State of Events: Our Predictions for Event Planning Trends in 2015
2015 is going to be a good year for events. Economic stabilization could mean great things for growth in the event industry. From large corporate conferences to small meet and greets, there are a number of cutting edge advancements across the board specifically created to keep you competitive and relevant in this quickly evolving world.
Many of these trends are not exactly trendy, they are improvements and advances to previous trends. Environmental consciousness, which has been popular in the past, is an element that will remain important. Also unsurprisingly, technology plays a major role in upcoming events. However, new software is making engagement and monitoring easier than ever. Hardware like gadgets, tablets and smartphones used before, throughout, and after an event is on the rise. Lastly, the bar has risen for sponsors. Long gone are the days of banners and business cards, now sponsors are providing the tablets and apps.
It’s an exciting time for events and there is a lot keep up with. So read below to find out our predicted trends in event planning this year.
Environmental sustainability has been a huge trend in events for years and 2015 will be no different. Communicate closely with your client and discuss event details with consideration to the environment. Fortunately, this is an area where the market has responded to demand. Most menus can be constructed from locally produced food. There are probably local entertainment options-no travel costs + less pollution and materials can be recycled or reused. Look into donating décor and floral arrangements. Many food leftovers, when properly stored, can also be donated. It is no coincidence that most environmental initiatives can also save money, and donations are tax deductible. So clients are almost always on board with these efforts, making them a hot topic in events this year.
Technology Revolution and Social Media
Social media used to be used to promote an event, during the event, and to report the success of an event in order to promote next year. Technology has ramped up to become more interactive and integrated. There are a number of companies like CVENT that can create an app for your guests to register onsite, bid on auction items and follow presentations. Education slides can be stored on the app and accessed at a later time, effectively eliminating the bulky three ring binder. Some like to “gametize” their event apps with a company called Gametize, creating event-specific games where attendees can win points for tweeting or commenting in live time. This effort has the dual benefit of engaging those attendees while spreading your message to their networks and increasing the chances of it going viral. These software companies offer competitive and flexible pricing and programs that you can customize to events.
Reporting on the ROI of your event has never been more important. Again, technology has evolved to make this easier. Software like SlideKlowd, Lintelus and JoinSpeaker can display educational slide displays on everyone’s devices at the same time. They can also monitor when people tune out to check email or texts. Another tool is DropThought, that allows event and venue Managers to respond to positive or negative feedback in real time and condenses feedback analytics onto a dashboard.
Sponsors have a serious interest in retaining attendee engagement. Some events like to make the sponsorship a multi-sensory affair by controlling the production of the event. They work on brand placement thoughout the venue and during the event. Brands can sponsor things like cocktail samplings, consumer education with VIPs, or off site entertainment. Also, digital platforms have allowed different opportunities for sponsors to display their logo. Currently, UnderArmour sponsors the app MapMyRun. Every time a runner/biker/skier clicks on the application they see the logo, focusing their message to the active market and tracking how many see the UnderArmour message. This concept can be applied in an event-sposnor relationship just as easily.
Above all, creative attendee engagement underlies all of these trends. An attendee appreciating a locally made soda or being able to bid on a spa package with their own phone will engage them beyond simply attending an event. This is an exciting time for the event industry; incorporate these trends and see success.