Meetings are happening more frequently than ever before. Corporate leaders everywhere are looking to events as viable marketing channels, or as engaging platforms for internal initiatives. The event planning industry is constantly evolving, with new trends being introduced each year.
For event planners, live video is a powerful way to promote future events, while interacting with viewers
from around the world. Social channels are finding that events are a great way of gaining market share especially with streaming video. Nearly every social channel has added or enhanced their video offerings over the past two years. Live streaming examples include:
- Periscope (owned by Twitter)
- Facebook Live
- Facebook Instant Video
- Instagram Story
- Snapchat Story
- Snapchat Geofilters
In 2017, spend will be more focused on experience. Experiential marketing has proven itself as an essential part of every marketing plan over the past few years. The days when conference, meeting and event organizers could take a one size fits all approach are gone. Planners increasingly expect something different and innovative to help their event stand out. Likewise, delegates now expect the event to be tailored to them in some way. From the communication, the content through to accommodation and F&B, attendees are keen to craft their own experience of an event to ensure it meets their needs. In 2017 expect to see brands to be more invested than ever in creating memorable events, and in researching these events more heavily than ever.
Virtual meetings are on the rise. Face-to-face meetings continue to be the most effective and, therefore, preferred choice for an event, but telecommunications tech is becoming more sophisticated and there is a growing trend towards virtual attendance at events.
We live in an eclectic, diverse society in which every demographic has something to offer. This means it’s time for events to move away from traditional lineups and embrace the diversity within our population. Diversity and inclusivity at events will not only attract new guests who may not have attended otherwise, but it also more accurately reflects present times and the people who fuel our communities.
Event planners are now using real-time analytics to improve guest satisfaction and achieve greater success with their events — a trend that will likely continue in 2017 and beyond. Real-time analytics can reveal exactly how many people are checking into your event; how many people are posting messages on social media about your event; and which booths/sections guests are visiting. Using this information, you can optimize your event for a greater response among guests.
Planning an event of any size often means dealing with multiple vendors who will be able to work within your desired venue. Larger convention centres have been operating one-stop-shop planning options for some time, but now smaller venues are getting on board. Having your venue, AV equipment, caterer, liquor services, etc all in one place streamlines the planning process and ensures all your bases are covered.
This may sound contradictory given how much emphasis is placed on event promotion, but secret events are on the rise. These exclusive events are tailored to those “in the know” and create immersive experiences for attendees. Under-the-radar events may not have an extensive reach, but they are able to create a unique experience that forms a sense of camaraderie between your brand and those in attendance.
In the past, most people attending an event exercised or practiced yoga or aerobics in their “free” time. Or they simply didn’t have time for any leisure activities so skipped this altogether to pack in more meetings and sessions.
But in 2016, we saw more and more events incorporating leisure activities into the schedule, and 2017 will see this trend blossom even more. This is a very good thing, as these interludes not only provide “brain breaks” for attendees but also give them a chance to interact with each other in more relaxed environments where they can recharge.
Surprising “pop up” events
Aside from using new venues, organizers are also getting into the “pop-up” event bandwagon. This is the use of an unlikely place that has been remodeled to fit the brand or event’s message. These events are usually announced shortly before they begin, tapping into the surprise factor. The old, familiar, unsuspecting place is then found to have been transformed into an experiential location, to the delight of the audience.
As well, event organizers are moving away from the usual upscale venues and into the more unknown locations. It is not uncommon for events to be held far from central districts, in an effort to avoid the convoluted traffic, bustle, and other conditions of mainstream, high-demand locations. Second and third-tier locations are expected to make even more appearances this 2017.
Although being environmentally conscious is nothing new, a commitment to using and encouraging attendees to reuse and recycle helps to foster goodwill and tap into the rising passion for conserving natural resources and protecting the environment. Whether using recycled produce, working with local producers, donating unused products to local charities, it’s now increasingly rare for a large meeting or event to take place without environmental considerations and affiliation to a good cause. It’s the next generation of delegates (under 35s) spearheading this, meaning that green meetings are on the rise. Event planners are more likely than ever to rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle – and venues need to ensure there are green meeting options to allow them to do this.