What will 2013 Bring for the Meeting Industry? Check Out These Expert Predictions (Part 1)
Jan 02, 2013 by DeDe Mulligan

prediction

As we close out one year and ring in another, it is a good time to reflect on what changes are in store for the coming year. 

The blog site Evenues recently posted 2013 predictions from 21 meeting leaders about everything from digital marketing to sustainability practices. Their predictions are broken into 2 parts — today will focus on changes from the attendee's perspective and Friday's post will delve into industry predictions. 

In addition, I will share key takeaways for planners from these predictions. 

DIGITAL PRESENCE

"2013 is all about upping the ante for online social engagement. Foursquare and Instagram will integrate into events with wide spread force and evolve into Return on Experience (ROE) for event planners and marketers."  — Michelle Bergstein-Fontanez, Marketing Specialist at BeatCreative Marketing & Promotions

"Online engagement skills will transition from being delegated to the youngest person at the organization to being expected of every professional." — Elizabeth Glau, CMP, Owner, Chief Foundation Strategist at Building Blocks Social MediaOwner, Chief Foundation Strategist at Building Blocks Social Media

"With the advent of content marketing and the plethora of tools for dispersing a message and engaging with attendees online, the importance of quality content creation will gain a renewed focus among event planners."  Jenise Fryatt, Co-Owner of Icon Presentations

"In 2013 content marketing will continue to help the good events differentiate themselves from the bad and down right ugly ones." — William Thomson, Events Consultant at Gallus Events

What are the key takeaways for planners? 

  1. Build great content and your audience will be engaged. Write about things attendees will value versus what you are selling or what you think they want to know. 
  2. Train everyone in your event meeting services organization about social media and encourage them to post and respond to posts. Continue to train them throughout the year. 
  3. Constantly evaluate what social channels will work best to converse with your attendees. Pinterest was nothing but a developer's dream 18 months ago and now it is the fastest growing channel out there. 

MOBILE APPS

"I think the biggest trend that we will see is widespread use of mobile applications. Because there are so many great providers out there, organizations no longer need to develop apps from scratch. Attendees are starting to expect quick access to information and a high level of engagement." — Jessica L. Levin, MBA, CMP, CAE, President and Chief Connector at Seven Degrees Communications, LLC

"Web services and open-source technology…are driving mobile app development with hundreds of thousands of free or very low cost apps available." — Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, Owner at Corbin Ball Associates

"App 2.0 goes deeper to enable our mobile devices to be a more valuable and trusted 'partner' to make the most of our meeting experience." — Dennis Shiao, Director of Product Marketing at INXPO

What are the key takeaways for planners? 

  1. Mobile apps are here to stay and will continue to grow. 
  2. All apps do not run on all devices. Attendees could have anything from an iPhone, Droid, Windows or Blackberry smartphone. Chances are the app you want won't run on all these platforms. Your best bet is to rent iPads for two reasons: a) this platform has the greatest number of mobile apps and 2) it will allow you to have a homogeneous platform for attendees. 
  3. Continue to explore app pricing and availability. An app that was not available or was too costly in 2012 might fit the bill in 2013. 

AV Event Solutions, a California event services company, can provide you with iPads, laptops, and Wi-Fi network arrays to make certain your event is digitally connected. Check out their website for more details on all their technology offerings! 

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