The future of special events? These big event players sum it up in one little word—technology—which evaluates the event guests' experience and gives them what they want even before they know they want it. But tech must be used with tact or the guests can be alienated rather than engaged. Here's how the pros do it.
Chief executive Fergus Rooney
Annual revenue from special events (2014 estimate) $30 million
Noteworthy events A 2014 event for 2,000 Hampton Hotels general managers featured interactive demos, a museum-like exhibit, and a brand-new take on the conference trade show, they say. EA recently added 30 new hires to support its growing client base, and formalized its digital department with a director, project managers and a development team.
Top trends Technology has revolutionized event measurement, management says: "Technology has made measurement more accurate, streamlined and in-depth. On the same note, it has made measurement far less invasive. Geofencing and geolocation are great examples of this; they subliminally tell event marketers how many people come to the experience, how long they stay, and where interact and engage."
Chief executive Matthew Glass
Annual revenue from special events (2014 estimate) $10 million
Noteworthy events Busy this year with the Warner Bros. Supergirl Pro surf competition; JetBlue Mint launch in Los Angeles; WEtv at Essence Festival; Universal Pictures’ “Get On Up” traveling exhibit; Zappos Recharge at Fashion Week 2014; and VIP experience at pop-up dinners in four cities for the Acura TLX launch.
Top trends "RFID, augmented/virtual reality, and the integration of social media at all of our events is a must," they say, adding, "Food trucks-- whether we like it or not--are still very popular."
Marina del Rey, Calif.
Chief executive David Stokols
Annual revenue from special events (2014 estimate) $100 million to $125 million (Special Events estimate)
Noteworthy events AMCI Live develops and executes consumer marketing events and experiences that "accelerate the purchase funnel, increase consideration and get results," management says. "With more than 10 million vehicle interactions since 1985, AMCI lifestyle and intercept events, product engagement, brand immersions and test drive programs convert prospects to buyers."
Top trends "Experiential is now accepted as a key and crucial practice to achieve brand and sales success," management says, adding, "Procurement has equal seat at the table with marcom end users."
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