Gone are the days of sticky notes and paper invitations. Registration softwares and mobile event apps are the are taking over!
Although a young and dynamic industry, the Meeting Incentives Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) has shown a meteoric growth around the globe and is rapidly maturing. This industry is one of the major drivers of the tourism sector and generates revenues worth millions worldwide. Gone are the days when events happened in one area. With great destinations just a flight away, the MICE industry has been globalised immensely. Additionally, technological invasions have made live events come to life like never before!
Let’s take a look at how this industry has evolved over the years and what’s more to come:
Tedious Planning And Executions: The Origin
The good old days of 90’s and early 2000’s were not so good for the meeting planners. Getting people into a room was painstaking as physical invitations had to be created, printed, and then sent on time. The event organizers back then had to send these invites individually to guests – a rather tedious process that took a lot of their time in the planning & inviting process.
Moreover, the type of events that were conducted were small-scale and mostly for people in the same profession. At these events, the entire event planning team would be involved in following up with every minute-to-minute happening and manually update the gathering. In other words, coordinating and managing the logistics were not easy and extremely cumbersome. From register log of attendees to the happenings of the event, event planners’ job was mostly manual and labor intensive. All events, whether successful or not, always raised demands of a better system to plan, organize, monitor and execute events.
Welcome the age of technology
Technology has certainly turned tables for the MICE industry! What started as a simple event registration software has evolved into highly sophisticated tools to plan, promote, engage and measure events.
Technology’s impact on the MICE industry can be called more evolutionary than revolutionary. Gradually, year after year, new products and capabilities are being developed to make the planner’s life a little easier. This evolution can be seen in all kinds of events—everything from trade shows and fundraisers to meetings and social gatherings – all of them greatly differ from what they were back in the 2000s.
With business matchmaking apps attendees can see who will be attending the event and schedule an appointment. Similarly, onsite check-in and badging have reduced long lines for check in and enhanced the overall event experience. While these jazzy technologies are pretty impressive, event planners need to familiarize themselves with the equipments they can use.
Social Media: Boon or Bane?
The last few years have seen a lot of social media platforms blooming. This happened straight after Google’s Orkut was hit by Facebook fever. Ever since then, social networking platforms have become popular and comprises functionality that can be used as effective marketing channels. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest have become popular means for planners to promote their event and create a buzz around it. It helps them keep the conversation going with their attendees even after the event is over. Invitations can be sent to invitees through Facebook & LinkedIn.
Smartphone Apps: Taking it one notch higher!
A type of event technology, mobile apps are a blessing to the event industry as its usage around the globe has allowed effective networking and provided relevant information to attendees at their fingertips. These apps are not only an arrow in the quiver of event marketing, but also provides attendees with vital event information such as schedule and speaker bio. Mobile apps also allow them to stay updated on the current happenings associated with the event and enables them to network with other attendees. For event planners, mobile apps enable them to save printing cost and increase ROI opportunities through sponsorship.
What to expect next?
Technology continues to evolve this industry as we speak. As technology disrupts the way events are planned, it won’t be a surprise if artificial intelligence and AR/VR become a standard. Surely, for the event and meeting industry, all this represents several opportunities—and expectations and exciting times have just begun!
One cannot deny that technology has transformed every aspect of the event industry in the last decade, revolutionizing the way planners plan, produce, execute, and follow-through events. Despite that, the main functions and values of the event remain constant: to bring people together to learn, to conduct business, to network, to support a cause and to have fun.