Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s a conference and events planner! The events industry is constantly evolving, with innovations and advances from both within and outside the industry. Tech will have more capability and targeting all attendees needs and solving their problems will be key.
In such a competitive space being really good at organising conferences isn’t enough, to surpass your competition you’ll need to be super!
Here’s part one of our list of 30 superpowers that will be essential to organising knockout conferences in 2019.
1. Superlearning like The Flash
The ability to absorb information at an advanced rate is impressive, but knowing what to do with the data you’ve acquired will make the difference to your superhero team. Data management will be key to planning your future events, ensuring that you have processes in place to be able to analysis attendee behaviour, their reactions and needs. Knowing your audiences deepest desire will help you organise an event that will exceed attendee expectations and enable you to measure ROI, determine where to allocate budget next time and accurately gauge how successful your event has been
New technology such as iBeacon and location mapping can help you identify the traffic flow on each event stand and identify low and high traffic areas through heatmaps, which is invaluable to plan floor plans and attendee traffic. Another cool application is the potential to offer personalised deals and messages to visitors. It can even help you check-in attendees.
2. Persuade like Obi-Wan Kenobi
The art of persuasion is all powerful. Personalisation has been top of the event trends for a few years now. With more advanced technology creating truly personalised experiences has become more actionable creating opportunities to tailor events and key messages and that connect with attendees and potential attendees on an emotional level.
Neuroscience has now also entered the events sector and can be used as a subtle way to say things in the most advantageous light to influence the way people act and trigger an emotional response. Identifying the right language and tone that appeals to your target market and motivates them and makes them feel that they are part of something will be essential in your superpower arsenal.
3. Understand all Languages like Wonder Woman
The ability to comprehend and communicate in all languages will provide your event with the potential to grow and interact with larger audiences.
Electronic translators aren’t new for 2019, however, the technology is becoming more user-friendly and accurate with the ability to stream to listeners' phones or tablets and receive direct feedback from attendees. Translation Apps like Google Translate and apps that enable you to set up your event in multiple languages like Weemss are now reliable enough to offer positive experiences in real time for event attendees, and aid global conferences to become increasingly accessible by becoming ‘language neutral’. Greater accessibility may also encourage increasing amounts of corporates to invite events inside the office globally.
4. Have Empathy like Swamp Thing
The ability to fully comprehend the moods and emotions of your attendees makes for a powerful events planner. Knowing how your attendees feel and their specific needs will help you move towards a hyper personalised experience and ensure attendees feel that their attendance is valued and that they’re being listened to. Knowing and understanding their struggles and creating niche activities can help position you as the go-to resource. Solving real problems will motivate attendees to want to share experiences, which will be invaluable for the future of your marketing and branding strategy. Integrated tools like post-event surveys that are available through software like Regpack will mean that you can provide a personalised experience that will bring attendees back year after year.
Facial recognition started to take off in 2018 with Apple and Samsung leading the way, facilitating on-site check-in. Often time-consuming and clunky and requiring support from the events team Hayley Greaves, Operations Director, Ashfield Meetings & Events believes that facial recognition can add value to future events in another way.
‘Through the power to read individual or group emotions, understanding how your customers feel by detecting and measuring facial expressions’. It has the power to quickly capture demographics, record the attention span of an audience and help to understand what motivates and grabs their attention. This ability to identify patterns in emotional behaviour and engagement, segmenting by age and gender will be incredibly valuable in providing metrics for ROI, pinpointing specific moments within the event.’
5. Have Self Confidence like Dante
Having self-confidence is a major contributor to success and productivity. If you believe in the potential of your event then so will everyone else. Once you acquire confidence in what you’re setting out to achieve you’ll become unstoppable.
Confidence is irresistible and will attract sponsors, partners and most importantly attendees. Losing ‘The Fear’ will open up new opportunities and help your event realise it's true potential. Have an idea for an activity that you think is too adventurous? Have the confidence to run it. Have a sponsor in mind who you’d love to become part of your events journey? Have the confidence to ask them. Are you being contacted about an innovation that’s been heralded as the next big thing and you don’t think it will add value to your event? Have the confidence to avoid innovating for the sheer point of being innovative.
Public facing events are on the rise in 2019, so have the confidence to share your event with a wider audience. Going public increases engagement improves education and will help you appeal to new target audiences.
6. Energy Blasts like Starfire
The power to emit powerful energy from one's body is extremely useful if it’s used for good. Creating positive energy and excitement around your event will ensure that people will want to get involved. It’s up to you to create something people will want to be part of, and most importantly tell others about how amazing it is. Inject some energy and ‘Kapow’ into every aspect of the event from the tone and language you use, to the colourway and branding you decide on.
Adding in pre- or post- adventures or in-conference day trips can provide extra incentives to attend. Recent surveys show that employees and employers are both seeing the value in bleisure as a work/life balance tool, so creating activities like Live labs and break out sessions will help you create extraordinary experiences and fuel innovation.
7. Heal others like Katara
As a superhero events planner, there's nothing better than helping people. We’re not suggesting that you start dishing out plasters and health advice, however moving up into a more prominent and consistent importance at events will be the well being of attendees. Good intentions, wellness, and mindfulness appear on many New Year’s resolution lists and it has a valuable role at any event type.
From the design and decor of your event to the food served and amount of value downtime you allow time for throughout the day events will come under increasing pressure to retain and look after their audience. Addressing attendees wellbeing is another powerful way of communicating to attendees that their needs are being met, your event is rewarding to attend and they are valued as an attendee, not just a ticket sale.
8. Sharpshoot like Cameron Hicks
The ability to always hit your target or ‘target market’ will rely heavily on your research, data and ensuring that your message is heard by the right people at the right time again and again.
No one wants to be a number and this preference is becoming more pronounced with tech. Use your audiences data to engage attendees with a truly tailored message that connects with them on a personal and emotional level. Create experiences that they really want to take part in, not what you think would be an engaging activity. Give your audience the chance to ask anything and really engage with your event, by making activities truly interactive with tools like Slido.
9. Summon the Dead like Black Hand
The ability to reanimate the deceased will sound like the perfect superpower for an event planner who has experienced an event or activity that has fallen flat. Whilst raising the dead is an impossible task addressing your events challenges and openly discussing solutions can be a valuable experience for all involved.
Some destinations can also inevitably be linked in our minds with certain negative concepts, and sometimes even prejudices. Changing that perception cannot be solely a marketing stunt. It requires the effort of many players, and combined powers from your superpower arsenal to prove otherwise.
10. Be Elastic like Plastic Man
Most of the superpowers we’re mentioning are perfect for innovation and setting trends, but sometimes things can just be out of your control and this is where you must be able to be adaptable, flexible and able to respond to any eventuality.
Your event planning and strategy need to be resilient and be able to react positively to changes in circumstances and consumer needs, from food choices and complex requirements, to ensuring diversity and a multitude of voices and perspectives are provided for.
The great demand for the next ‘new’ experiences or tech integration means that you and your team need to be open-minded to being experimental and trying new things (even if they do seem a little out there and scary). Experientially-led events will be the front runners as far as ticket sales go from outdoor seated dining areas and rapid-fire learning to graffiti boards and offsite activities.
11. Use Reactive Evolution like Darwin
The ability to instantly react to any environment whatever the situation will determine the success of your event on the day. It’s OK to decide that something isn’t working on the day and change it. Conferences should be fluid and reactive, responding to attendees wants and needs.
Clients are no longer satisfied to just sit their delegates in the conference room – they want an experience that their delegates will remember. You need to ‘wow’ attendees from the start to finish and beyond.
12. Create Earthquakes like Rictor
The ability to cause earthquakes (don’t worry, we don’t mean literally!) will determine whether your event will be remembered and have a real impact on your attendees deciding to return year after year. From choosing unusual and unexpected venues to eye-popping innovative and playful food choices like edible mist, instant logo pops or candyfloss whizzers from lickmeimdelicious.com your event needs to be causing shockwaves in the conferences space. Clients want to get more for their money than ever before. As a result, venues need to ensure that the packages they’re offered present real value and provide unique and new client experiences.
Venues that go above the ‘norm’ to provide exciting new experiences will see the most success and ROI next year. So it’s essential to ensure that you continually strive to find ways to keep innovating and setting the experiences bar as high as you can.
13. Have Super Mentality like Brainiac
A superhuman capacity to retain information may not be possible, however obtaining and recording accurate information about your past events, competitors and potential attendees is a necessity. You need to be able to answer questions that attendees are asking and solve problems they’re seeking innovative solutions to.
Adam Parry, Editor of Event Industry News suggests that complementary technology providers can help create engaging activities that benefit your specific customer. Having a collaborative approach between technology providers means that organisers and event marketers benefit from an end-to-end service, which includes core technologies from registration and mobile, content and exhibitor management, audience engagement, onsite services and data insights.
14. Control Machines like The Great Machine
In a world that increasingly depends on machines, having control over the tech you’re using and incorporating it confidently into your conference experiences will ensure your event stands out from the crowd. From drones that capture amazing footage to stream online or as a way of adding the ‘WOW’ factor to part of a presentation, to Projection mapping, voice control, VR and AI and apps with machine learning capabilities, utilising technology can help connect your attendees on a deeper level to the event and feed into the personalisation of your event.
Ensuring you support all the mediums your attendees and demographic use is also essential.
Your event needs to reassure attendees that you are at the forefront of new technologies and are leading the way in their sector, offering an end to end digital experience that they won't forget.
15. Super Speed like Superman
In a world where customers are used to getting what they want when they want it, the traditional chalk and talk hour-long presentations we’ve all experienced just won’t cut it anymore.
MPI suggests that 2019 will see a change in the format of conference events seeing more smaller shorter break out sessions and activities. Increasing the pace of your event will ensure that your attendees stay focused and engaged and don't have time to start wishing they were somewhere else, or worse at another conference. Attendees will also retain more of your sessions insights into smaller more digestible chunks. This change in format will also determine where you hold your event. Make sure you choose a space that can cater for a range of activity and session types.
Keep an eye on our blog for Part Two of our list of 30 superpowers that will be essential to organising knockout conferences in 2019.
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