The past year has seen companies host less events and functions due to budget constraints and lack of resources, so how will 2013 fair? And what are the latest event industry trends?
Deana Heslop-Mthembu, managing executive of events at Blue Moon Corporate Communications keeps us in the know:
Event Trends 2013
1: Emotional resonance in events – storytelling that showcases real people and live interactions with the audiences that bring through the human touch.
2: A shift away from the very formal brand communication of the past. Twitter and Facebook have breathed personality and “heart” into corporate identities.
3: More collaboration amongst the bigger players in the industry with a formalised Experiential Marketing Association that governs agency and client codes of conduct.
4: An increased distillation of trends and thought leadership ideas.
5: Sustainability of resources and more focus on the green movement.
6: Enhancing event longevity though social media and creating event conversation long after it ends.
7: A move towards using African speakers, celebrities and musicians (home grown is no longer second best!).
8: A growing focus on African excellence as brand expansion into Africa continues. Our continent is hot!
The Biggest Industry Influencers
We are more boldly “African” than ever before, relying less on international music acts, for example. We actively promote all-African events with pride, showcasing our capability and talent and our desire to celebrate it.
Although the “green movement” is top of mind in the industry, it is still not playing as big a role as it should be. We are budget driven, and green events are expensive. That said, there are visible shifts towards carbon footprint awareness as bigger clients and venues realise the value in going green. Blue Moon has partnered with Earth Patrol to monitor our own carbon footprint, and we’ve been certified as a Carbon Neutral organisation.
Digital Platforms and Eventing
The profound impact of social media on the eventing industry cannot be overstated. Through widely available technology, information has become instantly interactive. This has brought to life the “personal factor” at an event, with social media sites allowing fans to Facebook and tweet about what they see and feel.
Production-wise, using Facebook and Twitter has revolutionised the way we handle guest management, for example. But while social media has channelled events into lively, sustainable conversations, we still need the overarching personal touch. Social media can enhance and sustain an event without replacing the original voice behind the communication.
Top Social Media Platforms
Twitter is king when it comes to live eventing, with companies employing social media teams to “live tweet” throughout the event. This includes uploading twitpics, short video clips, interviews, and quotes from VIPs, speakers and even the production teams behind the scenes. Facebook plays a more supportive role in creating hype – building up to the event and dissecting the various elements afterwards with content like photos and links to press releases.
Happy eventing 2013!