Planning a meeting in Las Vegas or attending a convention in Las Vegas and having to organize satellite events?
Staying Current in an Evolving Industry
As a meeting and event planner you undoubtedly like to have control of your vision and work hard to have it executed just as imagined. Yet third party vendors are necessary in creating your ideal event which means finding companies that you can trust and who are knowledgeable about current trends are essential. Technology coupled with creativity play a large role in the meeting and event industry’s ability to impress and astound its attendees. Therefore it is imperative to keep abreast of what’s been happening at events throughout the year and partner with the appropriate vendors so that you and your organization can incorporate some of these elements into your own unique event.

The following trends have captured our attention and we think you may find inspiration in them too. A common theme of technology throughout the trends we have identified unifies the overall subject matter being discussed in event industry development reports world-wide.

Once upon a time event registration consisted of name tags or lanyards spread out alphabetically on tables with a few friendly faces there to greet you. Although this model is still used at many events today, those choosing to stick with the tried and trusted approach are missing out on a chance to capitalize on a key moment: first interaction. Registration is the time to set the tone and precedent for the event to follow.

Various high profile companies, especially those based internationally, have begun using iPads for registration management. Specialized software and apps are used for efficient pre-event registrations by event participants and volunteers. Registration staff then has quick access to bookings and confirmations, all contained in a sleek, light-weight, and easy to handle iPad which can easily be transported to the registration site. The nature of the handheld wireless devices enables event staff to access booking details from any location within the venue. When the iPads are synchronized to wireless printers, badges can be printed on demand in a matter of seconds. In some cases, the developers of the registration software will be available to ease the procedure and avoid any glitches if rolling out a new technology seems daunting.

Another way to use iPads at registration is to allow the attendees to move through the check-in process by having a few on hand for your guests to use. For some attendees, this is the first time they have placed their hands on the much talked about iPad technology. It is first time experiences like these that will have your guests talking about their encounter as they travel back to their home or corporate office.

Technology is not just about saving time and money, it can also be a way to indicate your interest level in the attendees and their experience at your event. Well thought out registration procedures can eliminate the normally mundane task of check-marking your name and collecting your welcome packet and elevate it into something exciting.

Social Media
Every where you turn these days social media is being used by organizations for marketing, branding, internal dialogue, team building, recruitment, customer relations, and in a slew of other pioneering manners. The common thread between the assorted ways social media is being employed is that each seeks to engage its users. As an event and meeting planner, you too are ultimately aspiring to connect with your attendees. Social media is simply a new avenue to be explored while creating an event that engages and motivates.

Data from a 2010 Pew Internet & American Life Project survey found that more than 57 percent of adult users of the Internet write, post, and share content, information or media on social networks. Clearly social media is being embraced by professionals young and old so it is very likely that time will only strengthen this phenomena. In fact, research suggests that our culture is becoming more participatory and this in turn is impacting conferences and events. People want to participate and by providing the tools for your event attendees to do so, you can galvanize them and the occasion. Event services is a dynamic industry which thrives on using only the most up-to-date technology and original ideas to leave a lasting impression so use this to your advantage.

Social networking sites can be used from the planning stages, to active contribution onsite, to post-event input. Attendees no longer want to sit idly by as information is presented to them; instead they want to act as co-creators, experts and advocates. Although social media integration will be learned on a curve, planners and sponsors can work together to develop the right plan that will add value to their event. Experienced event services companies will be able to suggest and implement the needed software and IT support. Late adopters to public platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are only delaying the inevitable; social media is here to stay.

Staging and Production
Two staging and production elements that are making a big splash in this year’s event industry style strategies are lighting and residential interior design. Both are changing the conventional visual effects used by planners.

Architectural mapping is a sophisticated term for video projection. However, what results from architectural mapping is in fact very sophisticated. Three-dimensional projectors are used to change a buildings’ interior or exterior facade. The lighting can be so dynamic that the building becomes a canvas for the super-bright projectors which appear to transform the actual architectural structure. The mapping is done using specialized software to chart the true features which the lights will be displayed on. The results give planners a truly exceptional way to brand their message or merely stun their audience.

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