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SXSW 2021

Did Tech Save the Events Industry?

COVID-19 devastated the events industry in 2020, but within months, the industry, as a whole, came together to find common solutions to a global problem. The multi-billion dollar industry completely transformed its main business model and moved to virtual.

What lessons were learned and can be applied going forward? Matthew will hear from two event organizers, both of whom have organized multiple virtual events in 2020, and discuss tech's central role in the future of events based on their experiences.

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  1. Tech-centric events are the future.
  2. Businesses need to adapt in the face of challenges like COVID-19 and rely on tech to help them grow.
  3. While meeting face-to-face is great, it's not always an option and technology makes events more accessible for all.


  • Matthew Donegan-Ryan, General Manager, Swapcard
  • Caroline Hicks, Portfolio Director, Informa Tech Automotive Group, Informa Tech
  • Anissa Cooke, Director of Operations, SynBioBeta


Mia Masson, Copywriter & Content Director, Swapcard

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