Mykyta Fastovets from Expoplatform offers advice on how to find the right tech partner.
Event technology has become an essential component of any event. There is an ever-growing number of event tech companies with different philosophies, products and prices. Selecting the right supplier for your events can be a daunting task, often accomplished by surveying the market, comparing features and prices, perhaps putting out a tender, before a decision is reached. What is often overlooked in such selection processes is whether potential suppliers can become a true technology partner with a matching vision and philosophy.
Gone are the days when one could select the best piece of software (preferably at the best rate), implement it across the organisation and rejoice for a decade. Technology and the capabilities it brings evolve so rapidly, that software must constantly and equally rapidly evolve, to stay relevant. Changing suppliers every six months is hardly the best way to go about constant innovation. Relationships, trust, understanding of processes and protocol, etc., are all reset when you switch suppliers. It is therefore of paramount importance to find technology partners able to not only deliver the software you need today, but who also have the vision and the agility that you will need tomorrow.
There are many things that a competent tech partner can bring to the table. Aside from the expected basics, like how to use and deploy their technology, and how to maximise its impact at your events, they can also share experience on ‘how others have done it’. Your partner should also be able to consult with you on areas where you can streamline your processes associated with their service. They should bring fresh ideas to the table, having understood your events in detail. At the same time, a good partner will collect your feedback and adapt their product to better suit your needs over time. A good partner will strive to solve your problems and will find ways to deliver what you need.
So how can you tell whether your potential supplier would make a good partner?
There are three key things that you can check for that can help you understand whether a vendor would make a good partner down the line: philosophy, culture, and vision.
Philosophy defines what role the company thinks it should occupy in the relationship, how it should interact with the client, how its internal processes are structured, how they approach product change and enhancement requests, etc.. Seeking out a partner who considers it their obligation to evolve and adapt their services, and whose position is that of a collaborative nature is a good starting point.
Culture will dictate what sort of people work at the company, how they approach their work, what qualities they possess, and their outlook on the company’s work they have. Culture is an important aspect of day-to-day interaction with your partner, so you should seek the qualities that align with your own company culture. Are they straight in their dealings? Do they fulfil their promises? Are they honest about admitting shortcomings of their product or service?
Finally, your partner’s vision will impact how their product and service offering develops, what new problems and new technologies they will strive to implement and how they will apply them. Ambitious goals that align with your needs, and a clear roadmap on how they can reach them are a good indicator that your partner has a solid vision of the future. Ask them about their vision for their product, the challenge or problem they would like to solve and how they plan on achieving that.
Including these factors into the decision-making process and nurturing the relationship from day one with your partner may seem like extra work, but it is a worthy investment that will yield returns for years to come.