Home' micenet eMag : micenet February 2018 Contents THOUGHT LEADERSHIP | FIONA BATTEN
1 Greater emphasis on
During 2017, the industry witnessed an
increasing focus on attendee experience, and
this will continue in 2018.
As attendees come to expect more from
events, the onus will be on event professionals
to not only meet but exceed expectations. We’ll
see more consideration in pre-event interaction
and building excitement for attendees, as
opposed to a sole focus on the event itself.
Apps aren’t new in the sector, but we’re
predicting they’ll be used more. Improving
attendee engagement is the second-highest
reason event organisers use apps.
Apps encouraging networking, interaction,
sharing and feedback with live polling, Q&A
sessions or social media are ideal for
Innovative tech like virtual reality and
augmented reality will also be used more to
create an immersive experience.
Engagement will also extend to
experiences outside of the event. Optional
extras, gala dinners and other activities are
increasingly designed to optimise interaction
between attendees. We’ll witness trends
towards local, authentic experiences such as
stays with locals, street food tours, off-the-
beaten-track adventures, etc.
The real key to engagement, however, will
be creativity. As more and more companies
prioritise the attendee experience, we’ll need
to constantly be on the front foot to impress
and delight delegates in 2018. This means
knowing your attendees inside and out.
General manager of live events & creative services at cievents, Fiona
Batten, gives readers a guide to event trends for 2018.
2 Health and wellbeing for mind and performance
Another trend will be a greater emphasis on health and wellbeing. Attendee wellbeing is
becoming a priority around the globe. The focus will be particularly noticeable in F&B, with more
dietary options and healthier alternatives. Authentic, locally-sourced food will emerge as a
trendier alternative to sugary snacks. Mindfulness will play a bigger role in 2018 with benefits in
managing stress levels and activities such as yoga and meditation sessions being included in
schedules. Giving attendees plenty of breaks – not purely to snack or socialise, but also to
recharge – will help ensure minds remain alert throughout the duration of the event.
3 Venues aligned with brand and event goals
The focus in 2018 will be on choosing venues strategically, so they match event objectives. If
one of your strategic objectives is to bring departments within your company closer together,
hiring a massive venue with large conference and breakout rooms is not going to serve your
purpose. It might look great, but it won’t help you achieve your event goal in the same way a
more intimate venue would. Planners will need to think outside the box and generate venue
ideas that fit with the event objective, brand and theme.
4 Artificial Intelligence
Technology was big in 2017, with apps, virtual reality and wearables all being incorporated with
more frequency to drive attendee engagement and generate valuable analytics for stakeholders.
The industry could easily see the adoption of new intelligent technologies such as “digital twins”
(digital representations of real-world entities or systems) to showcase products and services. The
focus on experiential marketing and immersive experiences should also give rise to more mixed
reality experiences. Mixed reality enables you to interact with both digital and real objects while
maintaining presence in the physical world through smartphones or AR/VR headsets.
Another trend will be a focus on safety and security, particularly in relation to cyber security
threats. As events use more technology, the risks associated need to be factored in along with
the benefits. Data collected before, during and after the event can potentially be compromised.
The European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect
from May 2018 and change how we collect the personal data of individuals.
Even if you are located outside the EU, the GDPR governs the processing of data of EU
residents, so if some of your delegates are EU citizens, you’ll need to abide by the new
legislation. Information security will be more than just a trend in 2018, it will be a necessity. m
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