The pandemic has completely changed the way we perceive events. In many of our earlier blogs, we’ve not only spoken about the new event formats that have cropped up in recent years – like virtual and hybrid events – but we’ve also talked about how businesses need to tweak their marketing and event strategy to suit the evolving event management trends.
As though these transitions and evolutions aren’t enough, the industry has also become home to some of the most innovative, technologically advanced and sound strategies that change the way people perceive and receive from events.
In this blog, we’re going to talk about just this – the big changes and trends we are witnessing in the global event management industry today.
#1 The Digital Journey of Events
In 2023, we’re seeing more and more events going online, and hybrid events taking the lead because attendees want the best of both worlds, in choosing to attend either in person or virtually from home. Businesses also seem to benefit from going hybrid as they have the choice to run smaller events throughout the year than to run annual extravaganzas.
In a recent survey by vFairs with event profs on LinkedIn, 34% of them indicated that they will be focusing on hybrid events this year, for the simple reason that it will give them wider reach, flexibility, and ability to accommodate a diverse set of audience.
#2 The resultant opportunities in digital event marketing
The shift to digital events has also opened up a whole new world of marketing possibilities for event organisers. With the use of innovative tech tools, event marketers have the opportunity to create interactive and engaging experiences that leave a lasting impression on attendees.
For example, event marketers can incorporate digital technologies in each stage of their event – pre, during and post. They can use web/mobile app experiences pre-event to deliver personalised agendas. At the event, they can use polls and surveys to get event and session feedback, and post-event, offer on-demand content to attendees.
#3 Incorporating immersive technologies into events
This year, we are seeing more and more event marketers embracing immersive technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to boost attendee engagement and participation.
These cutting-edge technologies have the potential to create interactive and immersive experiences for attendees to explore virtual worlds, visualise products, and engage with event content in exciting and memorable ways.
A study by Grand View Research reveals that the global market for virtual and augmented reality events is set to touch USD 16.7 billion by 2025, and it is set to grow at a CAGR of 46.5% between 2020 and 2025.
For example, one way in which event marketers are using AR/VR technology is by setting up virtual booths at events. These booths offer attendees an immersive experience where they can explore products, services, and interactive demos virtually. Attendees can interact with 3D models, watch product demonstrations, and engage with exhibitors, creating a dynamic and engaging event environment.
#4 Planning sustainable events
Environmental sustainability is becoming a prominent trend in the events industry and events marketers are taking various steps to become more eco-friendly. They are reducing waste by using recyclable and compostable materials while encouraging attendees to recycle.
Energy conservation is another focus, with organisers using energy-efficient lighting and renewable energy sources. Embracing sustainable food choices, such as locally sourced and organic options, is gaining popularity, contributing to reduced carbon footprints.
To minimise transportation emissions, event marketers are promoting public transport or carpooling. Some are even going the extra mile by investing in carbon offsetting programs.
#5 Gamifying events
Event companies are creatively incorporating gamification to elevate attendee experiences. They are designing custom event apps featuring interactive challenges and quizzes to keep participants engaged throughout the event.
For instance, attendees might compete in a virtual scavenger hunt to find hidden clues or engage in live polls during sessions to earn points. These points can then be redeemed for exciting prizes or exclusive access to VIP areas. With gamification, event companies are bringing the fun and healthy competition to the table, making events super memorable and helping attendees connect on a whole new level.
#6 Leveraging user-generated content
Event marketers are tapping into the power of user-generated content to create authentic and engaging experiences. One way they’re doing it is through social media hashtags, encouraging attendees to share their event experiences, photos, and videos.
Another approach is by running contests or giveaways, motivating participants to contribute content in exchange for prizes. Additionally, event marketers are also showcasing user-generated content on event websites, promotional materials, and digital displays during the event.
By incorporating user-generated content, event marketers are building a sense of community, increasing brand visibility, and creating a buzz that resonates with both current and potential attendees.
#7 Tying events with values
Event marketers are actively embracing value-based events to align with customers’ values and ethics. They’re crafting meaningful experiences that go beyond just products or services, focusing on themes like sustainability, social responsibility, and inclusivity.
A Merit expert says, “By hosting events that resonate with attendees’ beliefs and principles, event marketers are looking to build stronger connections with their audience, foster brand loyalty and create a positive impact on society.”
#8 Creating personalised events
Event marketers are taking personalisation to the next level by leveraging data about potential attendees. They are analysing this information to customise every aspect of the event journey from creating targeted marketing efforts that speak directly to individuals’ interests, to tailoring content and formats that resonate with each attendee.
Even on social media and online platforms, event marketers are engaging with attendees in ways that feel more personal, creating a sense of connection and exclusivity. A recent survey by Skift Meetings found that 71% of event organisers are looking to use artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to create more personalised event experiences this year.
#9 Rising investments in event technologies
Event marketers are realising the value of event technology and increasing their investments in this area. For instance, virtual event platforms are enabling organisers to host engaging online events with interactive features like live chat and networking sessions.
Mobile apps are providing attendees with personalised schedules and real-time updates. Event management software is streamlining tasks like registration and ticketing. Data analytics tools are helping marketers gather valuable insights into attendee behaviour and preferences, and so on.
Merit’s Expertise in Marketing Data Intelligence
Using our proprietary technology, we source, filter and qualify marketing data from thousands of online sources. We further enrich the data with expert research to deliver accurate contact lists that yield maximum conversion rates. Merit’s marketing data has proven to:
- Multiply your event RoI with the best target data possible
- Drive attendance at niche events and conferences
- Be accurate, up-to-date and tailored for your exact audience
- Be fully compliant (GDPR in particular), transparent and audit-friendly
We are more than just a list broker; with a proven 10-year track record in building and validating over 100 million global contacts a year, our clients can rely on us to target relevant and engaging audience groups.
To know more about Merit’s marketing expertise, visit https://www.meritdata-tech.com/service/data/marketing-data/
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