2018 was another milestone year in event marketing, especially when it came to spending and event technology. According to AMEX:
- In North America, businesses spent anywhere between $1,200 to $1,700 per attendee
- The number of companies organizing 20 or more events per year increased by 17%
- 33% of event organizers agreed that they are willing to spend more if the additional budget will lead to a better event experience for participants
- The usage of mobile event apps increased by 3%
There’s no sign that this momentum is going to slow down and 2019 is expected to be another exciting year for event marketing. Every year, event marketing professionals look forward to what experts believe would be the trend for the new year.
Here are the top five trends that will dominate event marketing in 2019 and why businesses should pay attention to them:
1. Events with a Social Cause Will Be More Popular
According to events director Hannah Shepard: “[A] for 2019 is the expectation for businesses to be more socially responsible in terms of the way they spend on events and have a wider purpose. Greater thought will go into the planning stages, with people trying to deliver an underlying message, and maybe make a social or environmental statement – digital detox can be part of this too.”
This is good news for businesses with modest event marketing budgets. While a bigger budget will always have its advantages, spending on events for the sake of extravagance is no longer going to resonate with the market. In fact, 87% of customers will support businesses that support social causes.
Businesses should also make a more conscious effort to reduce their carbon footprint in the execution of their events. Going paperless, using energy-efficient technology, and reducing plastic use is some of the most common ways events are becoming more earth-friendly.
2. Venues with a Story Will Attract More Attendees
The One Great George Street in London was where the UNESCO was established. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas features a dining area surrounded by gems collected from different parts of the world. The Georgian Terrace in Atlanta hosted the premiere party of Gone with the Wind in 1939.
In the past, these venues were sought out for their novelty factor. However, in 2019, event attendees will clamor for venues like these. It will be an integral part of the event experience and will be one of the main selling points that will drive event registration and increase participation. This highlights the need for an event management software that enables strategic venue sourcing.
3. Live Data Will Be a Necessity for Results-Driven Event Planning
According to Aventri’s former Global Analytics Director Bill Bosak: “Meeting and event organizers now have the unprecedented ability to see how their events are performing in real-time: what’s working, what’s not, what topics and areas of the show floor are attracting the most attention, who the most influential participants are, what’s the level of attendee engagement and satisfaction, which partners are having a good show and which are being overlooked, etc.”
Apart from investing in event technology that delivers an immersive, unique, and on-brand event experience, it is expected of businesses to funnel a significant amount of investment to technology that will give them access to real-time event data. 2019 will be a breakthrough year as event marketers will be making decisions on the fly, totally transforming how events are planned and executed.
Data savviness is no longer optional. Further, data gathering and analysis is no longer a post-event practice. Businesses unable to adapt to this trend will find themselves falling behind their competitors.
4. Participants Will Be Attending Events Expecting to Embark on a Unique Journey
This is especially true for B2B and corporate events, as well as business conferences and meetings. The recent emergence of executives and other members of the working class who put a premium on work-life harmonization and unique experiences is creating the need for event planners to incorporate other worthwhile activities into otherwise straightforward events.
It is no longer enough to bring in knowledgeable speakers or create productive learning opportunities. Participants are expecting a more holistic experience that seamlessly combines work and pleasure. Event agencies that specialize in these corporate events or in-house corporate event teams should be able to provide activities that are outside of the agenda.
5. Voice Technology Will Start to Shape Event Executions
Technologies that event attendees are using in their own homes are starting to shape the technology event marketers are using. A good example of this is voice technology, which provides an easier yet more engaging way for participants to navigate through an event.
EventMB editor Julius Solaris offers the following pro tip: “Create “if, then” scenarios that are helpful to attendees. Be proactive in your voice assistance. For example, if someone asks where vendor X is on the exhibit floor, the assistant could then ask if they’d like to schedule some one-on-one time with that vendor.”
Making 2019 a Landmark Year
These trends were culled based on emerging event technologies and market demands, as well as experts’ observations of how the industry is evolving. At the end of the day, event marketing success depends on a business’ ability to use the right event technology, understand their audience, and execute event content that follows the gold standards of experiential marketing.