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Event Trends and Predictions For 2016

What can the event industry expect in the year ahead? The team here at nrg Digital have been brainstorming our ideas about what we think will shape the events we organise in 2016.

It’s an exciting time to be in the event industry, as new developments and tech are creating opportunities to integrate live events with the digital world, joining up the dots and create a branded and immersive experience before, during and after the event.

Here are our top 5 event trends:

5 Event Trends To Watch

1. Marketing Budgets Get Diverted Into Events

Marketing directors may want to hang onto their cash, but we’re increasingly seeing more integration between event and marketing teams. Events are becoming an important marketing tool, not just as a revenue-generating platform. While integrated event marketing has all been about delivering a seamless experience from the moment attendees hear about your event, to long after they leave, this is about the event being a marketing tool. Instead of focussing your events purely on customers, events become part of your organisation’s brand, whatever the audience.

2. Omni-Channel Experiences

The majority of event attendees come armed with their smartphone or tablet and this provides an opportunity to truly integrate the digital experience with the live experience. We’re already seeing mobile apps being used to communicate with attendees before, during and after an event, now we expect to see mobiles becoming an integral part of the event experience: think digital programmes, NFC, payment processing, mobile interactive experiences, as well as offering a consistent brand experience across all channels.

3. Data Will Be All About Intelligence

What do event organisers want with data? It’s all very well knowing how many people turned up, who they are, and what they did, but it’s no longer about reporting data post event. Now event organisers want data they can actually act on, during the event as well as after. We expect to see a much more intelligent use of data during events, with event organisers able to deliver more targeted content to attendees from analysing their actions and engagement. For example, using NFC event passes will allow event organisers to see exactly which workshops, speakers or even exhibitor stands attendees are engaged with and then deliver relevant content, emails or alerts to their mobile phone.

4. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality has been around for a while now, but this year we predict that it will become mainstream, not just at B2C events, but B2B too. Products from Google, Microsoft, Oculus and others have the ability to create truly immersive experiences, using headsets rather than event attendees’ mobile screens. AR stops people in their tracks creating opportunities to engage, generate social shares and convert leads.

5. Video Before Text

The last few years has seen a huge uptake in the use of video across all sorts of different applications. Everyone is digesting more information in a video format, and events are ideally suited to this. From using video to promote your event in a visually engaging way, to incorporating video content into the event itself and delivering key information, insights and communications to attendees directly.

In 2016, we’re all about delivering connected events, integrating online and offline into a seamless experience. The trends above are all part of this integrated experience and have huge potential for businesses across all industries.

If you would like to explore how these trends can be incorporated into your next event, give us a call at nrg Digital for an informal chat 01252 717707.

Rob Edmonds

Author Rob Edmonds

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