Events are a major driver of business for small companies. Whether you are in the events industry, on the periphery, or simply attend events, you have likely leveraged an event to help grow your business at some point.
One of the biggest factors in driving change in events is the growing number of technologies designed to enhance live experiences. While there are still some skeptics who view integrating tech with events as a gimmick or fad, 88 percent of event planners say that apps designed to enhance events increase the satisfaction of their attendees.
There are a few standouts when it comes to changes in the industry. “The shift to mobile away from paper, changing from transactions to complete experiences and deeper engagement are just some of the main trends that will change the event/ticketing industries,” says Neetu Bhatia, CEO and founder of Kyazoonga, an online ticketing provider for consumers and event planners. Bhatia and other small business owners are helping drive a wave of innovation and some key trends that will change the way events look in 2017. The following are a few of those trends that might be worth watching closely in the coming year, especially if your business interfaces with any events.
Event Planning Trends
Event marketers will be using events to get data insights about consumers. 83 percent of event planners revealed that the main drive behind their events is increasing profits. To help achieve those profits, they will use technology to glean more information from the event-goer in a way that might help them predict future behavior.
Bhatia shared, “We’re utilizing deep social media integration to leverage the fact that access to events is fundamentally a community exercise. All of this is helping to drive a seamless, hassle-free, frictionless experience for end users while driving increased engagement, attendance and therefore revenue for our clients.” Predictive analytics are helping companies in countless industries avoid costly mistakes and target approaches that are more likely to result in growth. The events industry can benefit by tracking consistent attendee data and modifying the experience to match their behavior.
Events to Drive Customer Loyalty
An EMI survey found that 48 percent of companies experience a return on investment around from 3:1 to 5:1 after any given event. As a result, more companies can be expected to invest in ticketed events in 2017. Industry leaders like Red Bull have been creating these kinds of events for years. Their popular Flutag events have drawn tens of thousands of attendees to watch makeshift planes attempt to fly over water in countless locations around the world. The event itself has little to do with Red Bull’s brand, but it has become an international phenomenon that often drives the media coverage needed for launching new products and driving consumer awareness.
Brands looking to employ a similar strategy in 2017 need to focus on creative events that offer unique experiences, even if they are not directly related to the brand’s industry. An increasing number of consumers expect authenticity in brands, so events are a great way to establish transparent relationships with potential customers.
Growth in Event Tech Continues
The number of technologies available to event professionals is growing, with exciting developments arriving all the time. While many of these solutions are being created by innovative startups and smaller brands, big players are adopting solutions to provide more comprehensive solutions for the events industry.
Bhatia explains how event tech is helping integrate data-driven solutions, “We use data to enhance the in-venue experience with real-time notifications to help drive purchases based on attendees’ current experiences and behavior.” Using new tech to upgrade the event experience will help keep users engaged and more willing to return to repeat events.
Whether you own a small business catering to the event space, one that uses events to advance the business, or are simply curious about the industry, these will be the trends to pay attention to in the coming year. Be sure to watch how they unfold in various event segments like sporting events, trade shows, and smaller local experiences. Each will likely develop customized versions of larger solutions; that may provide new partnerships and revenue opportunities.