Optimize Your IMEX America Experience with The Right Questions for Tech Partners

By Dahlia El Gazzar
October 10, 2023

When attending IMEX America, it’s important to ask the right questions when talking to tech companies. Designing an early vetting process around what really matters to you and what speaks to a tech company’s real differentiators can help you avoid hours wasted in demos for tech solutions that aren’t a good fit.

Try asking these questions when you approach a technology partner:

  1. How does your technology solution help event professionals like me?
  2. What types of events is your technology solution best suited for?
  3. Can you provide examples of how your technology solution has been used for [insert your challenge here]?
  4. What is your company’s roadmap for future development?
  5. What are the key features of your technology solution that will take advantage of AI?
  6. How does your technology solution integrate with other event technology solutions?
  7. What kind of customer support do you offer?
  8. What is the pricing model for your technology solution?
  9. How does your technology solution address data privacy and security concerns?
  10. Can you provide references or case studies from other event professionals who have used your technology solution?
  11. Are any of your key clients that resemble my organization attending IMEX? Can you connect me to them?
  12. What is your exit strategy?

These questions can help you gain a better understanding of the technology solutions that the company offers and how they can benefit your events.

Asking the wrong questions can also be a waste of time for both you and the provider. In the worst-case scenario, you may alienate the provider’s representatives, making them more inclined to focus on other prospects. Here are five questions not to ask tech companies:

  1. Can I upload a csv file to your platform?
  2. How many employees do you have?
  3. What is your company’s valuation?
  4. Have you been in the market long?
  5. Can you build me a solution from scratch?

These questions are not relevant to the technology solutions that the company offers and can be seen as intrusive. Here are alternatives that may get you closer to the answers you actually need:

  1. What technical background is required to use your solution?
  2. What hours do you offer support, and what is your typical turnaround time for resolving customer issues?
  3. Are you looking to change ownership in the near future, and what impact might that have on service delivery?
  4. How have you scaled up your client services and operations post-coronacoaster?
  5. How customizable is your solution?
  6. Can you share your SLA: Services Level Agreement which will detail server up-time to support response rate?
    (this gem of a question is borrowed from Jonathan Kazarian/CEO/Accelevents)

Take full advantage of your existing tech partners being at IMEX:

  1. Ask them for a collective meetup over coffee – have them all meet together out of their booths to discuss the integration and how they can work together for your success.
  2. Take another event prof who has similar interests or challenges and arrange a meeting with an event tech company that is not demo-based.
  3. Arrange an #eventprof brainstorming session around a specific challenge like attendee acquisition, efficiencies around event management, or budget constraints. Talk about the challenges first, then seek tech solutions together.

In conclusion, attending IMEX America can be a great way for event professionals to discover new event technology solutions, find inspiration for event design, learn to improve workflows and processes, and vet partners and suppliers. 

By exploring the event tech offerings, attending the expert education program, meeting with global suppliers and destinations, and networking with other event professionals, you can gain new insights and ideas that can help you improve your events. Involving prospective partners in networking and making sure those conversations are productive will help you to take full advantage of the event.

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