Michelle Bruno is a writer, blogger, and technology journalist. Through her work she develops content and content strategies for technology companies specializing in the live-event industry. She currently writes about technology, design, and strategy for face-to-face meetings at Fork in the Road blog and publishes Event Tech Brief, a weekly newsletter and website on event technology.
1) Michelle - you've got a lot going on, with The Bruno Group, Event Tech Brief, the Fork in the Road blog... Can you tell us a little about how these pieces fit together, and how you spend your time, particularly as it relates to event planning and marketing?
Bruno Group Signature Services is the most recent iteration of a firm that I founded in 1994 to organize meetings and conferences. We decided around 2009 to shift the focus of our work to brand marketing. My specific role now is content development and strategy for (primarily) event-technology companies.
Event Tech Brief is an exploration of the technologies that address recurring pain points in progressive or transformational ways. Fork in the Road blog reflects my personal opinions and ideas about the future of the event industry.
I spend my time speaking with technology firms and studying the landscape and trajectory of event technology. I try to understand what's under the hood of the applications, platforms and devices, as well as the context within which they're emerging At the end of the day, I write about I see in the best connect-the-dots way I can muster.
2) What's the biggest challenge you face in your work?
My biggest challenge is giving all of the great ideas and initiatives the time and attention they deserve.
3) What types of event-related technology do you use or interact with?
I run a very low-tech operation myself. As long as I have a laptop and an internet connection, I am well served. I do, however, think a lot about the technologies that event organizers would, could, or should use and have some thoughts:
- There is a surplus of technologies and tools, but a dearth of strategy about where, how, and if technology should be integrated into an operation. The best technology for an organization should align with an organization's roadmap.
- Companies should consider technology pilot programs to ease technologies into the organization and mitigate risk.
- Event organizations must establish organized processes and an internal apparatus for selecting and integrating event technology. Doing so makes technology accountable, measurable, and (if needed) replaceable.
4) What do you see as the biggest trend(s) in events this year, particularly in relation to event technology?
The biggest topics of discussion are augmented, virtual, and mixed reality; proximity technologies; artificial intelligence, data analysis, and block-chain technologies. Of that list, I've observed that wearable beacons and other proximity-based technologies, as well as artificial intelligence, are getting the most traction from planners looking to try something new. Data analysis platforms are not far behind.
5) If you could give event planners/marketers one piece of advice, what would that be?
Thanks to Michelle for sitting down with us and sharing her thoughts! To learn more about how you can use technology to take your event to the next level, download our free whitepaper: