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May 21, 2024

Interview with Steve Mackenzie: The Future of Event Technology

In the rapidly evolving landscape of event technology, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for venue managers seeking to deliver exceptional experiences to their patrons. We had the opportunity to sit down with Steve Mackenzie, Chief Innovation Officer at Momentus Technologies, to discuss the intersection of innovation and event technology. 

With his upcoming panel at the Asia-Pacific Venue Industry Congress, hosted by the Venue Management Association (VMA), Mackenzie shares insights into the latest trends, challenges and opportunities shaping the future of the industry. 

Preview of Gimmick or Game-Changer: Debating Innovations in Event Technology 

Mackenzie provides a glimpse into his exciting May 21 panel at the Asia-Pacific Venue Industry Congress. Entitled “Gimmick or Game-Changer: Debating Innovations in Event Technology,” Steve is joined by industry experts Uwe Schafer and Andrew Stone, who will together be sharing diverse expertise on two distinct areas of innovation.  

One aspect delves into leveraging data analytics to track and understand people's movements within venues, optimizing the event experience. The other highlights emerging technologies in the realm of the Metaverse, exploring virtual simulations and digital twinning to enhance venue interactions and engagement.  

Mackenzie emphasizes the importance of informing venue managers about these event management advancements while debunking misconceptions surrounding technology adoption. 

“We’re highlighting some other newer technologies that are out there that might be interesting to venues,” Mackenzie added. “We’ll also debunk some of these things that are just making a lot of noise. That's a huge topic.” 

Tech Trends Shaping the Event Industry 

Reflecting on the future of the event industry, Mackenzie identifies technology as a driving force for transformation. He acknowledges that while the events industry may lag in technology adoption compared to other sectors, trends like artificial intelligence (AI) are poised to make a significant impact, particularly in engagement.  

“Everybody talks about AI,” says Mackenzie. “The folks running the venues are focused on delivering the best possible experience for attendees. Technology is not always the first thing on their minds. But I think the technologies we’re seeing that will be impactful are artificial intelligence.” 

From chatbots streamlining customer inquiries to AI-driven solutions optimizing onsite experiences, Mackenzie emphasizes the role of technology in enhancing operational efficiency, transforming event management and enriching guest interactions. 

“We’re going to see more and more of this as AI becomes mainstream in people’s lives,” he says.  

Distinguishing Game-Changing Tech from Passing Fads 

Navigating the plethora of emerging technologies can be daunting for venue managers. Mackenzie underscores the importance of discerning between transformative innovations and passing fads.  

Drawing parallels to consumer trends, he highlights the evolution of technologies like smart phones and QR codes, emphasizing the need for a pragmatic approach to adoption. By observing tech's integration into daily life, venue managers can anticipate trends and make informed decisions about technology investments for event management and engagement. 

“Technology adoption in the events industry is driven by what’s commonplace in people’s everyday lives,” Mackenzie pointed out. “Think of smart phones. There was a time when the first thing you did was tell everybody in the venue to turn off their phones. Now, the venue world has adapted to incorporate smart phone use throughout the event.” 

The Rise of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality 

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are poised to revolutionize the event experience. While VR offers immersive interactions, AR enhances real-world environments with digital overlays.  

Mackenzie notes how venues are leveraging VR to provide supplemental experiences, such as virtual court-side views during sporting events. He predicts a surge in AR adoption, envisioning spectators accessing real-time stats and analytics through smart glasses or smartphones, enriching their live event experiences. 

Contributing to the VMA Board and Addressing Industry Challenges 

Mackenzie was recently appointed as a board member for the Venue Management Association (VMA) in the Asia-Pacific and Australia region. He stresses the importance of strategic planning in navigating industry challenges, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“It was very humbling to be appointed to the VMA board and not something I take lightly,” says Mackenzie. “As someone who has been in the industry for a long time, part of my responsibility going forward is to give back as much as I can. I take this, along with every industry board that I have been part of over the years, as a very serious commitment.”  

Mackenzie adds that his VMA board appointment provides a prime opportunity to enact change industry wide. He also underscores the need for venues to adapt to evolving consumer preferences and technological advancements to remain relevant in a competitive landscape. 

“This role is there so that I can make a meaningful contribution to the industry,” he says. “That means being able to listen to what the industry is telling us, being able to work with colleagues on the board and developing a strategic plan alongside the feedback we’re hearing and trends we’re seeing.” 

Conclusion: Embracing Technology for Enhanced Event Experiences 

In conclusion, Mackenzie highlights practical advice for venue managers considering technology adoption. He urges them to define clear objectives and align technological investments with their strategic goals for event management and engagement. By prioritizing guest experience and operational efficiency, venue managers can leverage technology as a catalyst for innovation and growth. 

As the event industry continues to evolve, embracing technological innovations will be paramount for venues striving to deliver unforgettable experiences to their patrons. With visionary leaders like Steve Mackenzie at the forefront, Momentus Technologies remains dedicated to empowering venues with cutting-edge solutions tailored to their unique needs. 

Discover More with Momentus Technologies 

Momentus Technologies is committed to revolutionizing the event industry with innovative solutions designed to streamline operations and enhance guest experiences. From venue management software to advanced analytics tools, Momentus empowers venues to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving landscape. Request a demo today and discover how Momentus can elevate your venue to new heights of success. 


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