The ABC event trends of the year 2014

Happy New Year everyone!! I hope you all had fantastic Christmas and New Year celebrations and some holidays! Over the last couple of days I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and reflecting about what made 2014 so great for our industry. I believe that 2014 brought new trends, some of which will stay and grow in importance while others disappear and others arrive. So what were the big buzz words and trends we have experienced over the past 12 months?

From Big Data to Disruption and Pop-Ups, here are the ABC buzz words and trends that made 2014 in events:


Analytics – analytics is not new for marketers, but this year it was a hot topic among event planners. In order to improve your event, bring new sponsors on board and measure ROI you need to know your analytics.


Big Data – now it is not only the data that eventprofs need to manage but it is BIG data, the one that comes from event registration, badge scanning, apps and social media. Everyone understands it but it seems that we are not quite there yet to analyse it in a simple and comprehensive manner.

Big Data

If you look closely at the numbers, these are stats provided by exhibitors at Event Tech Live


Community – in 2014 event planners have been talking about building and managing event communities. Communities are created online and offline, but the real challenge remains for all events to manage their communities throughout the year and not only during the 2-3 days of event.


Disruption – we have witnessed disruption in different industries, most notable ones are Uber and Airbnb. Airbnb definitely has some impact on the MICE industry but we are not as affected as the leisure tourism industry yet. I can’t point where the major disruption will come from but sure sooner or later we will see new solutions for planners or attendees that will disrupt the industry.


Engagement – is very basic but still was a big topic in 2014. It is not anyomere one way communication between sponsors and attendees but planners must connect sponsors, attendees, speakers and other stakeholders in an engaging way.


Face to Face events – with the rise of event technology, hybrid events and online networking platforms, the industry agrees that face-to-face meetings are there to stay and no technology will replace the willingness of delegates to travel and attend events.


Gamification – gamification is one of the ways to engage event attendees and seen increase in interest among event planners to integrate into events. And, it can be also fun!


Human to Human (H2H) – while there are many discussions going on social media about B2C and B2B events – some argue that what really counts is the human contact and event planners should be concentrating on the way they interact with their attendees and other stakeholders rather than classifying them as B2B and B2C.


Instagram – I don’t have exact data regarding the number of eventprofs who use Instagram, but since I use it all the time, I can say that I saw increase among corporate event planners. I hope to see more #eventprofs using it this year but also wonder which social platform will be “in” in 2015 (Snapchat?!).

© The MICE Blog

The London Christmas Party Show 


Job vs. Degree – as you can see I was struggling to find J, but then remembered the big industry debate – work experience vs. event management degrees. After the initial panel at the International Confex, the debate sparked again after TV personality Kirstie Allsopp posted this tweet:


I am sure the conversation will keep going also in 2015. On the 9th February I am hosting #EventPlannersTalk about this topic from 9-10pm GMT. If you want to suggest questions you can do it by commenting here or sending them to @themiceblogHQ.


King for Content – I stopped counting how many times I have heard it at events and read on social media “Content is King”. It was good to see that 2014 have seen a rise in the number of event bloggers who provide valuable content about events they attend or organise. I hope to see more of it in 2015.


Learning and education – learning and education becomes more and more an integral part of B2B events. It is not only selling event space but also finding the right speakers to deliver great seminars and presentations.


Mobile – is your website mobile optimised? Does your event have an app? As attendees we expect to have everything in the convenience of our mobile device where we access all our information.

© The MICE Blog

Marc Jacobs pop-up ‘tweet shop’ in Covent Garden


Networking – it never gets old, event organisers are always looking for ways to make networking at events more efficient. 2014 showed that organiser try to now facilitate networking prior and post events rather than only at the event.


Oculus Rift – one of the hottest event technologies in 2014 was Oculus Rift glasses that give the user a 3D virtual experience. London & Partners used the technology at The Meetings Show to show the capital in 3D.


Procurement – For corporate, agency and in-house planners, procurement was a big topic in 2014 in regard to transparency, lead times and payment terms. Both planners and suppliers are realising the importance of this aspect in the planning process and look for ways to better coordinate this process.

Pop-up – from pop-up food events to fashion and other activations, that was one of the hottest trends in 2014!


Eventbrite popup event in Old Street


QR Codes – well, to be honest I couldn’t find Q for the list so went for the old and known QR Codes. I still see them on name badges, but personally never use them and actually it seems that it never picked up. Who knows, maybe we will see a comeback?

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Some of the events I have attended in 2014 


ROI – event ROI was one of the biggest topics this year and I am glad to see that it is gaining in importance among planners. It seems that planners are still struggling with how to measure it and others don’t measure it at all. I am convinced that over the next year we will continue seeing discussions on the topic and find ways how to better measure it.

Event ROI

Talk about event ROI by Peter Haigh at the Venues & Events show. Three main reasons why people attend events are to share knowledge, networking and motivation. Event manager job today is shifting from logistics to more strategic planning, helping clients to achieve their objectives and fulfilling stake holder’s expectations.


Secret events – the concept is not new but this year has seen an increase in secret events, such as the secret cinema and secret brunch. Tickets were sold long in advance and the buzz generated by the ones attending exceeded all expectations.


Technology – 2014 has seen a massive increase in companies and start-ups offering technology solutions for events from ticketing to queue management and registration to softwares providing complete event management solutions. I am very interested in the topic and look forward to seeing what 2015 will bring in regard to #eventtech.

© The MICE Blog

Reggie Aggarwal CEO of Cvent at Event Tech Live


Unique venues – more and more venues realise the financial benefits of events and we start seeing increase of venues originally not for events now offering event space and are categorised as unique venues. Some of the venues that have opened or extended their space for events in London in 2014 include the Imperial War Museum, The Orbit and other Olympic venues in the Olympic park.

© The MICE Blog

The Orbit is just one of the venues in the Olympic Park which opens its space for events. During daytime it will be open to the public and in the evening the venue can be used for private receptions, dinners and other functions. And you’ll have stunning views over the London Skyline!


Video – is video content is the next big think? The panel at Event Tech Live suggested the promotion video shouldn’t be over 1 minute long when placed on event website.

© The MICE Blog

The panel at Event Tech Live discusses Big Data and other #eventtech 


Wearable technology – in 2014 we were excited by Google glass and while in other industries it picked up much quicker (e.g. – sports) we can hope that 2015 will see an increase in “wearables”.


X as in IMEX – IMEX has shown that they are a global brand within the MICE market. Unfortunately I didn’t attend both Frankfurt and Las Vegas in 2014, but enjoyed following the buzz over on social media. I am sure that in 2015 IMEX will continue with their global activities and I hope to attend the event in Frankfurt in May.


Generation Y – Planners are constantly trying to accommodate to this generation, which is now becoming more and more involved in the industry, also as planners. Planners also realise that having three generations at one event requires them to find different ways to communicate with all attendees groups. I can use the Meetovation training I attended in Copenhagen as an example where we were three generations in the classroom. Blog article about it is coming soon.


Generation Z – After planners have figured out what generation Y needs in terms of meetings, it is time to look for what will be the requirements of generation Z, the ones that were born in late 1990. These are the digital natives that will have completely new expectation when they enter the workforce. So, until they enter the workforce, we have to figure out how to grasp their attention.

Again, I wish you a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing what trends 2015 will bring!

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