Trish has been producing events in the tech industry for over 25 years. She believes in the importance of embracing new technology and finding ways to blend it with the latest event industry trends.
TK Events creates global event experiences for some of the world’s leaders in innovation and technology, with offices in Canada and the UK. We’re event producers, designers and execution experts who move fast, just as our clients do, with a laser focus on bringing their brand to life, creating connections and ROI from events. We help the world’s largest brands connect with customers, partners, employees and industry influencers.
Our clients tell us we make it easy for them. That’s because we’re as passionate about their business as they are!
How long has your company been producing events? What is your main focus?
TK Events has been producing events since 2006, most recently establishing an office in the UK to support our clients’ global events. Our team of event enthusiasts includes: an account services team, production and stage management leads, in house development and graphic design, and a dedicated team of customer experience managers who manage our event registration platform and conference app.
Our services provide a unique customized approach to our clients, designed to bring their brand to life.
What do you enjoy most about your role in corporate event planning?
We’re a passionate team of designers and creators who love creating connections with audiences. There is nothing more gratifying after weeks and months of hard work than seeing a creative vision come to life, the client’s story unfolding over the course of an event.
How do you keep up with the constant change in the industry?
As the agency of record for some of the world’s leaders in technology, we feel the need to keep up with the latest in event industry technology in order to best serve our clients. Often this means finding ways to incorporate their leading-edge technology into events. It means a hybrid of our team’s understanding of client needs along with making connections with event industry technology leaders to determine what’s best for an event.
We’re tech enthusiasts and keep a pulse on the latest technology, relying heavily on our industry partners, as well as attending industry events for education and inspiration.
How do you mix the current trends with the traditional to create a meeting that is engaging and informative?
Technology changes so fast that it often feels like we’re faced with ‘which bouncing ball to follow now.’ We often advise clients to pick a few things and ‘do it right’.
Most of all, every idea or approach needs to be weighed against, ‘Is this right for my audience?’ In short, the audience experience needs to be the focus vs. just following a trend.
Do you have any advice for a company having a hard time choosing a theme? Is a theme necessary?
To us, a theme is more about storytelling and the client’s brand. We’ll either develop the client’s tagline and event branding or lift-off an existing campaign, but anything we do around theming always connects back to the client’s creative and brand.
For instance, for a recent Dell partner event, creative was built around a message of Real Transformation and ‘Defying Gravity’. With that as the theme, we created customized immersive activations. A ‘Gravity’ photo booth that made participants appear that they were floating in space, and for their sustainability initiative, a smoothie blender bike photo opp. This was all augmented with graphics and signage throughout the event that delivered the campaign message.
What are some ways to personalize a corporate event?
Personalizing a corporate event connects back to the data we collect throughout the registration process. We have a dedicated customer experience team of registration professionals focused on delivering data and analytics from an event. From that data, we’ll create connection points with like-minded customers and client executives, as well as using it to develop session content.
It all links back to the strategic plan developed in conjunction with the client at the outset of planning.
What do you see as the corporate event industry’s greatest challenge, currently?
One of the biggest challenges in corporate events is privacy and balancing that against the need for efficiency and a smooth onsite customer experience at registration. Some events have started to incorporate facial recognition to expedite the process. It will also allow for improved security, ease of use in payment methods, and adds to social interactions. But efficiency needs to be balanced against privacy and relying on secure technology.
How do you leverage event technology and what would you consider the biggest game-changer?
Facial recognition as outlined above is a game-changer for events. And as augmented reality becomes more mainstream, we are developing ways to incorporate it into our events.
Most recently, our in-house development team created a customized AR activation for clients to allow for sharing of case studies versus a typical demo pod. The activation and app brought signage to life. You can watch it here: https://vimeo.com/354013776 and ask us about designing and incorporating it into your next event!
Automated registration and mobile app technology are must-haves along with the technology savviness required to provide a seamless experience for attendees along with the data analytics from it.
Have you used Gamification in your events? If yes, how was it received?
Our mobile app is a perfect vehicle for gamification and audience participation has been outstanding. Through the app, we’ve embedded codes in various event scenarios – such as sessions, signage, and sponsor engagement – that allow attendees to collect points towards prizing. It has been a perfect approach for building a community at events.
What is your favorite city for events and why?
As a Torontonian born and raised, I have a real connection with the city. But what is most gratifying to me, is to see the world start to understand just how fabulous Toronto is. It’s a city that can rival any of the largest in the world – New York, London – for choices, and there’s something for everyone to see and do.
There is a wealth of cultural experiences and our diversity makes it a welcoming city for global audiences. I could go on…you can always contact me directly and I’d be happy to provide all the event insights for Toronto!
What are some practices to follow that will help you to create the Wow factor that attendees seek with a limited budget?
The event industry is all about creating experiences – every city has local suppliers to be a resource in building immersive event activations. Hotels and venues are also very open to building a foodie experience with some wow elements that promote sharing on social media.
If you can dream it, you can make it happen!
Sustainability is a current movement that can be challenging for large events. What is your approach?
We find event venues have adopted sustainability programs and work closely with them to offer event sustainability initiatives. From power saving and energy efficiency to recycling and donations to local food banks – there is a wealth of opportunity available for our sustainability initiatives.
And of course, conference apps have significantly reduced paper waste.
How do you measure the success of an event?
Event success is measured through the KPIs set out by clients and gathered in post-event evaluations and surveys as well as documenting pipeline revenue associated with the campaign.