8 MICE Industry Trends Every Event Planner Needs to Know
8 MICE Industry Trends Every Event Planner Needs to Know
Events today are exciting, creative and innovative because of evolving MICE industry trends. The best event planners are those thinking outside of the box. They’re paying attention to what’s happening. Staying up to date on current trends. From technology to novel ideas, there’s always something fresh and interesting in this industry.
Let’s take a look at some of these major trends you should know about as an event planner:
Hosting environmentally friendly events isn’t a new trend, but it’s becoming more popular than ever. Your attendees will be noticing and appreciating how you incorporate sustainability into your event.
There are many ways you can incorporate sustainability into your event. Here are some ideas:
- Serve vegetarian, organic food.
- Use seasonal flowers to decorate with.
- An online booking system will save paper.
- Choose a venue close to your guests to reduce transport.
- Encourage car sharing, cycling and using public transport.
- Set up recycling and compost bins alongside the waste bins.
- Choose to host the event in a venue with a LEED certification.
- Encourage attendees to bring their own water bottles and have filling stations.
These are just a few of the many little things you can do to make an event more environmentally sustainable. We love this MICE industry trend because it forces you to think about the impact your event is having on the environment.
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2. Social Media
Incorporating social media in events has been one of the most popular MICE industry trends for the past several years. If you can imagine, it is getting even more important. Social media is essential for events, because it drives interaction and engagement. When you make social media part of your event, you encourage attendees to create user-generated content. This makes them feel involved and can be used to your advantage before, during or after your events.
For example, you can set up a tweet wall with a hashtag and encourage attendees to post their updates. Everyone will be able to see what others are posting, which will inspire them to create their own content. It will also send the message to attendees that their opinions and experiences are heard and valued.
You can use social media before and after the event too – not just during. Build up hype by setting up a hashtag or post live updates and pictures afterward to show everyone who didn’t attend what they missed. For more ideas, check out these 25 tips for promoting your next corporate event.
Events are becoming more personalized for each attendee. This is one of the few MICE industry trends that makes it a priority to view events from the attendee point of view. It makes our goal to improve how guests experience our events in the best possible ways. Personalization has a number of different applications and can be made possible more easily by collecting data. You first need to understand what people want so that you can tailor aspects of the event to suit them, right?
By creating personalized events, you can make each event more memorable and attendees more engaged. You’ll also be able to plan more interactive experiences and customize communications.
Keep in mind that the more complex the personalization becomes, the harder it is to measure the ROI. Also, it’s important not to step over the line into marketing that is too personal and feels invasive. You don’t want your attendees to feel like “Big Brother is Watching” when personalized details are a bit too accurate.
4. Digital Attendance
Digital attendance is opening the doors to so much added event exposure. That’s why it’s one of our favorite MICE industry trends! What if you could open up your events to speakers and attendees who are located on the other side of the world – without them having to physically get there? Technology now allows us to attend events without having to be there in person.
This adds possibilities for different applications. It could involve having a speaker in another location present virtually via video chat, or live streaming an event for Facebook or Instagram. It could also look like using digital hangouts for networking, or creating VR content that will make people feel like they are right there in the room with you.
You’ll be able to tap into ideas and valuable insights that you might not have been able to offer your attendees otherwise.
5. AR and VR
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are two of the biggest buzzwords right now. Although this technology isn’t brand new, it’s only recently developing to the point where it’s becoming more accessible for a range of applications.
Augmented and virtual reality are often used interchangeably, but they are different. Virtual reality transports you into a completely different world using an immersive headset. Augmented reality often uses only a smartphone and creates a digital overlay on the real world, as seen in Snapchat filters or games like Pokemon Go.
This trend ties into digital attendance in a big way – as augmented reality and virtual reality technologies make it easier for guests to experience your event without physically being there. But this isn’t the only application of AR and VR technology. It can also be used to give attendees an immersive experience during the event.
For example, Charity: Water gave every guest at a fundraising gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art a VR headset. When they put it on, they saw a small village in Ethiopia – so vivid it was like they had been transported there. They watched a 13 year old girl and her family receive clean drinking water for the first time. The VR film was so moving that many guests at the gala had tears in their eyes when they took off their headsets.
The guests donated $2.4 million that night, which was much more than Charity: Water had expected. One donor, who had originally pledged to donate $60,000, was so moved by the film that he gave $400,000 instead. Virtual reality can be so incredibly powerful.
Gamification is a huge trend in the event planning industry. It refers to taking the competitive nature and structure of gaming and applying it to your event. It can be a powerful way to encourage your audience to engage in your event proactively.
Gamification is powerful because it works on the principle of rewards. When you complete a task, you get a positive incentive that encourages you to move on further. This cycle repeats and can be really addictive, helping the attendee immerse themselves deeper into the event.
There are many ways that you can incorporate gamification into your events. You could award points to your attendees for attending workshops, visiting particular stalls or networking with other attendees. You could even create an event app that would allow attendees to track their achievements and earn points. At the end of the event, the attendee with the highest engagement score wins a prize!
Many event planners are realizing that if they pack in too many sessions back to back, they don’t allow attendees time to process what they have seen and learned. So, one of the hot trends at the moment is to incorporate spaces for mindfulness into the event itself. Allowing these “brain breaks” will make conferences less stressful. They’ll also help attendees enjoy higher levels of creativity.
This can be something simple, such as setting up a “Quiet Zone” out of the way of the main action, with coffee, comfy couches and phone chargers. Attendees can recharge, chat and reflect before jumping back into the rest of the conference. If you want to offer even more mindfulness – consider offering meditation sessions, yoga classes or other wellness activities.
8. Event Apps
There’s pretty much an app for everything these days. So, have you considered creating an app for your event? Having a smartphone app associated with your event can make it a lot easier for attendees to participate and engage. Event apps are such a popular trend that they are becoming an expectation – especially at major conferences, exhibitions and festivals.
You have all of your workshop, speakers and other information within the app, so you don’t have to print and hand out paper programs. This will be more convenient for attendees and will drastically reduce your event’s carbon footprint.
But there’s so much more you can do with your event app! Your audience can use the app to plan their visit, book sessions, make appointments, buy tickets and even communicate with other guests. You could even use the app to add a gamification element to your event (see #6 above).
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Which trends will you incorporate into your next event?
These are just a few of the many MICE industry trends that are taking the event planning world by storm. How will you involve these trends in your next event?
We want to help you make your events as seamless as possible. Here at Traveler’s Q, we offer expert travel planning to help you make sure your guests have a wonderful travel experience. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us!