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7 trends to watch out for in conferences and live events

What are the latest trends that we see emerging in the conferences and live events industry?

  • Sustainability
  • Roadshows
  • Long Term Relationships
  • Live Translation
  • Video
  • Live Streaming
  • Interactive Engagement

Find out which are our top 3 by watching the video below. What do you think? Let us know if you agree on our facebook page!

Trend 1: Sustainability

The launch of the Meetings Industry Association’s #20PercentLess single-use plastic campaign, now part of Inspiring Change, is just one example of how the conference sector is helping to reduce the impact of events on the environment.

Increasingly, conferences and events are aligning their priorities with those of the 88% of consumers who, Forbes reported in 2018, will be more loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues.

Trend 2: Roadshows

A desire for greater accessibility for delegates and diversity in attendees is leading many conference organisers to decentralise their events and take on a roadshow format.

By repeating the same, or similar, material in multiple locations, events can reduce the distance that attendees need to travel and the amount of time taken in getting to and from venues.  Taking the event to regional areas reduces the barriers of travel time and travel cost for attendees.

Car tyre on road

On the down side, this solution increases overheads for organisers, with multiple venues to book and liaise with, repeat production costs and the necessity of either booking and managing multiple speakers or finding speakers who are flexible and available enough to attend multiple events.

Trend 3: Long Term Relationships

Conference organisers are increasingly looking to maximise the value delivered by events and building long term relationships with delegates.  The opportunity to network and exchange ideas in informal breakouts has long been a key part of annual conferences and the benefits of Communities of Practice have been long understood to create environments that are “rich in creativity and innovation”(1).  

We see a growing awareness that it is better to nurture attendees over the long term rather than luring customers for a one-off event and that creating communities of professionals who interact between conferences rather than moving from one conference to the next is best.  

This means that organisers are looking for new ways to engage with potential new delegates, demonstrate the value of their community and lower barriers to entry.  

Trend 4: Live translation

The ease of communication and access to technology has provided a plethora of opportunities for professionals to work across international lines.  Knowledge, learning and best practice are shared across the globe at international events and this is no less the case in the conference industry.

With increased international travel and audiences, more and more conferences are providing live simultaneous translation services.

Trend 5: Video

With 86% of viewers saying they regularly turn to YouTube to learn something new (Google) it’s no wonder that conference organisers are looking to video to increase their audiences and the return on value of conference content.

Highlight videos have provided a powerful communication tool for conference organisers to demonstrate the value of their events and give potential attendees a taste of the experience offered by an event.

Video display in venue at events is routinely used to provide accessibility and engagement with the main stage and to provide overflow capacity.

Trend 6: Live streaming

Live streaming of conference events is growing and increasingly being recognised as a powerful and economical way to reach wider audiences with conference content.

On facebook, “live content is watched three times longer and receives 10 times more comments than regular videos, according to Mark Zuckerberg” Business Insider

Sports and entertainment industries already understand and leverage the potential additional audiences available through live streaming and conference organisers are slowly overcoming the initial barriers to adoption of this new technology.

And live streaming may increase physical ticket sales.  Conference broadcasters Digitell found that 30% of people who watch a livestream of an event will attend the same event in person the following year. (eventbrite).

According to Lane End’s report on conference facility trends, live streaming “…broadens the reach of events, connecting remote audiences from far and wide. Sure enough virtual attendance will open up an entirely new market, with tickets for the online experience being made available by those organisations prepared to invest…”.

Trend 7: Interactive Engagement

Increasingly live polls using solutions like Sli.do are being used to engage audiences at conferences and facilitate conversations with speakers and presenters that are most appropriate to the widest possible sections of the audience.

Consumers are 39% more likely to share content if it’s delivered through video and 

By combining live streaming and tools like Sli.do and facebook groups, conferences can provide an interactive experience for virtual attendees, giving them the opportunity to be engaged and contribute wherever they are in the world.

Related:

Digital Delegate

Do you want to grow your audience globally with minimal barriers to entry for international attendees in an environmentally sustainable way? Would you like to provide more value to your conference attendees from within your existing conference agenda? Read more…

References:

(1) Knowledge Networks: Innovation Through Communities of Practice
Paul M. Hildreth, Chris Kimble
Idea Group Inc (IGI), 2004

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