This is the time of year where it is important to reflect on the current year and predict what is to come in the next year. The predictions for event trends in 2015 are here. The ever popular Event Manager Blog published their annual report, citing that the word defining the event industry in 2015 is “drench”. They state that, “The event of 2015 will drench attendees. It will make them feel they own the space and the content being presented. The role of technology will be crucial in facilitating this incredibly immersive experience.” View their full report and all predictions here: 10 Event Trends for 2015.
Corbin Ball Associates also released a top 10 trends for 2015 list and we think they’ve hit the nail on the head with these predictions in particular:
- Mobile event apps have become mainstream and will continue to grow in 2015.
- BLE (Bluetooth low energy) and iBeacon will provide a wealth of new options for planners and participants.
- Analytics will emerge as one of the most important benefits of mobile event apps.
- The transition from “attendee” to “participant” will continue.
- Aerial (drone) video will provide new perspective for event photography (if regulatory hurdles are passed).
The IMEX Group has identified these as four key trends for 2015:
- ‘Play’ gives new meaning to profit – According to IMEX guest speaker, Creativity Guru, Rhea Blanken, Einstein reputedly said: “Play is the highest form of research.” Gartner has been predicting for the last few years that in 2015 up to 40 percent of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as their primary mechanism for transforming business operations
- 50 Shades of Apps – Apps continue to be ‘sexy’ (in advertising parlance) and their strength and novelty will be unbounded in 2015. But this is not apps for app’s sake, as paper swaps or standalones. Rather meeting and event apps will be seamlessly linking across other media platforms, and especially websites, in line with customer/community market needs and pain points, deeply connected to real-time analytics and incorporating interactions such as live messaging, polling and other instant engagement and feedback mechanics.
- Let’s Take it “Outside” – In 2015 expect to see meeting spaces and formats going through even more of a revolution as the principles of meeting design become more firmly embedded throughout the supply chain. Where wifi allows set meetings free to ‘roam’ it also creates a subtle pressure to be ‘always on’.
- Wellness is Fit as a Fiddle – Beyond drinking water, eating protein-laden nuts and taking a quick, rejuvenating massage there is a higher level of spiritual awareness starting to make its way into meeting keynotes, sessions and formats.
So what do we think?!
The High Attendance team put their heads together and we have some thoughts around some of these predictions, as well as some new predictions of our own.
- We completely agree with Corbin & Associates and IMEX, we too believe that we will see a significant boost to gamification during events in 2015. We saw a little bit of it during 2014, like at the Dell UnConference, and each time it was a huge success with organizers and participants alike. Event gamification will continue to get more advanced, the attendees will truly turn into active participants and a whole new door of possibilities will be opened.
- Traditional event management tools for organizers will not go away, but they will become simplified. Event managers do not have time to produce tens or hundreds of events a year while using and maintaining multiple tools for each event. The need for spreadsheets, an event invitation and registration site, a mobile check-in app, analytics platform, Salesforce, Marketo or Eloqua and so on is just crazy! It’s an antiquated way of putting on events and we’re seeing a shift away from this. Out of the box just doesn’t work for everyone – there is a need for a customized tailored solution to simplify and streamline this process into one tool, like we’ve done at High Attendance (Captix).
- Personalization will rise. With today’s technology, the ability to access so much data is right at our fingertips and the tools are making it easy to connect on a personal level. At events, the use of NFC, RFID and iBeacons allow organizers the ability to follow the participants around, know exactly what they’re looking at, where they’ve been and who they are talking to throughout the event. This knowledge allows event staff to personalize communications, messaging and follow-ups.
- There will be greater pressure to see ROI from events. With event budgets expected to increase, the need for clear data, easily showing ROI (Return On Investment), will become critical. Executives want to see what the return is on this increased budget and it will be on the event managers to provide this data. Something we hear consistently from event managers is that they feel they are constantly trying to prove their worth and lobby on behalf of the need for events; ROI is the simplest way in which this is accomplished.
What are your thoughts? We want to hear your predictions!