As 2014 comes to a close, a big question remains for event professionals: What are the big meeting trends for 2015? Omnience asked some of the leading experts in the industry to share their thoughts on 2015 meeting trends and here are their top trends.
2015 will be all about DATA. Thanks to robust registration systems, mobile apps, online communities and other event technology, event planners have more data at our fingertips than we know what to do with. The New Year will bring a large focus on collecting, analyzing and making decisions based on data.
2. Smartphone Omnipresence
Brandt Krueger – Consultant, Meeting & Event Technology Instructor, Event Leadership Institute Co-Host, Producer, Event Alley Show
We’ve seen steady growth in the adoption of smartphones, and not surprisingly, event/meeting apps. I think that growth will continue and we will reach the point we’ve all been waiting for since about 2011, where we’ll see not just a slight, but a solid majority of all conference, meeting, and event attendees in the US, Europe, and much of APAC having a smartphone. Likewise, the vast majority of conferences or meetings will have an app associated with it. Apps like CrowdMics only work if the vast majority of an audience have smartphones. Once we’ve reached that stage, where we’re not worrying anymore about the users who don’t have smartphones because they’re such a minority, then the real innovation will begin. Event apps will start to move to the next level, and by 2016 we’ll have a whole new set of criteria for what we expect from event technology!
3. Time-Shift Learning Opportunities
Jeff Hurt – EVP, Education & Engagement at Velvet Chainsaw Consulting
In times past, the majority of learning was appointment based. We had to show up on a specific date, at a specific time at a specific location to listen to a scheduled speaker share their knowledge. Today, attendees want to time-shift learning opportunities. They want a mix of scheduled and available just-when-they-need-it opportunities. This means conferences need to repurpose some education sessions into smaller chunks of time, tag them appropriately for SEO and then make them available online. Some conference sessions are recorded and scheduled for a replay where attendees can interact with each other about the content with the speaker.
Jeff, shared a few other conference education trends on his blog and you can read more here.
4. Content Marketing
Elizabeth Glau – CMP, Building Blocks Social Media Founder
Events are the best place for your customers or members to experience your organization’s story and culture - which helps create loyalty. Why not capture that experience to use and share after the event? For such a long time, we’ve only thought of events in a silo. They should be intimately connected to all other sales and marketing efforts.
Event professionals, we’d love to hear from you. How are you preparing for these trends? What other trends do you see emerging? Comment below with your answer or prediction!