The big data challenge is set to intensify for event planners, digital expert Peter Hinssen (pictured) warned delegates at MPI’s European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC) 2014, reports Magda Ibrahim.
EMEC is taking place at the Halic Congress Center in Istanbul, 23-25 February.
Hinssen, speaking at the opening general session, urged event planners to address the advent of big data.
“You are on top of an enormous mountain of information and you are barely scratching the surface on doing something about it,” he said. “People think big data is scary because of [how to treat] personal information, but it is not going to stop, it is going to intensify.”
Hinssen, co-founder of Across Group and a digital thought leader, was presenting the conference keynote examining the ‘new normal’.
Using the examples of Nike+ and even Disney Magic Bands, through which users are ultimately sharing habits and data that could be used for brands to collect information to help make marketing decisions, Hinssen highlighted the exploding trend of harnessing personal data.
“It is not about devices and gadgets, it is about information flow and realising you are living through one of the most exciting moments in history,” Hinssen said. “People coming to events are more connected than ever before, so make sure information is an asset. Use your creativity to capture that.”
He went on to advise the 300 meetings professionals attending the educational event to address three key concerns for the event industry:
1. Content is ubiquitous.
“Content is nothing special any more: people won’t go to a meeting for information, but if you can deliver content experiences then there is an amazing opportunity,” he said.
2. Attention span is a scarcity.
“You can’t put people in a room for eight hours,” he warned. “Everything now is an experience and you need to figure out how to make that work.”
3. Human interaction is valuable.
“In a world where technology and digital is the norm, human interaction becomes more important than ever,” Hinssen said. “There is a huge opportunity for the meetings and events industry here.”
EMEC 2014’s theme is transformation, and MPI President Paul Van Deventer and Chair Elect Kevin Kirby shared plans for the coming year with attendees.
The key focus, according to Van Deventer, is on education and growing individuals in the industry, with a plan on delivering value for money for members.
Among UK attendees at the event are Sallie Coventry, Portfolio Director for the IBTM global event portfolio, IMEX Group Chief Executive Carina Bauer and Chair Ray Bloom; Sustainable Events Summit co-founder Fiona Pelham, and London and Partners Business Development Manager Ruth Bennett.
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