San Rafael, Calif.-based EEG, included on the latest Special Events "50 Top Event Companies" feature, shared its forecasts for the biggest trends shaping special event industry. Here, EEG's Adam Clark gives more detail on his top six trends to watch. A clue: When thinking of the big picture, don't be afraid to think small:
1) The introduction and use of mobile solutions (mobile-enabled sites, apps, etc.)
More and more, mobile is becoming a part of the primary screen experience for attendees. It is used increasingly for information management, registration, attendee communication and engagement.
2) The demand for integrated technology solutions
Clients are asking for more highly and tightly integrated solutions. They want a single data source/center platform for all their technology pieces to interact together. The fragmentation of individual technologies is less and less appealing.
Single sign-on and single-source data management and reporting for true event and cross-event intelligence is highly desirable.
Also, the demand for design and functionality to be fully integrated is on the rise. No longer can the registration pages and other technology solutions be ugly. They need to more seamlessly match the entire event brand.
3) The increased use of structured social media
Simply, events still are moving toward the integration of social in a more structured and formalized manner, providing event-specific versions of even the most common of social platforms through mobile and web widgets, gamification and other engagement strategies.
This also includes trends like the growth of second-screen experiences.
4) More personalization
There is a trend to personal social integration. Events that are very personal in nature are looking to provide personal experiences and personal “assets” to attendees in the midst of very social settings.
The use of social tech tools such as digital displays, graffiti walls, photo booths (check out Onomonomedia.com), and other cool tech tools are being used to allow individuals to stand out and have personal experiences in a very social, public-type event. Companies are trying to create memorable, personal moments utilizing the social, tech and physical aspects in one.
5) The emergence of new, disposable tech
One of the coolest things we are starting to see at events is the use of what you can call “disposable tech.”
For instance, some special events are using cheap, limited or single-use tech to create a cool moment or experience. This includes numerous new wristband options and LED lights that drop and float (spinning like helicopters) into crowds, etc.
We will continue to see "small tech" being used in creative ways to enhance events--especially special and social events.
6) The emphasis on the event as part of the conversation
You see more and more companies using special, sometimes invite-only, intimate and less formal events as a way to engage with customers on a local level--taking the events to the attendee's specific regions.
We think this will be a greater trend: You see Amazon Web Services doing events such as their pop-up Loft, and Salesforce doing smaller event tours.
These are not normally replacing larger events, but helping to engage customers and attendees more continually in a type of year-round conversation.
The emergence of special events as a part of the larger, more traditional event is pretty fun to watch. Much more of this is on its way in the near future.
As the product manager for EEG, Adam Clark is responsible for the strategic direction for the EEG event technology platform, EEG360. Prior to EEG, Adam founded a successful cloud technology consulting firm, which he sold in 2013. Adam has eight years of experience in cloud technology implementation architecture and management, consulting companies such as Apple, Cisco, Luis Vuitton, Netflix and LANDesk.
Adam has two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree from Brigham Young University.