Watch for These Exciting Trends in 2019

Trends for 2019

In 2019, we’re going to see even more integrations. Hold up - we “predicted” that some years ago. However, people then used the word integration, like many other buzzwords of the time. It’s not just about integrations for integrations sake. We’re already seeing a number of organisers who are working smarter, making better connections to support more targeted personas or audiences. For example, organisers are using our open API to integrate with their platforms and other technologies to facilitate more seamless experiences for their customers.

 

It’s no longer about just adding digital components to an event, but about integrating the digital journey, in support of the live experience.  Let’s make everyone’s lives easier when our audiences interact with our experiences. We all want to create great experiences. We all want them to be immersive. We all want people to take something away from them. Great, we’re aligned, but, how are you using technology to facilitate those experiences?

 

Smarter Spaces

Smarter Spaces

This is all about how the digital and physical worlds combine to create a new form of reality and it’s based on connections. Connecting people, processes and things in new, interesting and engaging ways. We expect all stakeholders of an event, no matter their objective, to be able to take away something meaningful and memorable from their attendance at an event. We will see more booths, more features and more events adopting engaging technologies to enable their customers to take away what they set out to achieve from attending an event.  And more so, it’s going to be measurable. For example, utilising Connect Touchpoints will enable customers that have just engaged with your space, to take away content or follow up actions, such as signing up for future webinars, or your latest whitepaper, in their digital briefcase, via the simplicity of a touch from their smart badge.

 

Digital Footprint

Digital FootprintData.  It’s one of the most overused words of our recent industry generation maybe, but the funny thing is, we (that’s a “collective we”) still aren’t using it to its full potential.

 

We will see much more intelligent use of the data we (that’s the “collective we” again) obtain from events. As an industry, we are catching up to the rest of the world in terms of the intelligence we utilise, but we will be using more insight to help drive the decisions we make. These could be as simple as proving the success of a feature and the engagement it received or we could be utilising more behavioural data, around flows of an event. What attracted people? Where did they go? What did they see? Who did they meet? Can we improve experience? Can we place booths in particular areas to meet relevant audiences? More so, we can prove intent versus behavioural interactions of customers at our events.

 

Digitally Immersive Experiences

Digitally Immersive ExperiencesThis is less so about the experience you have onsite, in interacting with a product or feature. This for me, is more about how humans interact with the digital world.

 

We already interact quite well – searching for event websites for info, registering, and using mobile apps - well, 30% of audiences anyway. However, events are still utilising chatbots and AI customer service agents to rapidly answer key questions that people typically ask of an event. Chatbots keep improving and the lightning fast learning of AI can offer your customers a speedy response but there’s added potential when used onsite at an event as well.  That’s not to say AI will take over. If you can’t answer the question, will your AI bot be able to?

 

Too often we look at these areas in isolation. We get distracted by the fabulous, the new, the whacky, the wild. We focus on the amazing experience, but forget about how we’re going to immerse people in that very experience we set out to achieve. Add to that every year, we must prove how our marketing dollars are spent, we need to ensure the experience is meaningful. Not only for the individual immersed, but for you, the organiser of that experience. Did you know how you made people feel? Did they interact with your brand in the way you wanted? Did you get out of that what you wanted?

 

That’s not to say every experience has to be measurable. Sometimes, it’s just great to create wonderful things that your audiences can enjoy. So don’t lose your creativity and excitement for generating great ideas! 

About the Author

Matt  Coyne

Matt has been working in events & exhibitions for over 15 years. From organising, to design, to website, and onto registration, engagement and intelligent data services, Matt has extensive experience at every level. With a background in organisation, marketing and design Matt is able to cut through the technology and approach engagement and registration solutions with the end users in mind. As Group Commercial Director for Visit by GES and an active participant in the industry, Matt has been involved in a variety of industrywide research projects and is an expert in creating effective event experiences.

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