As Corbin Ball says “These are exciting times” in the universe of event management. There is truly such a rapid explosion of technology and exchange of new ideas, innovative apps all with the aim of helping event organizers, exhibitors and attendees to do a better job. So how important is the Meetings/Event industry in terms of the economy?
A recent MPI study in USA shows around 1.8 million events happening each year with a GDP contribution of a $115 billion. That means that the meeting and event industry pitches in a larger contribution than transport, motion pictures and the sports industry!
It is important for each of us attached to this industry to explore the top meeting trends dominating Event Management.
1. Mobile event apps are no more ‘optional’ for event planners. It is inevitable that event management applications would continue to rule the industry for many more years and keep evolving with technological inventions.
2. Change in Attendee experience. This means that events and conferences would not just be about content consumption any more. Each attendee would act as a ‘participant’, have more meaningful connections and a personalized user experience.
3. IoT & Virtual Reality. We have discussed time and again as to how advanced technology is gradually changing the art and science of the event industry. The fact that IoT provides a vast pool of data means a better understanding of audience pulse and enhancing visitor engagement. Know what your audience wants, what they want to buy, what is their budget, what interests them and so on.
4. Wearables- The wearable market as we know is expected to double by 2018 and every major application be it CRM or event apps are all on the verge of having possible integrations with the same. Amongst other things that smart watches and other such devices do, some of the key benefits include-
a. Getting directions through GPS
b. E-wallet transactions
c. Receiving push notifications and other conference alerts
d. Use for check-in/ check-out instead of using tickets
e. Retrieving lead info, lead rating and connecting with contacts & more..
5. Live streaming-Seeing the event through the eyes of the attendees.
Came across a post the other day that mentioned about CISCO predicting Internet Traffic to shoot upto 2 zettabytes by year 2019. That means reaching a greater number of audience through virtual attendance who would be able to share the experience from any corner of the world.Even social media channels have enhanced their video offerings. Some of the most popular video streaming applications include Meercat, Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram Story & Snapchat Story. Having said so, face-to-face meetings would still stand out to be more valuable in terms of networking and relation building.
6. Using technology to measure attendee engagement and ‘mood’
The calculation is simple. The more you are able to engage your attendees, the more is the retention rate, the likelihood of them giving a higher event rating and bringing in more audience is greater. Some of the most popular ways of engaging audience using technology includes:
Surveys & Polls, social media sentiment analysis, facial recognition software for tracking age, emotion, mood, ethnicity, b2b matchmaking tool (such as Matchleads by Eventdex), Finding people (Findmyleads- tinder for event), utilizing gamification and tracking activities, measuring number of app downloads, measuring attendance and participation %, wearables such as smartbadges and headsets, photo sharing and live streaming etc.
The scope of exploring wearables alone is a separate topic of discussion and with so much evolving in virtual reality and softwares such as Visage, Mood, XOX emotional technology platforms, event trends will continue to improve and advance. If you want to add anything to this list, let us know. Talk to us!