2017 will be a year of changes for an industry that has for too long stagnated in its old habits and reluctance to face change.
Marketing Mix & Digital Fatigue
Despite the industry is in an era of change, the sector is flourishing. The main reason behind a raising number of marketing teams deciding to push larger portions of the marketing budget towards event engagement is due to digital marketing exhaustion. Whilst the digital marketing space is overflowing with closely targeted marketing, it is now increasingly difficult to separate yourself from your competition. Marketing organisations are realising that there is nothing that even closely compares to the value of human to human interactions and bonds that are created during live events.
Event Related Budgets on the Rise
Approximately 1.8 million events occur in the US alone every year, resulting to $280 billion in spending as a direct contribution to the US economy. Meetings and event contribute more to our GDP than the air transportation, motion picture and spectator sport industries. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the meeting, convention and event manager profession is projected to grow 33% from 2012 to 2012, which is much faster than than any average growth rate of all occupations at 11%. The macro environment looks like it is performing better than ever, which links well for the spend of event related technology as the future of events are determined by different technology driven experiences for the attendees, and technology proven value and ROI for the event sponsorship space.
Quality of Networking as #1 Reason to Attend Events
Attendee’s ranking among the factors that influences their decision to attend events in 2020 places face-to-face meetings at rank #1. If you are not already pushing efforts towards technology driven networking enablement, you are doing something wrong. No longer is time spent on networking in random and often meaningless interactions acceptable.Attending an event is often a substantial investment from an attendee and especially for the sponsor. Event analysis and aftermath needs to be based on proven ROI through the connections you where able to establish. Networking is now the underlining reason why attendees go to conferences year after year. According to the most recent studies, the 75% of event attendees say networking is the key driver to attend events and the quality as a determinator whether to attend again.
Networking needs to be facilitated and technology driven
For ages, event planners have been stuck in their old habits to facilitate networking. Coffee breaks, cocktail hours with an open bar or even discussion groups do not offer solutions for the attendee what they really need. To successfully create meaningful connections at events, especially large ones – is not an easy job even for the most natural networking guru where finding the right people is the underlining problem at hand. Success however, is no longer out of reach even for the least outgoing or introverted professionals out there. Modern networking applications such as the Brella Networking tool has been able to level the fields and now made networking less daunting, accessible and easy with their highly sophisticated platform that firstly profiles your attendee based on what they are seeking and offering in your event. The platform comes with a matchmaking algorithm to find valuable connections based on your profile easily, and then simply request quick and casual 1-to-1 meetings prior to the event or on the spot.
Event Planners now are raising up to the challenge as more and more factors speak on behalf of the value of networking as a game changer in the value chain of any successful event out there. This is why quality and capability of networking opportunities will be the number one game changer of 2017.