Trends That Will Shape the Events Industry in 2016

The events and meeting planning industry is constantly changing. As planners it is our job to know what the newest trends are so we can provide the most ideal attendee and client experience possible. From Design to Tech to Regulations and more here’s our predications for 2016.

1. Look At The Big Picture

For a long time, most conferences have been held at hotels or “conference center” type locations. New trends in event design have leaned towards selecting unique venues to capture the event theme, and keep attendees intrigued. A few examples of new venue types are concert halls, art galleries, or smaller boutique hotels that have a fun, and intimate atmosphere.

It helps to explore cool venue locations during the event planning process. Most planners will find that they receive great feedback when an event is not in a boring ballroom, but instead in an outdoor space, or fun environment. It can become a boring routine for those who attend events throughout the year, and have to sit in a dull conference room.

2. Creativity, Creativity Is Key

Be sure to think through your event design style during the planning process as well. The design style reaches all areas of an event, from the chairs and set up of the room to the trends in food, beverages, and networking events you have.

3. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will see major growth at exhibitions and events.

2016 will be a big year for the use of virtual reality and augmented reality in exhibitions and events. Citing Facebook’s purchase of the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles, we expect to see these kinds of immersive technologies used for product demonstrations on the trade show floor, site inspections, and virtual meetings.

4. The Internet of Things (IOT) will connect people and objects in unprecedented ways for events.

Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. In 2016, 5.5 million new things will get connected every day. The Internet of Things provides businesses and the marketing manager with vast amounts of data, but they still aren’t using it effectively. In 2016, we expect to see a greater understanding of the value of this data, how to use it to make better marketing decisions and how to pinpoint what data from sensors and connected technology at events is best utilized.

5. The Millennial Mindset

Digitally literate and social media savvy meeting planners and attendees are changing communications between hotels and planners and attendees. Millennials are set to disrupt the way the meetings and events industry does business – if they haven’t already. To them, technology is everything. They want their answers now, on the screens of their smartphones. Remember, the first members of this generation are about the same age as the “WORLD WIDE Web.” It was the sandbox in which, as they grew, they built larger and larger castles. And then they did something totally amazing: With precocious naiveté, Millennials simply bypassed learned experience by creating a technological work-around. And with the virtual communities that were developed, Millennials re-defined the concept of “word-of-mouth” (now “user-generated content”).

6. Content Quality is King

Attendees are transitioning from spending money to hear “fluff” to spending it on actionable information. Those that are seeking to attend conferences/meetings/workshops are focusing more on the quality of the information disseminated at events. They are seeking more actionable (doable) information versus just feel good talk. Attendees are willing to attend events that will give them a true ROI to propel their business or idea to the next level.

7. Bespoke event locations

Ballrooms and event venues serve a purpose, but they are just a bit boring. In the past few years, many caterers and retail stores have successfully opened pop-up locations, creating amazing temporary culinary and shopping experiences. We believe the same could be done for events. Bringing the creativity of the pop-up concept to events, creating one of a kind event experiences in remote islands, warehouses and rooftops.

8. Global Hotel Predictions

It will be a sellers’ market in North America. Hotel demand in North America will exceed supply, giving sellers the upper hand. Prices are predicted to rise 4.3 percent in the region. Globally, hotel prices are expected to increase 2.5 percent in 2016.

South America in the spotlight. Brazil will take center stage next summer when the 2016 Olympics and Paralympic Games will be played in Rio de Janeiro. Pockets of high demand may result in a shortage of hotels and meeting space.

It will be a buyers’ market in Europe. Europe’s weakened economy, combined with a 10 percent decrease in hotel rooms under contract compared to June 2014, will give buyers greater negotiating power. Regardless, supply in Europe may be tight.

Unpredictability in Asia Pacific. A shaky economy and health-related scares in Asia Pacific could cause challenges, but hotel growth is projected for China and India.

9. Shared Economy

Shared economy services, such as Uber and Airbnb, are predicted to grow from a value of $15 billion in 2013 to $335 billion in 2025 (according to PwC), and 60 percent of Millennial travellers trust these non-traditional companies, according to a recent study by Allianz Global Assistance USA. With this growing interest in alternative lodging and transportation options, planners will be pleased to know LAH-CAL will be joining the shared economy with two new services, the first service to be launched in January 2016.

10. Regulations – Medical Meetings

In 2016, compliance is expected to be a hot topic again in the pharmaceutical industry. This past year saw regulations such as the U.S. Sunshine Act (Open Payments Act) settle in while the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) issued new guidelines. Both require more transparency around transfers of value made to health care professionals through meetings. The changes have created major increases in meetings-related administrative work and continue to affect how corporations interact with their third-party meeting management companies.

11. Finally Make it Personal

The trend toward personalization will continue in the year ahead, affecting everything from meeting marketing, to incentive rewards, to education, to attendee communications.

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Event Planners Do You Know Your Delegates?

Information is powerful. What you know about your attendees’ needs and requirements empowers you to create an all-round successful event. That’s why it’s super-important to — at the point of registration — to ask attendees all the right questions.

Get the Basics … Plus
Of course, you want to ask basic information in order to properly register attendees — including attendee profile data, contact information, and hotel accommodation requirements. But if you want to surpass the expectations of attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and presenters, you need to know even more.
After producing hundreds of events we firmly believe, event planners need a deeper understanding of their attendees. With in-depth knowledge captured during registration (as well as leading up to, during, and after the event), planners can optimize each of their events to their audience’s specific needs and create meaningful connections — both among attendees and between attendees and the speakers and exhibitors.

Smart Questions Make for Smarter Events
We’ve identified 10 data points to collect from your event attendees during registration. This information will help you fully understand attendees’ expectations — so you can plan to meet those needs, help your exhibitors and presenters deliver on attendees’ expectations, and promote your event.

1. Key event goals.
Ask your attendees about what “takeaways” they expect from your event. Some may be coming to increase their knowledge, while others may be seeking to expand their professional network. And if you’re putting on a trade show — many may be coming to meet new suppliers. Whatever their reason(s), this information will help you channel your efforts and resources to ensure all attendees benefit from attending your event.

2. Arrival times.
Knowing when your attendees arrive at your hotel or event venue will help you plan for the right level of check-in staffing to handle peak crowds. Using this information, you can also arrange for buses to pick up crowds of attendees at the airport or to shuttle them from the hotel to the conference venue.

3. Emergency contact information.
Hopefully, you never have to use this information — but knowing whom to contact if an attendee needs help is invaluable.

4. Disabilities.
The European Disabilities Act requires companies or organizations that lease space in public facilities for events, conferences, seminars or meetings to ensure those activities are accessible to people with disabilities. Knowing ADA requirements in advance will help you plan to accommodate their needs.

5. Food allergies.
The health and safety of your attendees come first! With this information, you can make sure that your hotel and venue take the right precautions when preparing food for attendees with allergies or other eating concerns.

6. Social media “handles.”
Get this data so you can research what’s being talked about on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — and refine your social media strategy, push conference information to the right audience, and build excitement before the event (e.g. posting teaser videos from presenters or exhibitors).

7. Session and event preferences.
Get a clear picture of which receptions your attendees will likely go to — so you can more accurately determine the necessary food and service levels. Ask, too, which scheduled educational sessions they’ll attend and which exhibitors interest them. Then, give your presenters and exhibitors that information — so they can prepare and customize their content/offerings.

8. Payment information.
Don’t forget to ask about credit card or purchase order information. That way, you’ll be able to collect conference and event fees in a timely, efficient manner. With an automated event platform, you can collect payment information securely at the time of reservation — saving you time and reducing errors.

9. Roommate information.
These days, many organizations are trying to make the most of their meetings travel budgets — including doubling up employees in hotel rooms. You’ll need this information to provide accurate room list information to your event’s hotels.

10. Clothing size.
Giving away free t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, etc.? You’ll need to know the correct sizes when ordering.

In Conclusion
As an event planner, you want to turn “registrants” into “satisfied attendees” — and hopefully, “returning attendees.” One of the ways you can do that is by getting good information from them — in advance of their arrival at your event. When you’re fully prepared, you’re best equipped to give attendees the excellent event experience they want.

Lah-cal for conferences and more – mice@lah-cal.com

Diary of Events Manager by Lah-Cal

Procuring meetings, conferences and events is not a simple task. You require expert events management and venue knowledge coupled with creative ideas that deliver a return on a company’s budget.

Over the next few weeks LA-CAL will be sharing our experiences and insights from 15 years plus of delivering meetings, conferences and events in EMEA & Asia.

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The early bird catches the worm: Venue is a critical element for all events, none more so then for conferences and meetings. We snap up some of the best venues up to a year in advance, and the best way to avoid disappointment is to always be one step ahead, leave 14 months for a big conference (200 plus).

Location, Location, Location: Another important aspect to bear in mind in the initial planning stages of a conference or event is location. Location where are you hoping to get delegates coming in from? The more convenient the location, you have a higher chance of more delegates attending.

Are you planning a meeting or conference or event? Did you know LAH-CAL does free venue searches and returns commissions on venues procured back to you! Email us at mice@lah-cal.com to being your free venue search.

SAP TechEd 2013 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Journal de Gestionnaire D’événements par Lah-Cal

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Procurer des réunions, des conférences et des événements est pas une tâche simple. Vous avez besoin de gestion des événements et des connaissances d’expert lieu couplé avec des idées créatives qui offrent un retour sur le budget d’une entreprise.

Au cours des prochaines semaines LA-CAL sera le partage de nos expériences et connaissances à partir de 15 ans, plus de livrer des réunions, des conférences et des événements dans la zone EMEA et Asie.

Les lève-tôt attrape le ver: Lieu est un élément essentiel pour tous les événements, aucun plus alors pour les conférences et réunions. Nous happer quelques-uns des meilleurs lieux jusqu’à un an à l’avance, et le meilleur moyen d’éviter la déception est d’être toujours une longueur d’avance, laisser 14 mois pour une grande conférence (200 et plus).

Emplacement, emplacement, emplacement: Un autre aspect important de garder à l’esprit dans les étapes initiales de planification d’une conférence ou d’un événement est emplacement. Endroit où espérez-vous obtenir des délégués venant de? Le plus commode l’emplacement, vous avez plus de chances de plus de délégués présents.

Envisagez-vous d’une réunion ou d’une conférence ou d’un événement? Saviez-vous LAH-CAL effectue des recherches des sites gratuits et renvoie commissions sur les sites acquis de nouveau à vous! Écrivez-nous à mice@lah-cal.com à être votre recherche lieu gratuitement.

SAP TechEd 2013 - Amsterdam, Netherlands