By Sanne Jolles, research manager at RAI Amsterdam.
This is a good time to discuss current event trends. What can we expect? Where’s the focus? Below are essential items that can help you on your way.
Honesty To measure is to know. Statistics, visitor numbers, survey results; not a sales stunt but a true story. Feedback on events, organisation and locations are shared openly: the event is what we all make of it.
No event can do without it. Big data, internet of things, real time monitoring, wayfinding, apps, robotics, hybrid events, 3D printing, holograms – options are studied and applied, with optimal connectivity during the event as an absolute precondition.
A focus on CSR, green buildings equipped with every available technology, inside/outside possibilities, a unique character combined with a blank canvas: the venue as a chameleon. Venues are not a commodity – they are inextricably linked to their location.
Form follows function. A great principle in the design world that is increasingly applicable to events. What exactly do we hope to achieve with an event and how should it be set up?
Gamification! Adding a competitive element that stimulates networks or makes session participation more interactive. This playful approach especially appeals to the new generation of visitors.
A focus on the personal customer journey demands attention to the wellbeing of visitors. More space for resting, an environment that stimulates the senses, smart food stations that offer healthy and effective energy to recharge body and mind; these are essentials not extras.
Being startled or surprised makes us more alert, shakes us up: a great starting point for absorbing information.
We are interested in what music, dance, film or theatre can add to the experience. Selecting the right colours, images and sound is essential.
A genuine discussion about the main issues with your stakeholders in communities throughout the year: is there a better way to learn? This demands more co-creation, and demands, and the willingness to let loose.
Image research via personas, location-based information, matchmaking tools, a personal route through the event, addressing personal interests – using big data for small details. And always remember the real heart of the discussion.