5 changes to business events over the past decade

Ten years ago seems like a lifetime in relation to all the things that impact our daily lives.

Back then we didn’t have anything starting with an “I” – but now I wonder how could we ever live without them. And the same can be said about the ever-changing world of events in general.

So, what have been the five biggest changes in the past 10 years?

1. Risk
No, I am not talking about whether you select the lamb or chicken for main course. Now you can’t do anything without a full evaluation of what’s safe and what is not and what you need to do about it. Definitely one of the best changes for everyone in the event industry.

Real risk: bogus conference organisers preying on meetings industry

2. Technology – or, technologi!
We get our invitations, book our travel, tell everyone what we cannot eat, book a tour, find out who we are sitting next to and send through questions we want the speaker to answer. All of this at the click of a button.

Will Kataria: embrace the event app – it's not going anywhere

3. Branding
Each event is now a total reflection of the client and their brand. This branding incorporates everything and anything from venue selection, speakers, food and beverage served, colour scheme for the tables, the band you are dancing to and the look of the staff greeting you at the registration desk.

4. Interaction
This used to be defined as bumping into someone new at morning tea and swapping business cards. Now it’s speed dating “business style”, meeting people who share the same interests or telling a speaker he/she missed the mark. “I will email you my contact details and comments on the presentation and happy to help in the future”. So, in reality, the interaction doesn’t stop when the event does.

5. Relevance to the world we live in
Gone are the days of a speaker being selected just because he or she won a medal at a major sporting event. We want to know more about our social demographics, the economy and “what that all means for me and my business”. Don’t tell me something I already know, tell me something I don’t.

All of these points come back to one key element, and it is the same as if we go to a restaurant, stay at a hotel, attend a sporting event or pay a bill. It is about the overall experience in both the process and the desired outcome.

While we have been having good and bad experiences for our whole lives, the big difference now is that we tell everyone about it, good and bad. Welcome to the world of instant knowledge through social media. If the band was not good at an event, others who didn’t even attend are going to know about it.

That was the last 10 years in a few minutes!

For the full MIX anniversary feature on a decade of business events, see our February – March 2017 issue.

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