Article first published as Event Management Drives Corporate Trends for 2013 on Technorati.
After several years of contraction, the corporate events market is poised for expansion, according to a recent article in Successful Meetings. Analysts from independent research firm Aberdeen Group have also estimated spending on corporate events to rise by 20% over the next 2 years. With around 200 million people attending 1.8 million events at a direct cost of $263 bil. in 2011, the industry is central to many businesses who spend on average around 9% of their budgets on meetings and events. And in itself this is good news for those in the meetings and events management space.
The ACTIVE Network, who provides businesses with tools for companies to get the most out of events, including mobile applications for trade show floors, are the ones responsible for highlighting these 5 trends they see transforming the corporate event industry over the next 12 months.
- Smarter Events: Only about a quarter of companies actually look at what their spending on events compared to actual budgets according to ACTIVE Network senior vice president of business solutions, JR Sherman. “in 2013, we expect to see more organizations choosing event technology that helps them increase efficiency, extend engagement and grow their business across various types of events in their portfolio,” he said in a press release last week.
- Increased Automation from Strategic Meeting Management (SMM): Just like automation has fueled efficiencies in sales, marketing and customer service, companies can use new Strategic Meeting Management tools to increase automation in the events industry. This will allow executives to look at ways to streamline and consolidate spending on events without losing function or compromising attendee satisfaction.
- Consolidated Event Management Solutions: Usually when companies put on events, they rely on multiple points of contact to provide various functions. For instance, they might use one tool for sourcing vendors, another to measure attendee feedback, another to provide logistical support for attendees to check in, print badges, etc. “Over the next year, we expect companies will invest more money in consolidated event technology, solutions that offer a one-stop-shop for organizations,” said Sherman.
- Increase Mobile Support for Audience Engagement: it’s official, according to industry analysts from Garter, 2013 will be the year that smartphones surpass PC’s as the most common method for accessing the web. This means that event management needs to look at ways to accommodate consumers’ increasing demand for mobile tools and apps. From providing ways to engage with other attendees, speakers and panelists to navigating trade show floors, apps specifically built to provide attendees the support they are looking for on the go will be a growing trend not just for event managers but in most other industries as well.
- Better Measurement & Analytics: While the industry as whole is growing, and the tools becoming more sophisticated, event planners will need to justify increases in spending to superiors with hard numbers showing an actual return on investment, particularly in these turbulent economic times. “Technology makes it possible to gather in-depth information on attendees’ interests and attitudes, With that data in hand, organizers can gauge whether their event strategy is working and alter it if necessary to help maximize ROI,” Sherman said.
The Business Solutions technology suite provided by ACTIVE Network includes Conference™ for large flagship conferences, RegOnline® for attendee management solutions, StarCite® SMM for strategic meetings management and event expense management, and the StarCite® Supplier Marketplace to connect events with suppliers. For more information on ACTIVE Network Business Solutions please visit www.ACTIVEevents.com.