2014 Trends For Meetings And Events

Another year bites the dust. We’re glad that 2013 saw a marked improvement for our industry. Meetings and conferences are going strong, and new technologies are being developed to provide better attendee engagement and ROI for planners. With this in mind we’re taking a look at a few trends sweeping our industry.

1) Planners are seeking more integrated solutions.
It is no longer about just facilitating a transaction. Planners are becoming more sophisticated and have higher expectations of the technology they implement. Solutions should allow for transactions, attendee engagement, and integrated mobile apps, as well as provide opportunities for additional revenue generations from secondary markets.  

2) Responsive design will become a must for event websites and cloud-based event software.
More people are stepping away from desktop computers, instead using smartphones and tablets. Event websites will need to respond so that content and functionality can be maximized on all screens. 

3) Planners are becoming more aware of the value of data.
Again, it is no longer just about the transaction. As planners build registration solutions an additional focus can be placed on collecting valuable data from attendees. The data collected can drive how attendees are engaged at the event and how future events are planned. Experiences at the event can be more personalized.

4) Face-to-face meetings remain a win-win.
Virtual meetings and hybrid meetings have increased in popularity as technologies have become more available and affordable.  However, face-to-face meetings remain unmatched in opportunities to network, discuss ideas and build relationships. There are opportunities where live events can be partnered with virtual events, and Eventinterface offers that by allowing at-home attendees to engage with the speaker and onsite attendees.

5) More video integration.
Video is getting cheaper to produce and easier to distribute.  Many attendees now carry smartphones and tablets with an ability to film events and socially share the content.  Video can be used to promote events, as well as document events, film speakers and share content. It is now easier than ever to distribute this content freely via sites like YouTube and many others. Eventinterface allows planners to post videos and sell access to the content post event, consequently generating more revenue after the event.

In closing we want to issue a word of caution. As planners look at implementing technologies it is key that they understand their audience. Planners are at times light-years ahead of their audience. Will the audience as eagerly embrace the new technology as the planner has? Planners will have to play an educational role and market the new technologies to the audience to make it a win-win for all. On that note we wish you a happy New Year and much success with your events in 2014!

- Al Wynant