In order to remain competitive as an event planner for your company, you need to stay in tune with the latest trends. From technology to engagement strategies to the tools you have at your disposal, the industry is changing fast and you want to stay on top of it. Bottom line, paying attention to upcoming trends is crucial in order to continually offer a quality experience for attendees and clients alike.
Here are the top five new event planning trends Of 2016.
All About Engagement
Experienced planners agree that the name of the game in 2016 is engagement. Attendees are no longer satisfied to simply be passively entertained. They want to have meaningful conversation, connect with other professionals, and engage with conference presenters. Technology offers many powerful ways to create a truly interactive experience. While most planners spend less than 10% of their budget on software, those intent on staying on the cusp of this fast changing arena may do well to re-evaluate. Engagement is the foundation on which rests all effective measurement of ROI.
Hard & Soft ROI Metrics
In a recent study of more than 500 meeting organizers it was found that 84% now use reported attendee satisfaction as the primary measure of success. With the new focus on attendee engagement expectations, paying attention to reported satisfaction is vital, but measuring this effectively is the true key. Utilization of event management software is the ideal way to determine if you're meeting your goal of attendee satisfaction metric. Effective management of ROI tracking can best be accomplished when pre-event registrants are appropriately tagged and then tracked all the way through to post-event followup including the effectiveness of subsequent automated marketing campaigns and ultimate conversions.
Social Media Uprise
While most event planners continue to be loyal to email as a primary method for driving communication pre- and post-event, the evidence suggests that social media is the wave of the future. Trends for 2016 point to an increased use of social media integrated into both the event itself as well as an ongoing relationship marketing plan. There is a growing appreciation that social media needs to be intentionally used to interact, not simply to announce, and optimal event planning will exploit all avenues of interaction. Your social media contacts can't be expected to leap straight from initial interaction to conversion, making this the ideal platform you need to use to nurture ongoing relationships that can then be utilized to monitor your conversion funnel and provide additional essential data required to drive conversions and quantify ROI.
Virtual & Hybrid Events
While face-to-face events continue to be important, there is a growing interest in both adding virtual elements to conferences, as well as creating online-only experiences especially for businesses that have historically been exclusively place bound. Using the power of technology to widen the reach of a company's base is available to both large and small businesses like never before. In addition, virtual systems make possible the gathering of professionals who otherwise may not ever meet. From adding video product launches, enhancing presentations both online and off, to followup video marketing campaigns, virtual systems are here to stay.
Demand for Intelligence
Data points are great as far as they go, but increasingly event professionals are demanding that data be delivered in a way they can immediately use to plan forward. With technology being used more at all stages of event management, using that technology to seamlessly collect and analyze information is crucial and will continue to become more common in the coming year. Accessing intelligence from data collection is made simple by utilizing an event portfolio management system with analysis capabilities that pulls usable information points from the initial attendee interaction through post-event follow-up and provides a concrete way to continually monitor and adjust customer relationship management strategies. This will grow narrowly targeted marketing campaigns as well as future events both on- and offline.
In the fast evolving world of event management, the overall trends for 2016 are tech-driven but people-focused. By carefully integrating technology you will help create a memorable and fulfilling experience. Contact us today to explore how Attendease can work with you to keep your company in step with the future.