The Lookout #28: LinkedIn Event ads & a “Zombie” Mobile World Congress?
The announcement on February 12, 2020 sent shockwaves through the event industry. It was of course, the notice that Mobile World Congress, the world’s flagship tradeshow event for mobile handsets and telecommunications would be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The move was considerable, as MWC attracts over 100,000 attendees from 200 countries. At the time, some felt the move was premature, if not overly risk averse. But sponsors were watching the situation in Wuhan with concern. Some flagship exhibitors had already pulled their attendance. Over 12 months later, I think we all can look back on GSMA’s decision to cancel as entirely the right decision.
Later this month, MWC is back in Barcelona, and in person. The event was recently cleared to go ahead, with nearly 70% of speakers planning to appear, with an expected attendance of 30,000-50,000 people. The event also offers a hybrid option, for remote attendees.
There’s a lot riding on the return of MWC and what it’s success (or otherwise) will say for the European events industry. Some top sponsors have again rescinded their attendance, with Deutsche Telekom announcing their cancellation this week. But organizers GSMA are committed to go forward, unless Spain forces them to cancel. That doesn’t look likely, given Spain’s commitment to jumpstarting the tourism industry.
We’ll be watching the developments in Barcelona closely. I just hope in 12 months time we look back on the decision to go forward with MWC in person, as the right one.
In contrast, this week, I share a piece from the gaming industry describing how their audiences have adapted to digital, and how it will continue to be an integral part of their strategy going forward. Even though it’s a challenge, they’ve found the gains to safety, inclusivity, as well as how digital presents a real opportunity to get creative for your audience. It’s a very different take on the live events world!
Be sure to check that out, as well as some more of my top reads from this week in events and the experience economy!
- Boosts und Event-Ads: Linkedin startet neue Funktionen für mehr Reichweite [T3N] Linkedin’s new event ads feature aims to increase the reach of your virtual events.
- The Future Of Trade Shows Are ‘Physi-Digital’; JOOR Powers The Virtual Experience [Forbers] You’ve heard of hybrid, but what about Physi-Digital’? JOOR is a platform that helps facilitate digital purchasing at live and in-person events.
- Why Some Companies Are Doubling Down on VR for Events [Event Manager] Expect VR innovations to be the next frontier when it comes to virtual events, with lots of activity in the eventtech space when it comes to this new technology. Should you consider it?
- Pinterest to test livestreamed events this month with 21 creators [TechCrunch] Not to be outdone by the likes of Snap, Facebook and Twitch, Pinterest is another tech company beginning to expand into live events. The events run inside their bespoke app aim to stream creator content direct to viewers.
- Pococha, One Of The Top Live Streaming Apps In Japan, Makes Its Debut In The United States [PR Newswire] In an example of just how dynamic the eventtech industry is, one of the world’s biggest names in Live Streaming crosses an ocean to permeate a new market. No word on when they’ll launch in Europe, though.
- Tech companies Hopin and CogX sign ‘groundbreaking’ London hybrid festival deal [The National] Eventtech unicorn Hopin signs a big deal with London’s CogX Festival to stage the largest hybrid event to date.
- Hubilo Is Leveraging Engagement, Analytics For Its Virtual Event Platform [Inc42] Hubilo doubles down on gamification when it comes to attendee engagement. Here’s how they measure it.
- EventsAIR celebrates a million virtual attendees [Conference News] EventsAIR, launched in May 2020 has hosted 20,000 in it’s first year, welcoming over a million attendees. Quite an achievement that demonstrates how much room there is to grow in the eventtech space.
How to do it:
- Event-Marketing mit LinkedIn – mehr Power für deine Sichtbarkeit [MICEstens Digital] Linkedin is becoming more and more essential when it comes to event marketing. Their new advertising options present another opportunity to reach your attendees. Katrin Taepke goes into detail about how you can make the most of this new offering.
- How to get the most out of digital events How to optimize your digital tradeshow experience–importantly, embrace “Failure is an option”.
- Hybrid: Two Strategies, One Powerful Marketing Product [Smart Meetings] Hubilo’s Vaibhav Jain discusses how organizers can leverage their marketing strategy across both in-person and remote events.
- Podcast: A Masterclass in Producing Sophisticated Virtual Events That Your Audience Will Never Forget [BizBash] In this podcast, Brandlives’s Sam Kolbert-Hyle shares some takeaways from their past virtual productions, and how you can stay calm under pressure during your live events.
Don’t Miss It:
- Poor nations still out in the cold in move to online events [Business Live] One of the biggest gamechangers for online events is the opportunity to invite the world. But participants from lesser developed countries are still missing out when it comes to online events, due to unreliable internet connections and low broadband speed.
- Virtual events set to grow in popularity post-pandemic [Marketing Tech] Insights from a new survey show the online event industry will continue to boom, after the pandemic.
- “Running digital events is as time consuming, if not more, compared to creating physical events” – What’s next for industry events? [MCV] The games industry has been making some of the most exciting moves in the pivot to digital online events. But the transition hasn’t been easy. The successes have been hard won, and they will continue to represent an important component going forward, as exhibitors and attendees have adapted to virtual worlds.
- Event and Hospitality Companies Forge a Path Into a Digital Payments Future with Cryptocurrency [Trade Show News] Will you be offering payment options by Bitcoin for your next events? Some savvy event organizers are doing just that. Here’s what you should know.
- Deutsche Telekom says it won’t attend Mobile World Congress [Nasdaq] Teleco becomes the latest flagship exhibitor to eschew this month’s MWC, joining network equipment makers Nokia, Samsung, Ericsson and others in skipping Barcelona.
- Mobile World Congress Has Become a Zombie Show [PC Mag] Sascha Segan argues the flagship tradeshow MWC is the “tradeshow that doesn’t know it’s dead” in this opinion piece by PC Mag. With much riding on this month’s show, many exhibitors, press and sponsors will skip this year’s show, despite many hopes by organizers that it must go on.
- Analysis: How the Mobile World Congress Hopes to Reboot Conferences Post COVID [US News and World Report] MWC was one of the first major cancellations as the pandemic took hold in 2020. As it returns in-person to Barcelona later this month, here are some of the strategies organizers GSMA is planning to take to ensure that tradeshows can return in person, safely.
- The Virtual Events Benchmark Report [Bizzabo]: Insights from hundreds of Bizzabo events for Q1 2021. Key takeaways on attendee engagement, optimal length of session, etc..
- Study on impact of coronavirus on European Convention sector [Convention Europe] Updated report from the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe on the impact of coronavirus into 2021. With insights from European convention bureaus forecasting the future of the industry.
On June 2, the UFI recognized Global Exhibitions Day. We have seen how the exhibitions industry has taken such an impact by the pandemic, but are also so inspired by the resilience they have shown. It’s been our pleasure to work with so many exhibition partners over the last year, to help bring their fairs online. We truly believe in the importance of bringing people together, and respect the industry efforts by UFI and their local partner, AUMA.
Let’s stay connected if we’re not already on Linkedin or follow the PIRATEx team on Twitter. If there’s anything you would like to read about when it comes to remote, or digital events, let me know! If you want to be kept up to date on the innovation of the event industry, sign up to The Lookout Newsletter!