There are so many trends that are coming hard and fast at us all in the events industry but we thought it would be beneficial to underscore six significant trends that are impacting event professionals.
Content and Context: Events and meetings are morphing quickly to becoming places where content (presentations, interactions, Q&A sessions, break out sessions, etc.) is presented in the right context. Meaning, your speakers and presenters are sharing content in a meaningful way via a modern event that adds significant value for your attendees. Most attendees now see content as being free on the internet and they don’t want to pay for it unless there is value added somewhere in the event food chain.
Events and Meetings are Becoming Social Driven: Whether you like it or not social media platforms are here to stay – your attendees are “live posting” on Facebook and sharing on Twitter during your event and uploading pictures and videos to their social accounts (Instagram, Vine, etc.) faster than you can say “social.” So, embrace social media and integrate it with your overall event when and where you can. This adds value to your event, lets your attendees know your firm is in tune with the times and if done right (hashtag your events as an example and invite attendees to share their thoughts) will drive value for your event.
Your Web Site is Still One of Your Most Valuable Assets: It’s important to think about your web site as a strategic marketing asset that should be improved and updated on a regular basis. Yes, social profiles are important but the one constant component of just about every event marketing strategy is a web site. PR, advertising, registration, comments from your attendees, connections with your vendors, speakers and presenter all take place via your web site. And, your web sit blog gives real meaningful voice to your business.
Mobile will Continue to Mushroom: We admit it we are mobile focused with our event applications for event planners. But, look at the significant growth in mobile usage the last 2-3 years – approximately 30% of your web site visitors and social media engagement is now generated via mobile or smartphone users and the experts think this number will be over 50% in the 12-18 months. Your event firm needs to think about how to drive deeper and more meaningful engagement with mobile phone users across all of your marketing initiatives. Make sure you mobilize your event – giving your attendees a much more immersive experience.
Marketing is an Essential Skill for Your Business: Whether you handle 3-5 events a quarter or more, marketing skills are increasingly much more strategic and important for an event company. It helps to differentiate your firm, drives long term benefits: repeat business, incremental attendees for events, drives competitive advantage, etc. And, the knowledge base for effective marketing is now much more sophisticated in years past; our industry is no longer about advertising and event via a targeted publication (local or national). To be successful today, an event planning firm must be knowledgeable about know now to leverage a content marketing strategy, web site design (basic), direct and opt in email marketing, social media marketing, video, pay per click advertising, public relations and much more.
Event Apps are now an essential part of your marketing mix. Your attendees are not only sitting in the audience during your event and watching and learning, they are now using Event Apps to engage with your Even: speaker info, agenda, registration and more. As above, smartphone usage is mushrooming and probably a third or more of your attendees are now using Event Apps to participate in your event in a digital context. Make sure you can leverage this trend.