Top trends in event management for 2018

Tue 1 Dec 2020

In an increasingly saturated field, keeping on top of new trends in the event planning industry is essential for staying ahead of the competition. Here are some of the latest developments in event tech and attendee experience:

Event Technology

Sophisticated event technology now covers the entire event cycle from planning to collecting feedback, and when used correctly it dramatically enhances overall attendee experience. For memorable events that run like clockwork, top event planners are utilising:

  • RFID (radio-frequency identification) wristbands – These contain electronic chips that offer several benefits, including easy re-entry for multi-day events, personalized access to specific areas, uploading posts to social media, and making cashless purchases. They are more difficult to replicate than paper tickets, reducing counterfeiting issues (in addition, lost or stolen wristbands can easily be deactivated). Most importantly for event planners, they collect a lot of useful data. Want to know what products people are buying, which areas of a venue are most popular, or how long attendees spend at the event? It’s all right there in the chip.
  • Drone technology – Brands are increasingly turning to drones for the experiential ‘wow’ factor. At last year’s Coachella festival, Intel used a fleet of 300 drones to create a light show replicating colourful 3D objects in the night sky. Drones are also being used to deliver items to guests, capture events on 360-degree video to livestream through social media channels, and even provide additional event security. In terms of event planning, major challenges when using drones include safety restrictions and obtaining permission from the relevant aviation authority. However, for large budget events the results are often worth the pre-production effort.
  • AI – Advanced AI (artificial intelligence) at events and conferences is a natural progression for attendees used to asking Siri or Alexa for basic information on their smartphones. Chatbots can answer attendee questions through an event app or via platforms such as Facebook Messenger, leaving staff more time to focus on other aspects of event planning.

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Attendee Experience

In an era of social media one-upmanship, event attendees are often looking for unique experiences that they can share online. Thinking holistically about the entire experience, from the moment the attendee decides to participate in an event to the moment he or she stops engaging, is vital for creating a successful event. Top trends include:

  • Personalization – Personalization is the latest buzzword in event planning, and tailoring communication to individual attendees is becoming increasingly easy with the use of data capture tools and apps. In addition to targeted email marketing based on a person’s activity, event planners are allowing attendees to customize their event experience through personalized agendas and activity substitutions.
  • Unique/multi-sensory experiences – Forward-thinking brands now look to offer attendees an unforgettable full event experience that utilizes all five senses. Unusual venue locations (think castles, museums, breweries, warehouses) are also becoming increasingly popular for creating one-of-a-kind attendee experiences.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in event management, an MA in Creative Events Management from Falmouth University’s Flexible Learning programmes can help you develop the skills you need to accelerate your career. Visit our course page for more information.

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