re telling you], ‘Here’s who I want to see and why, and here’s who I want to be seen by.’ The better you leverage the right technology, the better you can slice and dice your information around behaviors, and the better their return on the experience is going to be.

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. 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As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.