The events and meeting planning industry is constantly changing. The event planners job is to know what are the newest trends in order to provide the most ideal attendee and client experience possible.
Top Meeting & Event Planning Trends
1. Attendee Engagement
Marketing teams and product managers have long bought into the engagement game. They have keenly implemented technologies such as Eventinterface to engage attendees and create community pre-, during and post-event around their brand, cause or product. It is no longer just about the event; it is about creating community and engagement from the moment a participant signs up.
Event planners have traditionally cared more about getting the logistics right. However, with events becoming more experienced-based, planners are now playing an important role alongside the marketing department and the product development team around engaging attendees through the full life cycle of the event. Events will no longer be judged on revenues alone. Benchmarks will be set for engagement levels and increased overall participation by onsite and at home participants.
Attending an event should be fun. Participants should not have to worry about their safety. Planners however will need an increased awareness of security best practices to prevent and prepare for any eventuality. In the age of increased treat of terrorism, it is no longer enough to have a first-aid kit hidden under the registration table. Professional planners will have to become well versed in understanding event security in 2016. .
3. Participant Matchmaking
Events are The Dating Game. Hundreds or thousands of people getting together, all selling, buying, learning and networking. It is impossible to connect with all attendees in person. Participant matchmaking will become more common. Stand-alone apps and end-to-end planning tools are available to facilitate this. To stand out, planners must integrate these tools to provide additional ROI for attendees, sponsors and exhibitors, and participant matchmaking leads to increased engagement and attendance.
4. Streamlined Tools
There is an app for almost everything you want to accomplish at your event. Every blog tells you that mobile is the next big thing; the reality however is that few planners ask what attendees want. Only a relatively small number of attendees download and actively use the multiple apps that are made available for an event. Planners are moving away from the multiple tools approach and opting in to one tool to accomplish all aspects of registration, engagement, program and community building.
5. Bespoke event locations
Ballrooms and event venues serve a purpose, but they are just a bit boring. In the past few years, many caterers and retail stores have successfully opened pop-up locations, creating amazing temporary culinary and shopping experiences. We believe the same could be done for events. Bringing the creativity of the pop-up concept to events, creating one of a kind event experiences in empty lots, warehouses and rooftops. It’s not a full-blown trend yet, but it is gaining momentum.
6. Virtual and Hybrid Events
Many organizations are moving their trade shows completely online or adapting a hybrid event strategy. Hybrid events include an event at a physical location as well as a virtual trade show online to accommodate those attendees that are not able to travel.
Virtual trade show software enables a virtual event to mirror a traditional trade show in that it has its own version of such venues as a exhibit hall and theater. Virtual attendees can also connect with other attendees in a virtual networking lounge. Attendees can search a list to find people with similar interests and then reach out to them via their computers. It enables people to more efficiently communicate with others, in a similar way that social networks do.
Virtual booths can be staffed during “live” periods to answer attendees’ questions, and attendees can obtain product information without feeling the sales pressure that oftentimes exists during a face-to-face booth visit.
For more information on Communique’s Virtual Trade Show software platform go to www.virtualtradeshowhosting.com.
- Article – Virtual Trade Show Benefits and Advantages
- Article – What is a Hybrid Event?
- Article – 2016 Top Meeting & Event Planning Trends for Event Professionals
- Article – Checklist to Evaluate and Choose a Virtual Trade Show Platform
- Research Report – Virtual Conference & Webcast 2016 Benchmark Report
- Chalifour Case Study: Virtual trade show results far surpassed those of prior physical trade shows. Attendance doubled, and the virtual event booked over $46 million in sales. Chalifour charged $2,850 per booth to a record 416 booth sponsors.