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WHITE PAPER SUMMARYEvent marketers are creating authentic, immersive experiences that incorporatedigital elements along wi...
2 | TrendTracker©2013 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) | 800.424.6224If 2012 was The Year of Change, 2013 ...
3 | TrendTracker©2013 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) | 800.424.6224Go beyond the booth.Companies can acc...
4 | TrendTracker©2013 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) | 800.424.6224Mind your metrics.Companies are relyi...
5 | TrendTracker©2013 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) | 800.424.6224Apps.Customized apps also continue to...
6 | TrendTracker©2013 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) | 800.424.6224Don’t engage them, immerse them.Wheth...
7 | TrendTracker©2013 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) | 800.424.6224ABOUT GESGlobal Experience Specialist...
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Ges trend tracker 2013


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Ges trend tracker 2013

  1. 1. WHITE PAPER SUMMARYEvent marketers are creating authentic, immersive experiences that incorporatedigital elements along with face-to-face interactions. They’re building trade showenvironments, corporate events and other live experiences with one thing in mind:ROI. The second annual Trend Tracker, produced by Global Experience Specialists(GES), once again provides a rapid-release checklist of trends. Go through the listand check-off the ones you’re activating now. Circle others you know you should.And make a list of the ones you’ll need to learn more about in 2013 and beyond.2013 Trend TrackerThe second annual list of the top 40 trendsimpacting trade shows and events this year
  2. 2. 2 | TrendTracker©2013 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) | 800.424.6224If 2012 was The Year of Change, 2013 is The Year of Differentiation. Marketers are working harder to differentiatethemselves from the competition, influence buyers and win sales.As companies seek to connect with event and trade show attendees and elevate their own positions in themarket, they are thinking about new ways to use face-to-face marketing in 2013, now creating “end-to-endexperiences” that begin well before the event starts and continue long after the lights have been turned off.As always, marketers are pressing harder into creating integrated marketing programs with a strategic themecarried from start to finish and a compelling experience for each attendee. The best live engagements offer an“authentic message” that stems from a brand message rather than a blatant sales pitch. “Relevant engagementis about understanding what’s in it for [the target],” says Tom D’Angelo, regional marketing manager on GeneralMotors’ Cadillac brand.And marketers are finding new ways to enhance their experiences via mobile apps, tablets, social media andother digital tools. Bottom line: Trade shows, events and conferences retain a prominent place in marketingbudgets in 2013… and beyond. Now in its second year, the annual Trend Tracker, produced by Global ExperienceSpecialists, is designed to give marketers a rundown of what’s happening and why, what’s around the corner andwhere live experiences are headed.2013:The Year of DifferentiationBrands are finding new ways to distinguish themselves at trade shows
  3. 3. 3 | TrendTracker©2013 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) | 800.424.6224Go beyond the booth.Companies can accomplish a great deal more at a trade show orconference off the show floor. Bring in experts to speak, host aneducational private session, invite customers and prospects to afocus group and focus on spending the right time with the rightpeople. And content is getting a huge upgrade in 2013 as marketersuse “learning” as a constant draw for attendees. At HP’s Discoverb-to-b events, a reinvented conference program featured moresession and speakers. For GQ magazine’s pop-up store, classes,guest lectures and author events keep the lines constant outside.Crowdsourced content.As more events use social media, peer-to-peer elements and digitalcontent to allow attendees themselves to nominate, vote anddesign the content. Oracle’s event department used the power ofcrowdsourcing when it went beyond soliciting simple feedback frompast OpenWorld attendees - and literally turned over session planningto 40,000 members of its in-house-managed Oracle Mix social mediaplatform. Within weeks, more than 400 session topics were submittedas well as other suggestions that streamlined the event.Bloggers as content qualifiers.Bloggers have been a part of events and trade shows for a few yearsnow, typically used to create content from an event released acrosssocial media, the event’s own microsite and that blogger’s loyalfollowers. As with all things in the event industry, use of bloggersis now evolving—with marketers using their blogger partners tonot just create content from an event but also to “qualify” thatcontent. Bloggers at Panasonic and Kodak events and conferencesnow also source and vet which third-party content from other sites,media entities and even the very event they’re partnering with getsreleased to the public.Social currency.A top term for 2013 as event marketers start to put a monetaryvalue on having event attendees link their social media networks tolive brand experiences. Consumer brands are discounting productsin exchange for a few tweets and b-to-b marketers are providingexclusive access to booths and events if attendees post on LinkedIn.Social media gates.As more marketers continue to add social media engagement totheir list of event-related “key metrics,” they are making socialmedia connections a requisite part of event participation. On theb-to-b side, many event registration sites are requiring Facebook andTwitter handles at the time attendees provide contact and credit cardinformation. Consumer events are requiring event attendees to loginto Facebook in order to gain admission to the experience.Marketing automation.Attendees at b-to-b events and meetings no longer follow a linearpurchasing path. As a result, event departments are leaning onmarketing automation software tools such as Silverpop and Eloquathat enable marketing and sales to automate and streamlinecommunications—and the distribution of strategically selectedcontent to targeted audiences.Social 2.0.Most events, conferences and trade shows leverage Twitter,Facebook and YouTube. Now comes the next generation of social,with marketers beginning to test and learn from new socialplatforms such as Peekseed and Planana that offer more targetedways to reach audiences using photos, GPS technology, businessconnections and more.Bring your own device.Marketers are allowing attendees to participate in a variety oftechnology-powered ways with their own devices. Watch in 2013as the amount of events that previously provided the technologyfor attendees to interact on quickly gets replaced by events thatprovide “connectivity” for interaction—attendees connect withdemonstrations, speakers, content and networking on their ownpersonal devices.Auto-Posting.Marketers are creating real-time triggers from live events to socialmedia. First came social media kiosks, allowing event attendees atboth consumer and b-to-b events to post information about theirexperience online. Now marketers are using RFID bracelets that“auto-tag” where a person is and what they’re doing, and in somecases, snap photos that are instantly uploaded to that person’sprofiles whenever they walk past a detector or what some arereferring to as “tag totems.” Coca- Cola activated a program in whichusers registered their Facebook accounts—and their faces—to gainentry. Facial recognition kiosks throughout the events capturedphotos, activities, location and more; all were instantly posted tothat person’s social media network pages. Each event hosted 650consumers a day, and with the seamless Facebook integration,generated.Social attendance.The latest string of events use social media to build the actualattendancefortheevents,andtheresultsareimpressive.ForDiageo’sglobal Nightlife Exchange project, 100 percent of all live eventattendance came from Facebook. “If you create an experience thatis rewarding, the attendees will share it,” says Cadillac’s D’Angelo.“You have to understand who you’re talking to and tap into [theirpassions.]” Technology sometimes cuts down on the human aspectof person-to-person communication. But it has also enhances p-to-pinteraction in many instances.MARKETINGMarketers are investing in event and trade show strategies that differentiate the brand and hone in on a target.Segmentation is getting big play in 2013 as brands try to connect with target audiences for longer amounts of time,using deeper experiences.“Those who are distinguishing their brands are going to stand out,” says David Saef, executive VP-strategy andmarketing at GES. “They are thinking about the end-to-end experience incorporating pre-show marketing, exhibit,sponsorships, speaking slots, and entertaining clients and prospects. We encourage our clients to map out thefull experience so that it can be seen in one place.”(For a template, visit 060708020304050910MARKETING BUDGETING AND PLANNING DESIGNTECHNOLOGY
  4. 4. 4 | TrendTracker©2013 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) | 800.424.6224Mind your metrics.Companies are relying on measurement analysis to evaluate theeffectiveness of trade shows and to rank each of their events againsteach other. They’re using the results to help make decisions aboutwhich shows are worth their while and how big their presenceneeds to be. What most people don’t know is that according to arecent study by GES and B-to-B magazine, 60% of their peers areless than satisfied with how they are measuring events. (Checkout the study at Companies in many industries arespending more than they have in the past on event programs,eyeing bigger activations at events and more prominent exhibitsat trade shows. Others are diverting funds to custom programs orprivate events. But across the board, companies are using metricsand data to understand what has worked best in the past andusing that intelligence to spend on the programs that can best helpachieve ROI in 2013.Stretch the experience.Marketers are under pressure to reach more people and reach theirtarget audience for longer periods of time. Event strategies in 2013are extending their on-site experience online and using the powerof online digital elements and offline localized elements to reachpeople who may not attend the core event but can be engagedanyway. Cisco’s annual GSX sales conferences uses a mix of largeevents in a few countries and hundreds of small micro-eventsaround the world to create a program that reaches everybody, nomatter where they are.Better engagements, fewer targets.Many brands are whittling down their target databases andspending budgets on smaller events attended by important clientsand consumers. BMW this year has a slew of new programs thataim to spend more time… with fewer but better qualified people.“Pre” and “post” become accountable.Event departments around the world are now being held moreaccountable for generating engagement and impact before andafter live events. Some marketers report they are now requiredto submit anticipated pre-event and post-event reach, impactand sales numbers with their full-year budget requests. Food forthought for those event teams still viewing before and after metricsas mere icing on the cake.Cost effectiveness.Advances in exhibit design have given us structures that are lightweight, easy to transport, and easy to install and strike. All ofwhich tend to make booths even more cost-effective. Custom-builtstructures and rental structures can be part of the mix too. Casein point: Komatsu at MINExpo saved weight and reduced shippingand material handling costs considerably by utilizing fabric inconstruction.Paying their way.There’s a lot of talk these days about the “hosted buyer” approach.Here, an organizer picks up the tab (or a portion thereof) forattendees to come to an event—in many cases they pay travelexpenses. In return, the attendee commits to attending a certainnumber of meetings. It’s a win-win for attendee, organizer andexhibitor. IMEX is a show that does it well. (Check out learn how IMEX defines their hosted buyer program.)Hubs and spokes.Marketers are evolving event schedules for 2013, combining large“hub” events with localized “spoke” events. The strategy allows forthe best of both worlds: the hubs draw larger numbers of attendeeswhile the spokes appeal to target audiences who might not be ableto travel.Simultaneous events.Market-by-market events are more frequently being upgraded withcampaigns running multiple events simultaneously. It’s all part ofan effort by marketers to speed up reach, frequency and go-to-market timelines. MetLife’s Day One, a program connecting currentemployees and those of newly acquired Alico, spawned 60 eventsthat touched 70,000 employees in 64 countries.BUDGETING AND PLANNINGSpending smarter isn’t just an objective. It’s the industry mantra for 2013. As event departments try to increasereach, amplify experiences and generate tangible returns against marketing investments, they’re doing so inmuch smarter ways—budgeting better, investing in things that are provable and rolling out events and tradeshows that are designed to perform.“The more time put into budgeting and planning, the better the chance for spending smarter and strategically,”says Doug Shockley, VP of client relations and global events at GES. “And so the best experiences in 2013 arebeing designed with both the return and the spend in mind.”0106070802030405MARKETING BUDGETING AND PLANNING DESIGNTECHNOLOGY
  5. 5. 5 | TrendTracker©2013 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) | 800.424.6224Apps.Customized apps also continue to be a smart way for marketersto extend their reach beyond the event. Attendees can downloadbranded apps and check out the content after hours or after theevents, when they’re more relaxed and have time on their hands.The apps are a useful way to keep your brand top of mind, evenmonths after the show.E-brochures.Companies are using touchpads not only for interactive experiences,but also to show off their products. The beauty part? If an attendeeis interested in more info, you can send product literature at thetouch of a button, right from the device. No more briefcases bulgingwith brochures. GES has an e-literature tool that can be run on atablet or a larger monitor. It’s as easy as collecting information,serving up products and services that are relevant to the attendee,then the attendee emails the information directly to herself. It’srelevant and eco-friendly. Check out for more info.Charging stations.Unless your attendees were sent here from the ’80s, they’recarrying cell phones and computers. Give ’em a cool, comfortableway to recharge, and they may hang out a while. Hot trend for 2013:Offering “charging lockers” so people can safely stash gadgets whilethey juice up. (Tip: Make sure to have a way to open the lockerswhen guests lose their keys.)Projection mapping.Corporatemeetingsandconferencesarequicklyembracingprojectionmapping—until now primarily used on outdoor buildings—inside atb-to-b events. General session rooms are now being designed withstark white stage sets; content is designed and projected onto thestage, allowing for incredible flexibility, easy change-outs of visuals/media and less expensive sets. See how Bell Helicopter used projectmapping for a dramatic reveal at connectivity.This will be the year that the event industry finally commits tofull-time Wi-Fi at their events and trade shows. Attendees want toconnect (this is not new) and brands must put a connective networkin place to facilitate it.Digital signage.Say goodbye to traditional static poster boards. The digital versionhas arrived, and marketers are embracing digital signage across theirevent portfolios. From media walls and virtual totems for wayfinding,electric signage is helping many events update communications withattendees in real time, tether what’s happening on the ground withsocial media and amplify the entire experience beyond the eventfootprint.RFID-triggered engagement.Usage is growing in 2013 as marketers use the tiny chips torecognize and track attendees. More marketers are now using RFIDto “trigger” experiences on the fly. Blackberry’s trade show boothplays demos from different kiosks when an attendee approaches.Coke’s Summer Love Lounge pop-ups snapped photos of attendeeswhen they strolled past RFID detectors and posted the photos toeach attendee’s Facebook page.Near field communication (NFC).RFID’s faster and more far-reaching cousin, NFC enablessmartphones and tablets to exchange data with each other whenthey’re touching or in close proximity. More smartphones are beingreleased with NFC built-in, which means marketers won’t need RFIDtags… they’ll let event attendees trigger the experience themselves.LED.LED technology has given us lighting and screens that are cheaper,lighter and higher resolution, so it’s no wonder the technology isfinding its way into product presentations and theater settings. LEDdevices still cost more than traditional lighting systems, but they’realso generally more energy efficient and longer lasting.Transmedia.Gone are the days of “duplicate” interactions that are exactly thesame online, on mobile phone and on tablets. A hot buzzword for2013, transmedia defined as a “cross-device” experience. Eventmarketersarepushingattendeestointeractwithbrandsviadifferentinteractions on different devices. SAP’s Sapphire Now has differentcontent on its web site, app, and mobile platforms. Attendees areencouraged to use all of them to absorb the “full experience.”Gamification.Corporations, small and large, have begun adopting game principlesat their events and trade shows. The theory: Using fun game-likeinteractives produce more efficient employees and more satisfiedcustomers. Business spending on what has become known as“gamification” will increase from an estimated $242 million thisyear to $2.8 billion in 2016, predicts M2 Research, an Encinitas,Calif.-based technology research firm.Anywhere transactions.Events are being designed as experiences that target audiences canaccessfrommultipleplaces.Fromtheevent.Online.Fromtheirphonesand devices. Once marketers understand their audience is on themove, they can create experiences that are as mobile as the targets.Marketers are adding transactional elements to event programs,allowing participants to buy or place orders for products on-site. It’s ahuge departure from the age-old experiential marketing model, whichused high-touch events to get attendees excited and informed about abrand but rarely ever offered them an opportunity to buy on the spot.TECHNOLOGYFrom the virtual to the hands-on, event marketers have an abundance of highly useful gadgets in their toolkits. Youdon’t need to use all the gadgets at your disposal, however. Just when the time is right.“It has to be relevant and authentic to your message,” says Eddie Newquist, EVP and chief creative officer at GES.“You may not necessarily need a giant video screen or an elaborate light show. Attendees are searching for anauthentic one-on-one with a brand. A big, splashy marketing message will turn them off immediately. Think ofyour brand as a person then make sure the experience matches his or her personality.”010607080203040509111012MARKETING BUDGETING AND PLANNING DESIGNTECHNOLOGY
  6. 6. 6 | TrendTracker©2013 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) | 800.424.6224Don’t engage them, immerse them.Whether they’re at a trade show or exhibit booth, companies engageattendees with an immersive experience, not just a pretty sellingsituation. At Audi, for example, events leverage media, animation,gesturetechnologyandsocialmediatotakeattendeesinsidethebrand.Journey planning.Marketers are designing the paths that attendees at events andtrade shows will take through their experiences. In an effort to makethose paths more relevant, they are identifying different types ofattendees and then marketing to each segment differently - withdifferent emails and direct mailers, with invites to different demosand meetings - in many cases, event marketers are even givingdifferent price points to different attendees of corporate meetingsand conferences.Microsites.More than ever, marketers are designing companion web sites fortheir event programs. These sites allow attendees to interact withthe event or trade show before, during and after the program startsand ends. Creative teams across the industry are busy adding web-development designers to teams that for years were staffed entirelyby architects, creative directors and graphics experts.Event reinventions.Sweeping changes are being applied to Tier 1 programs as manyevent departments reinvent, rebuild and reachitect their longest-running events. It’s been well documented that the reinventionof SAP’s largest event into an all-new event called Sapphire Nowhas helped increase ROI by hundreds of percentage points. Thecompany consolidated content sessions and the exhibit hall intoa centralized “village,” created an on-site social media broadcaststudio to amplify the experience and used targeted marketing toincrease physical and virtual registrants.Global relevance.As companies go global, it’s becoming more important to considerhow the look and feel of an event activation will translate overseas.What might be a great experience at a trade show or event in NewYork City can have the wrong connotation in New Delhi. Consultwith local team members or an area agency to ensure that you willbe effective...and not embarrassed.Low-fi is the new hi-fi.Low-tech elements are being added to high-tech event environmentsin an effort to “balance” out the experience. Attendee entrances atsomeeventsnowfeaturemediascreensencasedinsiderawunpaintedshipping containers. Look for this “blend trend” to continue as eventmarketers push for that perfect balance and check to seehow GES incorporated this idea to re-create 19thCentury London andpromote Warner Bros’ major release Sherlock Holmes.The zone approach.Event environments are being designed with “zones” that workcollaboratively yet separately and allow attendees to follow apath through the experience. It also allows attendees to stay ona course of engaging products and services that are relevant forthem—and avoiding those that are not.Sustainability.Having an eco-friendly event footprint might have been optional afew years ago. But now it’s often a must. Recycling has become a wayof life for many of us, at home and on the job. The event industryis catching up - and customers are taking note of which brands aregoing green, which aren’t, and which say that they are going greenbut they’re not.B-to-B-to-C.“Combo activations” will get big play in 2013 as event marketersget more efficient. Activision’s XP event, for example, split up itsmulti-day event in a way that produced a press event one day,internal sales event on another and then a consumer fan fest.Seagate Technology uses its 53-foot mobile truck as a consumerprospecting tool and its trade show exhibit.Hyper-participatory activities.Event marketers recognize that more time with attendees equatesto a better understanding on their part of brand and product, and ahigher propensity to use or buy. At a recent Porsche dealer meeting,attendees were engaged with activities such as audience interactivegames, high-tech scavenger hunts, more immersive product demosand targeted private events that helped generate longer “dwelltimes” (lengths of engagement).DESIGNAuthenticity: It’s something that should be a natural part of any event activation, but it’s often the hardestquality to conjure up. And it’s often what makes or breaks the connection with your customer.“The fact is, having a real conversation with your target audience is powerful,” says Newquist. “And a realconversation doesn’t have anything to do with sales and marketing. Events in 2013 are trying to get real.”01 060708020305091004MARKETING BUDGETING AND PLANNING DESIGNTECHNOLOGY
  7. 7. 7 | TrendTracker©2013 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) | 800.424.6224ABOUT GESGlobal Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES), aViad Corp (NYSE:VVI) company, is a leadingmarketing agency that produces exhibitions, events, exhibits and retail environments. GESprovides a wide range of services, including turn-key official show services, cutting-edgecreative and design, marketing and measurement services—all with an unrivaled globalreach. GES partners with leading shows and brands, including the InternationalWoodwork-ing Fair, CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE, Spring Fair Birmingham, Bell Helicopter, L’Oreal,Warner Bros., and Simon Property Group. GES’ National Servicenter℠ has been recognizedwith certification under the J.D. Power and Associates Certified Call Center Program℠ forthe past five years, and for the fourth year in a row, Ad Age has named GES as one of the“World’s 50 Largest Agency Companies.” For more information, visit or the GESblog at