Today, I am delighted to be speaking to another icon in our industry! Miguel Neves, the Editor-in-chief of EventMB, is joining us. Miguel has had an amazing career in the meetings and events industry! In his current position, he oversees everything going on in the industry across the world.
In this episode, Miguel shares his insight and talks about what we can expect, what we should focus on, and the impact technology will have on events in the future.
We hope you enjoy our fascinating conversation with Miguel today!
Miguel Neves’s bio
Miguel is EventMB’s Editor-in-chief and likes to describe himself as a “curious creator and caring curator of computerized content and a conscious connector of charismatic characters”. He lives and breathes the event tech sector and is deeply engaged in the global online community of event professionals. He is active in volunteer roles across the industry and currently sits on the International Board of Directors of Meeting Professionals International. Miguel is a Portuguese soul who built a career in the UK and is now raising a young family in southern Denmark.
Miguel started his career doing stage management, playing music, and being a roadie in the music industry. He was part of the team at the MTV awards in Lisbon in 2005. He was impressed to see how the back end worked and began to develop an interest in the teamwork required to put on that kind of event. He got involved in events after that, helping a company with some corporate events. Then he and a friend decided to open an event company. Unfortunately, it failed miserably, and Miguel realized that selling the organization of events is very different from organizing events.
He went to London and got a Master’s degree in Conference and Events Management at the University of Westminster. After that, Miguel wanted to build a network, so he got involved with MPI. He got an internship in California, with Synaxes Meetings and Events, after which he spent three years with the company, learning how the industry works. After that, he worked with the IMEX team for six years and then moved to Denmark where he had his own company for three years. Since February 2021, Miguel has been Editor-in-chief for EventMB.
The user experience
Miguel feels that even though it might be very tempting to add technology to an event, the most important thing at any event is the user experience.
Technology has developed at an incredible pace over the last eighteen months. Miguel finds it interesting to see how easy it has become to create online events. Most virtual events tend to go smoothly right now if the organizers take good care of the setup and production.
Trusting and using technology
When people trust technology and use it at events, it becomes something special and makes a big difference.
Miguel thinks that a good video feed is just as effective as a hologram at an event.
People need to trust the technology that gets used at events. Miguel’s goal is to make the technology used at events almost invisible.
The business aspect of virtual events
Virtual events have the potential to reach people anywhere in the world at a relatively low cost. Virtual events are vital from a top of funnel perspective when it comes to sales. Virtual events also work well in terms of content, speakers, and even exchanging information.
In-person events work far better than virtual events when it comes to the social aspect. Unfortunately, in-person events are more costly than virtual events.
The best solution is to have a combination of virtual and in-person events. Although Miguel does not think that the future of events will be all hybrid, he thinks that all future events should have an online component to record the relevant content.
The future is about finding ways to extend the reach of events, connecting with those who are not attending in-person, and creating community.
Good technology allows people to consume the live content of an event from wherever they are.
Good internet connectivity will be very valuable in the long run.
Involve the community
Understanding the target audience is very valuable for business owners. That is why Miguel advises business owners to involve their community or target audience as much as possible and find out what they want and expect.
Technology should help to simplify things for people.
The pandemic has brought about a lot of change. This is a good time for small business owners to do a recheck on what is relevant because the people they knew before or the audience they think they are serving might not be where they were any longer. People’s needs have also changed since the pandemic.
Advice for small business owners
Be very clear about what your product offering is. Figure out what you want to do and how you want to do it. Then, productize it by making it into something that people can easily understand and aspire to have.
Connect with Miguel
When Coffee and Kale Compete by Alan Klement