As we run in to the tail end of 2016 and begin planning for next year, it is time to clear the table and lay out the key trends that have impacted the corporate event industry during 2016. How can we use these new opportunities to continue to be the top of our game? What new marketing or technology innovation will impact us most in 2017?
As experts in the field, we have narrowed down our top 5 corporate event trends to keep you ahead of the game.
1. Unique Venues
While historically hotels and purpose built conference centres have been the go to for corporate events; 2016 has seen event planners booking more and more unique venues for their corporate gatherings.
Why? It’s simple, while hotels may provide the full range of facilities and ease of booking, a unique venue creates the “wow” factor. Delegates need to be energised and engaged in order to get the most out of a corporate event, so by hosting it in something unique creates a refreshing change from your standard conference and meeting space. Here at ITA* we have a portfolio bursting with unique venues for you to choose from, with venues steeped in history such as Clothworkers’ Hall or the Tower of London or how about aboard a boat at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard? The choice is yours!
2. Off-the-shelf events
It doesn’t stop at the venue! Clients are becoming more demanding of “the experience.” 2016 has seen us quickly start to move away from off-the-shelf events and simple packages, planners are looking to create more customized and experiential events for their guests. For example; perhaps a once in a life time animal encounter at ZSL London Zoo, an interactive dessert station as seen by Ampersand Catering, a cocktail masterclass at Rum and Sugar or challenge day delegates to break a Guinness world record with Blue Hat Group.
Instead of spending your money on impressive décor and gold plated wine glasses, research shows that creating memorable experiences will provide a longer lasting impact on the brand, the attendees and the overall return on investment of the event.
3. Local and Organic
As you have likely seen around town, health, produce and environmentally friendly options are all the rage right now, and it doesn’t exclude corporate events!
Food that is locally sourced has become the norm during 2016 and is not going anywhere. Companies are now required to be more focused on social responsibility, which has seen many corporate events calling for every detail of the event to be sustainable and organic, and we are not just talking food! Consider the materials used to create event decor and staging. Clients are now utilizing events as a way to make a stand on social causes.
4. Live streaming/social media
Live streaming at conferences and meetings has been previously criticised due to the concern over the risk of ensuring ongoing attendance. However, this point of view has recently been heavily outweighed by the drastic improvement it has made in reaching people, online conversations through social media and general awareness it helps create for the events. The success of apps such as Periscope has allowed people to become more connected with the corporate events industry, even if they don’t know it.
Social Media has helped corporates to create buzz about their event, keep attendees in the loop about upcoming activities and provides a place for people to share their thoughts and experiences at the event. Pre and post event reminders, sneak peaks and competitions help to get attendees involved, engaged and entertained throughout the event.
- Visual is the new text
You heard it here first – this time next year we will more than likely be “vlogging” you (video blogging) rather than sitting down to write a blog post. 2016 has seen the start of a massive transformation which will say bye-bye to text and hello to everything visual; and Google is leading the step of the game. So what does this mean for corporate events?
The biggest trend and opportunity we see in the sector is around the creation and use of video as a creative form of communication, think event promotion, post event analysis and social media. Video for business communication has been steadily growing and has been brought to attention by Forbes whose 2010 Insights report “Video in the C-Suite” found that executives like video a lot:
- 80% of senior executives watch more video than they did the previous 1
- 75% watch work-related videos weekly on business-related sites.
- 52% watch work-related videos weekly on YouTube.
- 65% visited a vendor’s website after watching a video.
So get out your cameras, find a good videographer and ACTION!
2017 we are ready for you!
That wraps up our hottest corporate event trends to hit in 2016, which means now it’s your turn! Use this information to help plan for the upcoming year and hit the ground running armed with the information you know your guests are going to be asking you for!
Need a right hand man? ITA* are always here to help and are happy to talk through your options with you. Feel free to contact us at any time
All the best!