A corporate event is an excellent way to facilitate networking and expand your brand’s influence. In fact, events have become a staple among marketing campaigns.
However, these functions are huge investments; you want to ensure that a convention is worth the expenditures. The best way to do so is to ensure you meet — or even exceed — guests’ expectations. Otherwise, any future events may suffer from poor reviews.
How can you anticipate guest expectations? A good strategy is to review corporate event trends. These trends can then provide a blueprint for a successful function. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 event trends every corporation should know about.
Continuation of Content
Though your meeting has a set time and place, your content shouldn’t be limited by such constraints. Guests expect hype material before the event that lets them know what to expect. The right content and placement can even draw more interest.
You should also produce event-related content after the function. This reminds guests of their experiences and can support the community established at your meeting. Robust support of this community pays off, as you’ll have a way to directly reach out to potential attendees when your next gathering approaches.
Attendees Expect Engagement
Guests get bored passively observing. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to inform, connect, or create a fun atmosphere — people respond best when you engage them.
There are many ways to encourage group participation:
- Cooperative games
- Opportunities to provide feedback
- Presenters who interact with the audience
If you have an app for the event, you can create even more chances to engage with announcements and message boards. You can also break large groups into smaller sessions to ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate.
Events Are Growing
It’s now common to see conferences with thousands of attendees, which can be a double-edged sword. A larger crowd means more people interacting with your brand, but it also means more money invested and, above all, more effort spent organizing.
Organizing an event for 4,000 people is very different from organizing for 400. There are more vendors to communicate with, more shipping to track, more traffic to account for — more of everything, honestly. Fortunately, working with a professional planner can ensure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s no matter how large the gathering.
Top Locations Are Shifting
Where you hold your meeting is one of the most important decisions you have to make; it influences who can attend, how attendees obtain transportation, and what amenities are available to those who arrive. While San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New York aren’t surprising as top convention cities, you probably didn’t expect the following rising stars:
Branded Apps Are Becoming Standard
We mentioned branded apps earlier, but we want to reinforce just how important they are to a successful function. Attendees are growing to expect a branded app; if you don’t have one, it may send the message that your company isn’t tech-savvy or isn’t willing to invest in guests’ experiences. While neither of these may be true, as branded apps become the norm, guests may perceive it to be so.
A branded app is about more than guest convenience, though it does offer that in spades. It also provides you access directly to attendees, allowing you to determine their satisfaction with the event in real-time. Additionally, if guests consider the app valuable, they may keep it even after the convention, which gives you a way to reach them for further offers, promotions, and invitations.
More Money Is Going to Live Events
With expectations rising, it’s no wonder that live events have bigger budgets than ever. Spending on these gatherings can account for as much as 30% of a business’s marketing budget. While you don’t have to break the bank to impress guests, keep in mind that you’re competing with other companies, so don’t cut corners.
Events Industry Is Focusing on Data
Data has become a reliable tool for meeting planners to use during the organizing process. Researching the most recent neuroscience information can help you create optimally timed breakout sessions, form the most effective agendas, and ensure that everyone has a good time.
Feedback Is Informing Future Events
If you want to know how attendees felt about your convention, the best thing to do is ask them directly. To ensure participation, you should create a survey that guests can easily access and submit. A good way to increase the response rate is to offer incentives such as prizes or deals.
This gathered information can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your function. Armed with this data, you can fix any issues you encountered.
Attendees Expect Corporate Social Responsibility
Consumers place great stock in how corporations spend their funds and how invested they are in environmental causes. Conventions are a great way to illustrate that you’re committed to reducing your company’s carbon footprint and upholding its values.
Security Is Becoming the Number One Concern
Terrorist attacks in recent years have made security a huge concern for hosts, venues, and attendees. As a result, investment in security guards and a safety protocol is an essential part of planning. You can’t anticipate everything, but making security a priority and openly communicating your safety concerns with venues can prevent a major incident and potentially save lives.
Now that you know the top event trends, it’s time to plan your conference. As you choose a location, keep in mind that partnering with a venue with effective, knowledgeable staff and efficient management can make all the difference. In fact, Ellicott Development owns and manages a variety of properties that can host corporate functions and we’re happy to work with businesses to create an amazing experience for everyone involved.
If you’re interested in hosting an event in Buffalo, you’re sure to find the perfect venue from our wide selection. For more information or to book a location, give us a call at 716-854-0060 or contact us online.
Featured Image: 7th Son Studio / Shutterstock