Event marketing is a chameleon industry; it’s always shifting forms and adapting to trends. The industry has only increased in complexity with the rise in social media usage. Successful event marketers know that in addition to listening to their audience and engaging in as many platforms as feasible, it’s always important to keep tabs on landscape changes in order to stay relevant and ahead of the competition. Here’s what you need to know to get up to speed.

1. Tech Fusion Offers a More Integrated Experience

Large-scale events are investing in everything from QR codes, voice activation systems, cloud systems for event data access, kiosks and smart cards to connect with users and keep them updated on events while allowing them to engage more efficiently in a fast-moving environment. Mobile technology syncing is big too; almost every major event will allow users to connect with mobile devices for instant updates, streams and offers.

2. Expanded Reach for Increased Engagement and Visibility

In addition to social media, event marketers are relying on live steams and heavy forum exchanges for Q&A sessions with audience members. Events that are spread out and offer attractive but conflicting schedules benefit from integrated systems and engagement opportunities that allow members to participate who otherwise may not have been able to attend a specific event.

3. Focus Group Filters Invaluable Opinion of Key Demographic

Events are a prime opportunity to harness the power of a niche focus group. Attendees are usually of a special and more informed variety, which makes their opinion on products or in surveys highly valuable to marketers. If this is your task, make sure you attract passersby with giveaways, activities, raffles or even an interesting display hub that might draw the eye.

4. Gaming

Everyone loves a good game, and there’s nothing that rivals a game when it comes to getting participants excited. If you’re the type to underestimate gaming, consider the mobile gaming craze in Words with Friends, Angry Birds and the original Farmville Obsession. Even Foursquare is nothing more than a game. Games have taken on a digital life and events are cashing in on this trend.

5. Projection Technology Gains Ground

Hologram figures aren’t just a Star Wars fantasy anymore. More and more events are hosting projection technology as key points of interest during events. More conservative projection models have also made it onto the event marketing scene. Consider PERCH, which allows users to interact with the projections to gain more info about a product.

6. Environmentally Conscious

Green events aren’t just a specialized service anymore. All major industries are working to host events with reduced consumption and waste. While it may not factor in with a marketer’s understanding of event management, it does reinforce the emphasis on technology. Better, smarter and more adaptable technology eliminates half the need for hosting events the old-fashioned way.

7. Movement

Events right now aren’t about herding people like sheep from exhibit to exhibit; they’re about creating organic engagement hubs that can be experienced freely by free range attendees. Again, this showcases the need for providing attendees with lightning speed service and information before you ever meet them.

Moving beyond the existing landscape, know that the only thing more important than keeping up with trends is setting them. If you really want to beat the competition and wow an audience, do something that hasn’t been imagined before.

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