Get Your Events Market Ready | Event Trends for 2017
Whether you’re arranging or attending, events are one of the most effective vehicles to promote your brand and cultivate a strong positive public image through networking and business activities.
/noun/ A happening, a planned public occasion, conference or workshop either arranged or attended by your business.
In business, events work as sales funnels, think sessions, educational conventions and more. Often utilizing multimedia, advertising and public relations together, an event is where all your efforts can come together and make a face-to-face impression with your target audience.
Events involve significant planning, research and thoughtful execution, but the payoff can be immense in the form of new sales or an improved public persona.
According to the Market Ready Index, most business-to-business events (column 9) is scoring 47.0, although the 2017 target score is 73.0 – a variance of -26.0. Overall, the average B2B scores 40.5, 25.4 lower than the 65.9 target score. Based on best practices, these scores provide a metric for comparison.
Events Trends for 2017
As events evolve and they types of events increase, there are some trends that could create more engagement in your communications.
Everyone wants to feel special. Today, one size fits nobody, making enhanced, customized elements more and more important for an increasingly diverse set of attendees.
People expect more than just using an attendee’s name in conference communications.
Offer attendees the opportunity to weigh in on some of the sessions or activities prior to the event using social or an event platform—this will help ensure that you are providing what attendees want – to be included – while also helping them feel more invested in the event—a win-win.
Event apps that provide personalized suggestions for activities in real-time using pre-loaded information, with an integrated GPS tracker are also the norm.
Celebrate Diverse Voices
People want to hear from keynote speakers outside of one’s industry or organization who can deliver the fresh perspective necessary for sparking truly creative thinking.
Speakers who questions popular opinion or common practice—70% say contrarian ideas are critical to shaping great ideas.
As society continues to welcome diverse opinions and interests, ensure attendees are being stimulated by bringing in speakers who challenge audiences to think bigger and broader than the status quo.
Tom Shapiro from StrataBeat said, “Customer experience is the new black.” I think Tom is right.
What this means is a brand will benefit by not only planning for the ideal experiences it wants its audience to have, but also by building the ecosystems to nurture and support a full range of customer experiences.
Events will provide access to people, places and things that the customer values and can’t get anywhere else.
According to Walker Information’s Customers 2020 report, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. FYI: Forrester has gone all in on customer experience as a research practice.
Getting Market Ready for 2017
Understanding where your events are today is a first step in making the decisions and changes that can help you compete in the marketplace. The Market Ready Index™ Self-Assessment is a free (beta) resource that helps you understand where your events, and other channels of Communication, is today.
It also provides benchmarks for B2B, B2C and NonProfit organizations to better understand how they compare to other businesses, just like them.
The point of all of this is that if you are really trying to make a different this year, then you’ll have to do something different this year. A subjective evaluation is a start, an objective evaluation is a next step. Get real about how prepared your business is to compete and you’ll stand a much better chance in reaching your goals. – kp