Posted on October 19, 2023
Tech, sustainability, event formats and more
Every industry is grappling with change, and events are no exception. Keeping pace with and responding to the latest trends is critical for ensuring events remain relevant and engaging in 2023 and beyond. In this month’s blog, we look at some of the latest insights shaping events.
The rise of AI makes events more important than ever
Artificial intelligence, specifically generative AI, means that machines increasingly create written materials. Julius Solaris, a leading events and media consultant, points out that events are becoming the most human-friendly form of marketing. AI might be able to write a good email, but it can’t replace the quintessentially human experience of speaking to a fellow event attendee in person. At their core, events and marketing are designed to create connections with humans. It’s essential that in the race to adopt new technologies, we don’t forget that it is humans making decisions on what to buy, humans needing training, and humans that we are working with day in and day out. Events remain one of the best ways to facilitate those person-to-person connections. You can also read more on AI impacts on the business world in our earlier blog https://cliftons.com/blog/ai-is-changing-the-business-world
It’s all about the experience
Another significant shift is that business events no longer focus solely on delivering content. As Julius points out, business events are transitioning to being experiences, with content used as a strategy to activate. We live in a content-heavy world, so there are now more ways than ever for people to get the information they need, often faster and more timely than events can facilitate. This emphasis on experience is reflected in the latest IACC Meeting of the Future report from June 2023. As many continue to work remotely, attendees seek human connection, meaningful travel and authentic local experiences. Events need to ensure that it’s “worth it” to travel (even if it’s just a bus to the CBD) and attend in person instead of virtually. In fact, 52% of the IACC survey respondents said networking was one of the most important aspects of any meeting.
Looking forward to tomorrow's big ideas
Instead, events need to focus on creating an experience and a way for people to engage with the content in different ways, with a strong emphasis on networking and human connection. This insight has been a key driver in planning the upcoming Cliftons Horizons event series, which has been designed to have shorter keynote sessions, interactive workshops, and plenty of networking time to provide more ways for attendees to interact. In particular, the interactive workshops will allow for deeper dives on the subject matter, with collaboration and knowledge sharing between participants, with the capacity for conversations to continue in the ample networking time.
Technology needs to focus on the connection
Event technology has accelerated in its capabilities and adoption in recent years, but the emphasis still is on how the technology can drive connection. Australian and Asia Pacific respondents in the IACC survey emphasised this, with almost 60% saying “technology that fosters collaboration and connection with delegates” was one of the most important aspects supporting meeting event objectives. (The Australian and APAC region also prioritises food and beverage offerings – something we’re proud to do exceptionally well at Cliftons.) Julius Solaris predicts that increasingly, an event’s medium (in-person, virtual, hybrid or asynchronous) won’t matter. The capacity of technology to create an immersive experience is what will drive and power this shift, which is reflected in the IACC data that more than 60% of respondents have said that technologies like audience participation and social Q&As, live event streaming, virtual participants and remote presenters have improved communication.
Work with an events company that’s adapting to change
Cliftons is committed to remaining at the forefront of change and working with our clients to incorporate the latest technology and strategies to ensure your next event is nothing short of exceptional. Talk to our team about what you need to achieve, and we’ll work with you to plan and deliver your remarkable event.
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