2014 event trends guidebook


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2014 event trends guidebook

  1. 1. If 2013 was all about marketers finding differentiation strategies to distinguish their event and exhibit programs from the competition…this year, it’s all about employing strategies to enhance the experience. Click below to achieve new heights in engagement in 2014! 2014 Event Trends Guidebook Let’s Go! Share This Guidebook
  2. 2. For our annual trend forecast, we put together an interactive map to help you navigate this year’s hottest event trends. Click on one of the points of interest to start your 2014 engagement journey! Experience Epicenter Technology Territory Customer Focus Hub Out-of-the-Box Interactive Social Media Storm Mobile Mountain Share This Guidebook
  3. 3. Technology Territory Dress For Success iPads and tablets are evolving to their mature state, and the next big thing is coming—a major growth surge in wearable technology. From Google Glass, smart watches and bracelets, to NFC rings and smart clothing, there are many potential uses for these transportable technologies at trade shows and events. These functionally fashionable items will soon invade the show floor as essential personal assistants for attendees and experience enhancers for exhibitors. Simple notetaking, advanced networking (face recognition reminders or location alerts when people of like interest come into range), information collection at booths, and navigational assistance on the show floor barely scratch the surface of possibility for these devices. 3D Printing We’re in a time where books, news, video, and even our social circles are dematerializing into the digital space. The emergence of 3D printing technology reminds us that people still possess the desire to live in a physical world. 3D printers are already extremely versatile but due to price constraints, they have yet to become mainstream. However, there is a wealth of opportunities for 3D printing in the event and trade show industry, from crowdsourced designs and special giveaways to suspenseful product reveals. From Paper to Pixels Event marketers are moving toward a completely paperless industry and developing electronic media to share with their attendees. As all data becomes digitized, pilot conferences are giving out information-packed tablets in lieu of paper binders full of collateral. Similarly, it’s much easier to capture and store many different kinds of information about customers and prospects and use that information to tailor future attendee experiences. Share This Guidebook Back to Map
  4. 4. Experience Epicenter Completely Immersed Across the array of event programs—from sales meetings to corporate summits to exhibits—there’s a growing trend toward a collaborative, immersive type of attendee interaction. The campus format is becoming more popular, where everyone shares a collective experience in one communal space. But, it goes beyond the experience—from authentic to awe-inspiring, it’s a tangible, multi-sensory environment that completely immerses the attendee and engages all five senses. Between audio zones, interactive art activities, taste tours, eye scanning, and more, it’s only a matter of time before smell makes an appearance, too! 24/7 Connectivity Will this be the year that the convention industry at long last pledges to provide 24/7 connected Wi-Fi for a better attendee and exhibitor experience? Attendees expect access, and there’s no question how crucial a reliable connection is for exhibitors. Imagine if a convention center’s show management lifted their Wi-Fi parameters. Exhibitors would be able to develop robust apps, execute complex social media components, send content of interest instantaneously to qualified leads, and more! Take It To The Crowd For several years, event organizers have been taking advantage of the power of crowdsourcing, asking for attendee input pre-event. But now there is a shift to creating crowdsourced experiences. By encouraging those who are at an event to share their different perspectives and viewpoints via attendee- generated photos or videos, crowdsourcing makes an event or trade show a longer experience in time and space. Aside from creating a sense of community and connectivity between those on- and off-site, crowdsourced experiences can reach an even wider audience and build tremendous buzz—making those unable to make it to the event inspired, intrigued, and more inclined to attend in person in the future. Share This Guidebook Back to Map
  5. 5. Out-of-the-Box Interactive Technology Referees Without proper facilitation, technology is just another shiny object on the show floor. We’re seeing more and more technology paired with “engagement agents” to streamline technology interactions. High tech “illusionists” manipulate tablets, interacting with various forms of multimedia content to create powerful, interactive effects. Perhaps it’s a Siri-like artificial intelligence or life-size virtual presenter to man an activation zone and interact with you at a kiosk. Or, a gamified program that employs leap motion technology. Or, brainwave-sensing headband Muse allows your attendees to control a live demo or digital activity. The Short Report With an abundance of information and resources constantly at their fingertips, customers have more control in the buying process than ever before. Because of this, event marketers need to captivate potential customers fast and give them a very easy, desirable next step. You’ll see information that appeals to how today’s customer thinks delivered in “short bites” instead of “one giant meal” (à la TED Talks). If your booth includes a business theater component, communicate your messaging in quick 90-second increments After the present, connect attendees with docents who answer more specific questions or help them find what they’re looking for. Keep It Personal Beyond the self-guided tour, event environments are being split into distinct zones that allow an attendee to “choose their own adventure”, following an unrestricted pathway through an event or booth experience. It also allows attendees to stay on a personalized course of engaging with products and services that are relevant for them. Share This Guidebook Back to Map .
  6. 6. Customer Focus Hub B2E New research continues to show B2B buyers are mimicking consumer behaviors when making purchases—meaning they are sophisticated and savvy, and more willing to pay more for services that offer an improved customer experience. B2B and B2C have merged, and this new Business-to-Everyone model is here to stay. But what does it mean for events and trade shows? According to a recent CEIR study, the most prominent emerging need for attendees at trade shows and events is having specific questions answered on the spot. The attendee journey is more customized than ever. To deliver a positive brand experience and make it to a buyer’s short list, exhibit staff must find ways to engage attendees and be prepared to deliver custom answers specific to the attendee’s needs and interests. If an attendee fails to engage and come away with a positive experience from your booth, it’s likely they’ll move on to another brand who can deliver the solutions they need. F2F On Hyperdrive With this new B2E model, there’s a re-energized emphasis on urgency when it comes to customer service. Video chat utilities and new streaming technology allow for more immediate personalized assistance online. Now, the trend shifts to F2F. For example, Beam remote presence technology is being integrated into booth programs to increase awareness and connectivity so any customer can engage with a product or talk to a subject-matter expert in real-time—no matter their location. Share This Guidebook Back to Map
  7. 7. Social Media Storm Comprehensive Socialization From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and LinkedIn, the majority of trade show and event marketers are already integrating basic social media tactics into their programs. It’s time to look to the horizon—a new crop of social media is emerging, with interaction becoming more integrated with the face-to-face, physical world. From RFID bracelets to facial recognition, marketers are leveraging new technology to help attendees tag their locations, post photos, document activities, or customize their own digital memorabilia to instantly share on their personal networks. Selfie Shift The rise of the selfie in 2013 clearly defined social media’s supreme influence. A direct response to our highly visual culture, the selfie phenomenon proves people crave self-expression, familiarity, and a privileged perspective. The popularity of sharing selfies gives way to a shift for future social media applications in B2B events, pointing to a few ideas event and exhibit marketers should consider. Make your in-booth experiences relevant to your attendees so they’re inclined to share on their own without being enticed by a giveaway or incentive. Look for unique ways to make your program creative, interesting, and personal to each attendee to boost their possibility of sharing. Exhibit and event managers must start thinking beyond a marketer’s POV and employ practical applications that convey sincerity and make the attendee feel exclusive. Share This Guidebook Back to Map
  8. 8. Mobile Mountain BYOD The idea of “bring your own device” is becoming widespread. Exhibitors are starting to use lead capture systems on their own devices. QR codes on attendee badges are promising even more personalized engagement, such as providing relevant content to attendees based on their location on the show floor. Clickable Paper, an app that allows you to click on an image in your phone without even scanning a QR code, redirects you to a list of options from a product listing on Amazon to a YouTube video to a website. The app is available for both iOS and Android, so the vast majority of attendees would be able to use this app in conjunction with booth signage, product demos, and more. All In One The next big thing in data communication technology, NFC, or near- field communication, may permanently be coming into its own. NFC is RFID’s distant cousin, enabling mobile devices to send or exchange data immediately when in close proximity and allowing attendees to trigger their own experiences. Poken, a device activated by NFC technology, is set to transform the trade show landscape in a myriad of ways. Imagine electronic literature collection, social interaction, contact information, polling, and lead qualifying…all in one device! Share This Guidebook Back to Map
  9. 9. Thanks for downloading the Looking to take these trends to the next level to enhance your trade show and event programs in 2014? 2014 Event Trends Guidebook Give us a call: 312.787.4800 Sign up to receive our newsletter! Connect with us! Subscribe to our blog!