Monitoring trends is always either interesting or inspiring. Unfortunately, we know that we cannot apply every trend that comes along – especially when we have our budgets to take into account. For this reason, Azavista has compiled a list of some (more) meeting and event trends for 2015. These trends are both interesting (in my opinion) and can be easily applied in your next event. 

Mobile Event Apps

This really is one of the “hot stuff” happening this year in events. We are seeing an incredible increase in the popularity of mobile event apps at events (even in meetings to be honest). These apps are so versatile and can be used as an information tool, inspire two-way conversation between you and your guests, and also simply facilitate social engagement – they really can do whatever you’d need it to do.

Many companies have started offering planners the opportunity to create and personalise their own mobile event apps online, which enable us to customise and manage the app content to easily meet their needs. This can come in handy since approximately 60% of employees download an event app if it’s available – so why not toy with the concept of your own event app to maximise engagement at your next event?

End-to-end Meetings Management

Tools that enable event planners to manage all aspects of their event is becoming a need in the industry. End-to-end management will allow planners to manage all phases of their event from a single interface – planners want to be able to market their events prior to their occurrence, plan and budget their event in its entirety and also gather feedback post-event. Many planners are moving towards planning using one interface as opposed to the traditional fragmented, multi-tool event management.

Nowadays it’s possible to handle your online event registration, event budgeting and reporting, mobile event app, task management, event email marketing, and even supplier procurement in one place – so why aren’t we all using this kind of tool?!

Events as Communities

Events are no longer… well ‘events’, people are continuously engaged prior-to, during and post-event. We’re creating event communities, where the entire event itself is all the former phases combined. It’s possible for your event to continue on for an indefinite period of time – it’s whatever you plan it to be. Technology is making this increasingly possible; though oftentimes planners simply don’t have the time to manage these communities as they are simply moving on towards their next event.

As time goes on though, and guests are aching for increased engagement and a sense of the event community, planners will need to create strategies that will facilitate these event communities. If done properly, a glorious cycle could emerge where continued engagement increases attendance and your events’ success.

Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi everywhere… 

After all, what good is technology these days without the internet? I mean nowadays it’s easier to find Wi-Fi than it is to find good coffee…

With the growth in mobile app use it is necessary, if not expected, that events cater to guests’ Wi-Fi needs. Slowly, but surely, venues and events are picking up the pace and are providing Wi-Fi in all meeting rooms (and at a decent bandwidth). Knowing this, it is even more promising to create a mobile app for your events. Everyone’s connected, everyone wants to engage, we all have something to say – why not give them the tools to do just that?

Big Data and Analytics

If you’re managing your event all the way from registration to post-event feedback, you know just how much data there is to be collected. This data can bring you important insights into your event and your attendees themselves. Gone are the days of waiting and manually analysing post-event survey data! Today, mobile event apps at SAAS technologies are equipping event planners with tools that allow them to evaluate their data as soon as it comes in. We are now more able to evaluate our attendees’ behaviour, their preferences, patterns, and feedback as they use technology. The world of data is vast and full of insights – we just need to take the time and put in the effort to make it work. 

Gamification

(Almost) everyone today has a smartphone and/or tablet at their disposal. As these numbers continue to grow, the use of gaming applications do too. I mean we’ve all played Candy Crush, Jewel Mania or Farmville (the list goes on) – and if we haven’t played them, we know how ever-present (read: annoying) the invitations to these games are. Point being: game apps are everywhere!

The idea of competing with other event guests for special prizes or recognition at eventsis becoming more popular and this gives them the opportunity to get noticed during the event or between different activities. Not only will adding gamification concepts into your event increase engagement, but also will give you the opportunity to get creative and host an event to remember!

Though these are just a few of the latest trends, they are quite interesting and focus on engaging your guests – something that I find very important. So, let me know which trends you’re considering and what your ideas are. It would be nice to see how creative meeting and event planners can be! 

Happy Planning!