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?)
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.
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!
Over the weekend, I attended a TEDx event in Asheville, USA… from my couch.
You see, the event was “live streamed” over the internet, so I saw everything as if I was sitting in the audience. The event website provided me with the program and a bio of each speaker. I could “chat” to the others watching the video stream, or via Twitter… we had an SA/India/Brazil/USA conversation going on.
It cost me nothing (I have an uncapped ADSL line) and I never left my comfy chair. I love the internet!
In the conference and event arena, using the internet allows us to:
- Print less paper
- Provide services 24/7 – even while we sleep
- Deal with international audiences seamlessly
- Make life easier for ourselves and our customers
- Connect to the world, with a click or two
- Lower our carbon footprint
Rather than printing flyers and magazine adverts, create a website and promote it via social media.
Rather than printing tickets, and having people drive to collect them, use online registration and ticketing.
Rather than close your doors at 5pm, let your website and online tools keep working. Your customers will love you for this, especially those in other time zones.
Rather than limit your audience to your home town, engage with people all over the world and share ideas and inspiration.
It’s the modern way to do things, it’s clean, efficient, and a whole lot less expensive!
It's really time we started blogging, don't you think?
And today seems like a great day to start.
We'll be writing here about things to do with conferences, exhibitions, events and the technology that surrounds and supports them.