There are wonderful people in the events industry who work hard to make attendee’s experience better and event organizer’s life easier. We got to interview one such intellectual event influencer who is passionate and a fearless leader — Dave Lutz.
Dave is currently the Managing Director of Velvet Chainsaw Consulting and aims towards improving annual conference performance and strategy. He is a great trend spotter as claimed by many in the events industry.
His experience in managing events and providing a path to the industry’s leading business is commendable. He helps his clients in devising a winning and focusses plan that delivers long term value and growth.
Velvet Chainsaw Consulting (VCC) is quite preferred by tradeshow and conference organizers who are looking forward to growing and enhance their event experience.
VCC provides expert advice in terms of providing better networking and education experiences and programs which in future generated more revenue. Major problems that VCC focuses on solving in marge events are:
– Improving attendee acquisition and loyalty
– Increasing exhibitor sales and value
– Fostering more connections and community
Here are a few questions we got a chance to ask the great event expert:
1. You have been a part of the events industry for quite a long time. What major changes have you seen in the years of your work?
Today there is much more focus on experience design and applying the science of learning than there used to be.
2. Velvet Chainsaw is quite a unique name that you came up with. What inspired you to come up with such an interesting name?
Velvet Chainsaw is an old nickname that one of my clients gave me. She thought I was a very effective negotiator, yet everyone left the table happy.
3. You’ve been honored as Changemaker in the events industry. What are the major changes that you’d want to bring in by 2020?
I’d like to see more attendees/learners come to conferences with increased curiosity. We’re seeing a downward trend in education session participation at conferences.
4. Have you recently attended an event where you had a unique experience and went WOW!
I attended the DreamForce last year. It’s an incredible experience to see how they transform the traditional exhibit hall experience into kiosks, neighborhoods and learning theaters. The entire convention district is also transformed.
5. Event technology has extensively taken the events and meetings industry forward coming up with various features to improve the attendee experience. What according to you is the best event technology which is of great value for event planners and organizers?
No question it’s the attendee mobile app. A good event app provides a wonderful toolset that allows attendees to plan and best navigate the event and their connections.
6. What are the biggest challenges that you have faced in the industry till now?
Today there is so much more competition to event attendance. Corporations are doing more customer events. Networking and learning are more ubiquitous due to digital channels and the wave of information now available at one’s fingertips.
7. How many events or what major events do you prefer to attend all around the year?
I usually will go to 10 or so major events a year. About half are industry events for PCMA, IAEE, and ASAE. The balance is client projects/events.
8. Any piece of advice that you’d like to give to your fellow event professionals?
If you want to move up the ladder, be sure that you are having an impact on revenue, sales or growth. So many event professionals get too focused on cost savings and logistics. Those activities are easily outsourced. Growth areas, not so much.
“Evolution of content capture and amplification. Live-streaming and scheduled replays are continuing to evolve. Organisers are realising it’s less about trying to monetise and more about growing one’s brand and value to the profession.” — Dave Lutz, Managing Director at Velvet Chainsaw Consulting (Source: Strategic Meeting and Events)