How evolving technology is changing the events industry?
How technology in the event industry can help you maximise the value of meetings and events?
The industry is moving!
The consumer or customer is now key, more than ever before. The evolution of technology over the last decade has changed the position of the customer, consumer or buyer to a place where it is no longer about B2B or B2C; it’s about a company’s relationship with you. Event audiences now have higher expectations than ever before, looking to be engaged and gain personal and organizational value from their attendance to your event.
We as event planners and marketers are also under increased pressure as the global economy continues to take its effect on company’s budgets. The necessity to prove value and return on investment is greater than ever.
Technological advances have changed the way we communicate, from broadcast to conversation and from one to one to many to many. As technology continues to evolve so will the way we interact with each other. These emerging technologies need to be embraced and their potential realised to deliver an enhanced experience for the event attendees.
How this has affected the event lifecycle?
As the way we communicate advances so does the lifecycle of the events we plan. As mobile technologies become ever increasingly more common and the use of social media a normal part of routine, the event is now part of an extended communications cycle. The need for more frequent and relevant engagement is now achievable.
In the past an event would generally take place as an isolated communication at a single point in time. An event organiser would communicate with their audience through invitations, registration, the event, to post event surveys and follow ups. This typical lifecycle has worked for a long time and many companies still use events in this way, however as with everything audiences and attendees are expecting more.
With the development of new communication tools and media, event planners now have the opportunity to seize the moment and engage with their audience both online and offline like never before. Before, during and after, messages can be reinforced through the use of social media, email, mobile and other platforms.
By understanding the audience before an event, event planners can deliver a targeted message that can create buzz and drive engagement. The message can be further reinforced onsite with real time communication and feedback, allowing planners to gather invaluable information and drive maximum value for attendees.
So what’s next?
With events becoming an ever more integral part of the communication mix, brands are seeking to engage with their customers, partners and employees more and more. With the emergence of online event tools such as online registration and management systems the way we communicate is becoming easier and easier.
Such systems are now readily available online and make for a much better experience for both the attendee and event organiser a like. Event Elephant, Amiando and In 2 Events to name a few, all offer dedicated online registration systems that bring many benefits to the old pen and paper system.
For one, it saves you the event organiser time, freeing you up to concentrate on the more important aspects of the event. This in turn creates a better registration experience for your delegates leaving them feeling much happier. With the registration managed through online portals it also gives you a clearer picture of attendance, helping you to track results in a more visible manner and enabling your delegates to stay in touch 24/7 with any queries they may have.
Online registration systems give you so much scope with how your message is communicated. A bespoke website can help provide information to your audience on venues, agendas and convey your message long before the event itself. The power of social media linked in with your event should also not be underestimated. Linking your tailored website to your social channels will help you push your message to an even larger audience if desired and can also be setup during your event for delegates to give real time feedback and reaction.
The use of email is again something that can be very powerful if used correctly. An integrated event campaign using as many communication channels as possible is the ideal way to engage with your audience, ensuring that on event day they get maximum value. When all of this is linked together with strong organisation and event management your event message can become very powerful.
What does the future hold?
Quite simply the future is mobile. There is no denying the mobile revolution is here and doesn’t look like slowing down. Once upon a time you would be asked to switch your mobile phones off…not anymore, organisations want you switched on and connected all the time.
Mobile doesn’t just mean your smartphone though, as the name suggests it is any portable device. In 2013 there is set to be around 177.8 million tablets with the majority of these set to be on Apple’s iOS platform. This technology needs to be embraced and with the endless possibilities Apps give, the events industry can benefit hugely.
About In 2 Events
In 2 Events are a corporate events management agency with over 20 years’ experience between them. Year on year they deliver in excess of 600 projects for wide variety of clients, the likes of which are Toshiba, Carphone Warehouse and Hitachi.
With services covering event management, exhibition design and build and online event registration they are well suited to service any event requirement. Situated from their head office in Hampshire, with further offices in London and Manchester, In 2 Events work with a variety of industry sectors covering both the UK and Internationally.