It is this time of year again to look back on all our achievements but also to look forward and try and predict what trends will shape our industry in 2016 and be ready to embrace change and adopt. From attending major industry events in 2015, speaking to event professionals, participating in Twitter chats, exchanging ideas with the global event community and observing what is happening in other industries, I summed up four trends that I believe we will see shaping the event industry in 2016.
This will have a greater impact in 2016 on the events and hospitality industries. As we know hotel room prices during peak season and major conferences are so high in major cities, attendees will prefer staying at Airbnb. It is also time for hotels to be challenged and stop charging extra for wifi for example. This year Airbnb also launched their services for business travellers, mainly targeted at HR and booking agents needing a central billing system, which will have a greater impact on corporate business travel.
Another trend in sharing economy is sharing event costs with other events, and Showslice offers exactly that. They created a platform that matches two event organisers to share their production costs and not only that reduces costs for both, it is also better for the environment!
Social influencers have the right target following across different social media channels and reach relevant to brands, so the only way for brands to tap into a new market is to collaborate with them. It is not only about the numbers but in general they will also have large following, what makes them even more attractive for the brand. Unfortunately our industry is still behind, as opposed to fashion, fitness, food, lifestyle and travel but I hope to see more event professionals embracing it. Event planners can work with social influencers to promote their events, raise awareness and attract more attendees. To give you an example, when Caprice Burret spoke at ISES Accelerate this year (she has over 64K follwers) and after her speech retweeted everyone who mentioned her, conference hashtag started trending on Twitter. You can read more about how to work with social influencers here.
Rising number of event entrepreneurs
It seems that this year was the year of event entrepreneurs. Many colleagues left their full time jobs to launch their own business and that is fantastic to see so much talent and creativity that keeps challenging our industry every day. I also realised this trend when I hosted #EventPlannersTalk LIVE event in November. Not only that was the most successful event so far but the follow-up blog post was the most popular post this year. And I am sure this is just the beginning and we will see more event entrepreneurs next year.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platform are constantly changing their algorithms and making it harder and harder for small businesses to promote their content so we need to think how we can build communities around our events and communicate with our audience. When Facebook changes their algorithm your organic reach decreases, unless you pay. Blogging platforms haven’t changes over the past years and therefore I believe event professionals should be using this medium of communication more to create content and communicate with their audience. This year I saw new event blogs and hope to see this trend grow further in 2016. If you don’t have one yet I highly recommend you starting one, and if you do please share your links in the comment section below.