‘Disruption’ is one of those words being used a lot lately across many industries. True disruption happens when new markets are created that didn’t exist before. Uber disrupted the taxi industry, while AirBnb has disrupted the hotel industry. These companies have been successful by serving the unserved or underserved markets ignored by others.
The same seems to be happening in the Events Industry due to emerging technologies changing every aspect of an event from creation and planning to execution. Education and lead generation are amongst the top reasons why businesses attend events. The major issues facing the industry are that events can be mismanaged leading to attendees leaving uneducated, disengaged and without adequate networking opportunities. Thankfully the disruption we are seeing is taking the industry in a positive upwards direction.
The ‘Sharing Economy’
The ‘sharing’ economy has caused disruption within the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Industry. New services such as Headbox and Venuevortex mentioned in my previous blog has helped to create a sharing economy for event venues and meeting spaces. They are essentially online marketplaces for event spaces, both known and unknown. Users are able to search and book venues tailored to their needs.
These online marketplaces have changed the customer booking interface. Because of this, businesses are able to improve the customer experience through this medium. However, as there are more tailored venues on offer to customers, their expectations are likely to be higher. Combined with a more transparent interface, venue search companies are being forced to raise their standards, meaning that there is more opportunity for things to go wrong.
The introduction of the sharing economy hasn’t however, changed the importance on old fashioned relationships and word of mouth when it comes to finding a venue. Recommendations and relationships with sales teams has been found to be the top influencers in the decision making process other than cost.
New technology has changed event planning and organising in a big way. The sharing economy has shown how a major step in event planning – choosing a venue - has changed dramatically. However, the disruption goes beyond this with the introduction of new software to facilitate every stage of the event planning process.
Boomset is one example of this, and works by combing planning and execution features to create successful events.
Events have also changed considerably with regards to how visitors interact with show content. Emerging tools can provide interactive engagement with the use of real time information rather than static content that can become quickly outdated.
Wi-5 is a wifi engagement solution allowing users to connect and interact with event content without the need to download a dedicated app.
Giant itab provide large touchscreen tablets enabling event professionals to bring together all their marketing and promotional elements into one seamless multi-channel digital presentation.
Gone are the days of lecture-style conferences and seminars. Today’s visitors expect short and snappy content delivered in an exciting and interactive format. This is the style of content dissemination people are used to in their everyday lives and have come to expect a similar style at events.
Interactive presentation software such as Glisser, enables participants to interact with the presentation by asking questions, answering polls or tweeting their favourite content.
These are the kind of tools that are a necessity to help give presentations a push into the 21st century. Visitor engagement and interaction has become a must at any event presentation or conference. Event professionals need to get on board with these technologies if they want to hold the attention of their audiences.
The introduction of gamification at events has also helped to meet these visitor needs. Popular examples include trivia, scavenger hunts, quizzes, leaderboards and built in awards for participation. Gamification adds a competitive nature to your content taking engagement and interaction to the next level.
It’s important for event professionals to stay up to date with how the industry is changing. This will include being knowledgeable about emerging technology that may further disrupt the event space. This is necessary for staying one step ahead of the game and allowing those within the events industry to continually exceed visitor expectations and deliver events that are truly progressive.