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A 2012 forecast on trends in the exhibition and event industry has proved to be uncannily accurate, and makes for some very interesting reading.

 

The research undertaken by Chicago-based L!ve Marketing, pointed to 12 emerging trends. 

And the vast majority involve technology and social media (we're not surprised, are you?) 

Here's a quick look at three of the top trends:streaming

 

Reach Amplification:

More people will be connected to events because of social media, websites and online communities. Rather than a localised happening, any event can be global and the topic of year-round conversation. A good example of this is the Design Indaba in South Africa, who keep a year-round buzz going, posting snippets of past events, peaks at future ones, industry news... and generally keeping their audience talking to them and each other long after their annual conference has ended.

 

Simultaneous Attendance:

Thanks to video-streaming, it's possible to attend an event without actually being there. In fact, if you have a look at the events on LiveStream, you'll see that you can attend a conference every day if you wish. For free. In real time. And chat online with others watching it.

(What does this mean for the future of live events? Will it kill them or strengthen them? Will they become more valuable for networking than content, and if so, how should we change our modus operandi?)

 

Zero Waste Events:

Moving beyond being merely "greener", events are striving to produce no waste. Or at least, recycle all they do create. This links back to the points above - less paper, less travelling, more use of online tools for event management and advertising. Good news for our planet!

 

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