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2014: The year of the Horse (and successful events!)

At the end of this week we’re all excited to see the Chinese New Year come in, and 2014 (or 4712 in the Chinese calendar) brings us the year of the Horse (or Wood Horse if you really want to get specific!) That got me to thinking: What does the year of the Horse have in store for us? That’s one of the best parts of working at a global company, I get to contemplate global traditions!

Travel – Horses (and therefore 2014) are great for travelling, which is great news all round! As a supplier we are supporting more and more shows in Europe including EWEA Annual Event in Barcelona, Seafood Expo Global and Seafood Processing Global in Brussels, and CWIEME in Berlin just to name a few. As an organiser this a great year to take your show abroad, as these stats from Exhibitor Magazine illustrated in a lovely infographic. Or even as an exhibitor, now is the time to follow a show on its international journey and expose your product offering to the world (just keep us in mind, we can still help you out!)

Intelligence – Horses are intelligent creatures, so what can you do to make sure your event is more intelligent? I will call on FaceTime to help answer this one for me, after all they describe technology and data as “integral to the way we do exhibitions”. For us as suppliers we have moved our Data Services team into our EMEA HQ, to provide a more intelligent and integrated approach between all of our event services. For organisers making sure that you have the right data and registration service is critical to planning your next event, the data you collect can help you optimise your layout and increase those ever important NPS statistics. And of all of the groups, exhibitors have the most to gain from using data capture devices, making sure the event doesn’t end on the last day is now a real possibility!

Social – We’ve all seen herds of wild stallions (no, not the Keanu Reeves kind) galloping across the plains in old western movies, so they’re clearly sociable animals. We need to make sure our events are equally sociable. We have now expanded to cover all the major social media channels to keep our finger on the pulse of the events world (including adding yours truly to the mix!) which has helped us immensely; we’ve even started to draw leads in through LinkedIn! Adding interactive apps alongside your social marketing mix to events is a great step, Marketing Week Live had a great reward and share social app at last year’s event and it’s something we want to see more of. Sending a Tweet or an update out from LinkedIn/Facebook is a great way of telling your contacts that you’re around and that they should pop by for a coffee and a natter, it may be simple but it could land a massive new lead.

So what are you looking forward to in 2014? Do you have any fun, horse related facts to share with us? Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you! And I’d also like to take this opportunity to say: 萬事如意 or "May all your wishes be fulfilled" (I admit, I did Google it so I hope I haven’t said anything offensive!)