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Organizers only ‘scratching surface’ of digital revenue

Event organizers are “only scratching the surface” of how much potential there is in digital revenue, according to an industry expert.

Dahlia El Gazzar, founder of DAHLIA+Agency, believes this part of budgets will “of course increase” as evolving technologies offer a “seemingly unlimited space” for new channels of monetization at live shows.

Her comments come after the release of the latest Event Tech Forecast, which unveils the current state and potential for digital tools in our industry.

event tech forecast h2 2023

She told ExpoPlatform: “Of course digital revenue will increase. Digital is a seemingly unlimited space for new revenue streams because new technology will continue to emerge, digital doesn’t have the same types of limitations as revenue streams tied to physical objects – as they are in face-to-face events.

“The industry is still only scratching the surface of digital revenue streams.” 

Almost two-thirds of event organizers expect digital revenue to increase over the next 12 months, according to the latest Event Tech Forecast.

Findings show 64% of respondents believe this component will grow, while 27% reckon it will remain the same.

chart shows majority expect digital revenue to grow

The previous edition of the study in January saw 55% say this channel would increase, with more organizers now recognizing digital as a key part of their strategy.

Some examples of the digital monetization opportunities available include sponsored solutions, of which there are three main types. – thought leadership, branding and lead generation services.

Digital platforms can give you a large amount of inventory before, during and after an event. 

Get your copy of the Monetization Blueprint for an in-depth guide to increasing digital revenue at your events.

Meanwhile, more than three-quarters of respondents highlighted AI-powered features as one of the biggest opportunities for tech in our industry.

Findings show 77% of respondents believe this is a key area for growth, while 72% also chose proving exhibitor ROI.

events amplified challenges chart

It comes as AI-generative tools such as ChatGPT have made a splash across the world this year, with eventprofs now working to incorporate their advantages into strategies.

Eventprofs can use tools like this to assist them by generating content, personalizing messaging and even helping to curate a show’s schedule.

The 31st edition of the UFI Global Barometer found 62% believe they will directly impact event sales, marketing and customer relations – while 22% say it already does.

Dahlia said: “AI and exhibitor ROI are being selected as opportunities by a large number of respondents because AI is the most powerful and transformative technology in our lifetime and ROI is an evergreen metric that will never go out of style.”

Gaining good ROI also came up as one of the biggest tech challenges for event organizers, which was joined by delivering a seamless experience across platforms.

A total of 64% of respondents reported these as hurdles they face in the digital sphere.

That is consistent with the H1 edition which had these in the first two positions, although ROI has climbed up from 55%.

Dahlia believes the weight of importance for these areas has grown due to the high level of performance they are used to in their private lives, powered by Big Tech giants.

She said: “A seamless experience across technology platforms comes up frequently on surveys because users are conditioned by the Amazons and Apples of the world to expect intuitive and engaging user experiences. It’s simply a baseline for all technology now.”

ExpoPlatform’s Event Tech Forecast H2 2023 can be downloaded here for free.