New year means new beginnings – also for every event manager. One of the best ways to create a successful event is to reach out for new, interesting trends in the industry. It doesn’t matter whether you’re preparing it for complete strangers or your employees. They all have one thing in common: it’s their contentment that should be your main point of interest. It’s that simple: if the attendees are happy, the event was a success. Skipping right to the chase: here are 10 trends in events for 2018.
Let’s make 2018 the year of gathering information about your attendees and data-driven decisions. Since we have all necessary technology to measure events, there are no excuses to organize events without getting any data from it. There are infinite possibilities of what you can know and how can you use them to improve your next events. You should track everything: from email open rate to the number of acquired leads.
It may seem like a bit too much, but let’s face it: a marketer who cannot demonstrate the value of his own events is considered incompetent even if previous events were, in fact, successful. Whereas with all the data you’ll not only be able to tell everyone the exact numbers but also prove that it was the way you organized the event that made a true difference.
History does like to repeat itself. Trends in events do not mean only new technologies, they also mean actions. Events are slowly becoming a well-known and often used tool in order to promote a brand. Of course, that means smart brands become very selective of their events – as now they are aware of how many warm leads they can get through just one of them.
To be frank, the situation starts to remind mass email marketing years earlier. Now it’s all about customized, personalized communication. But before that, marketers simply tried to show their products to as many people as possible. We’re slowly reaching the point when inbound event marketing is something commonly used. Most parts of the events are now forecastable thanks to large technique development as there are lots of things we can plan in advance and adjust to our perfect audience. It’s time to create specific events for specific people.
3. Facial Recognition
The rise of the facial recognition event software was inevitable. It has too many advantages benefitting both the organizer and the attendees. Who wouldn’t like to increase their own event’s security? Faces are being scanned and cross-referenced through various police databases in order to prevent a criminal entering the grounds. Furthermore, the software is able to determine the mood of a certain attendee.
Many of event planners from around the world acknowledged that check-in process is one of their main problems. I mean, which one of us doesn’t simply hate queueing? It’s an enormous waste of time and makes everyone irritated even before going into the venue. With facial recognition the problem dissolves like thin air. Checking-in has never been faster!
How to change a big event into a worldwide adventure?
Humans are social animals by nature. Especially when it comes to sharing important/interesting moments in their lives. It’s no surprise that the trend came to event industry. The world’s largest social media recognised this need by creating special tools for livestream. Facebook, Periscope, Snapchat and Instagram to name only a few. Even Youtube has jumped on the bandwagon recently by enabling their app users to share videos at the moment of taking them.
Alright, but what’s your benefit in this? Well, it’s simple: when your attendees gain wider audience, you gain wider audience. So why not ensure the livestreaming by yourself? It’s the best advertisement you can imagine, especially taking how highly cost-effective it is. Think of all of the situations were all the tickets for your anticipated event were sold out before you had a chance to buy them. Wouldn’t you pay for an extra ticket for livestreaming? Or even watch it for free and unconsciously advertise it in the world by telling your friends how great the event was?
5. Unique Venues
Throughout the history, events were often considered quite formal occasions. That has also changed with time but, surprisingly, event managers can be still quite stiff when it comes to choosing the venue. You may ask: since when informality became an asset? But even the strongest opponents of more relaxed approach cannot dispute with psychology. If a person finds him/herself in a more comfortable environment, discussing business matters suddenly seems more pleasant.
Not to mention all sorts of small catastrophes appearing during every single event. A speaker is stuck in the airport? There is a major delay in the agenda? One of the meeting rooms is mysteriously out of the picture? An interesting venue can provide entertainment in itself and help out in these sorts of situations. There is nothing to wait! Simply start researching China’s Shanghai Tower, The Natural History Museum in London or even Raffles in Dubai. Just remember to choose a technology-friendly venue – these days most of the speakers use Prezi or Powerpoint presentations. Not to mention the fact that digitized events are becoming the norm.
Yes, Facebook is obviously one of a major trends in events industry. With over 2.07 billion monthly active users and 42% of marketers acknowledging that this social media channel is critical or important to their business, the platform seems indestructible. Therefore, Facebook ads accompany us wherever we go. 2018 should be the year of new ideas how to personalize ads even more. Instead of wasting money on very wide-range adverts, we ought to focus on getting round the right clientele.
The Facebook Event section quickly becomes vital to many managers for both using it to promote the brand and search for interesting events for their employees to attend. The other event database you should look out for is Eventory’s Discover Events which enables you to search by the type, time and location of the event.
7. Cashless events
Radio-frequency identification is yet another example of how technology rises to the status of an essential element of every event. RFID wristbands have already grown into a standard at music festivals and they continue to do so in every other kind of event. Just like Facial Recognition, they are an immense help when it comes to checking in and safety. Thanks to those small gadgets you can go to an event completely cashless – you’ll pay for everything with your wristband.
Got any VIP tickets for your concert or fair? Maybe you’d like a special hall open just for them? With RFID wristbands this becomes not only feasible, but also simple. In case of any problems the only thing you need to do is to set a place where your customer service will replace them. All the data is digital and easily transported. There are even special photo booths working only with this technology.
I have already mentioned both: livestreaming and safety. Why not improve them even more with the help of society’s latest obsession? Perhaps you’ve noticed: including clips taken by drones is pretty much standard right now and creates better experience. TV uses it, big live festivals use it, why not you? There are even special companies to hire drones and their operators for a certain event. You’re then assured that your event is in the hands of professionals.
When it comes to safety, these little guys can be surprisingly helpful. Let’s say a small fire started on the outskirts of a huge hill where your event takes place. How fast will you notice it? How will you know where it is spreading? This is no longer a matter of entertainment or technology – it’s something way more serious.
9. Local Flavor
Let’s go back to small catastrophes. What to do when your venue is not, let’s put it lightly, the most interesting one? What can hundreds of people do in a conference room or university hall? The answer is to take them outside. Even the dullest venue cannot hide the beauty of a quaint town or magical market square beyond its walls. Not to mention: every event manager should take care of attendees’ whole experience during their stay, not only the part behind closed doors.
Just make sure to address local flavor to the right people. Londoners will not be interested in seeing Big Ben. However every single guest from foreign city or country will truly appreciate your concern in their experience within your event. You may organize a facultative city sightseeing with a professional guide. Or you can just give them a couple of tips about where to eat or what to see. Maybe leave some city tour leaflets. Perhaps you could team up with the city’s authorities. There are many possibilities.
Speaking seriously, it’s a computer program that appears as a pop-up window. Especially designed to help people, give them tips and answer every basic but so often repeated question. It can appear whenever you want it to: during reservation on your website, on a small screen hidden between stalls on your fair, in you attendee’s mobile, ready to help anytime, anywhere. Keep them in mind.
But above all – People
And here we go back to the beginning. What is a list of top trends in events without the most important factor? The attendees are what this event is truly all about. You should fully focus on their satisfaction. You may be surprised, but that also means giving them time to rest. People need breaks to think about what they just learned about and to make new contacts, talk to other attendees, ask speakers about an interesting issue. Small things like comfortable seats or healthy catering really change the whole perspective.
Actually, before the event itself, you could think about customized personalization of sent emails and reminders. Maybe focus a bit more on choosing the right target group. Like I said – it’s small things that count.
So, here it is: our top 10 trends in events for 2018. For us the most important are caring for people and all the data we can gather from analyzing events – without those you cannot make a really good event. If you know about something that will probably have a big impact on event market and it’s not on our list – let us know in the comment section down below.