The Lookout #32: Hot Event Summer For The Events Industry!
This week has marked the first full week of summer (in Europe) and also, with the increasing temperatures, also a raising of spirits. The change of the season has accompanied some real optimism in the events industry, that even a tepid response to Mobile World Congress couldn’t dissuade.
“Given the choice, would I have put on an in-person event in Barcelona in the summer of 2021? No. Nuh-uh. No way. Did the GSMA feel like they had a choice financially or otherwise? That’s a much more difficult question to answer…” — Brian Heater, writing in TechCrunch
Notably, each of the headline sponsors who feigned to appear in person at the event expressed their commitment to return, and thus, a real commitment to the in-person exhibition concept.
“I promise next year that Deutsche Telekom and all of us will be back again in Barcelona,” — Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges (as reported by VentureBeat)
In Germany, the sentiment to return to live is particularly strongly felt, with the return of live exhibitions and fairs beginning this month. Frankfurt Messe announced they are aiming for €500 million in sales for 2022, with the return to in person events and exhibitions.
It’s good news certainly for the events industry and event organizers. But it also demonstrates the durability of live, in-person B2B events, despite all of the digital innovation over the last year. It’s important to remember that live, in-person tradeshows and events continued in China throughout the pandemic.
The trick now for organizers will be how to carefully bring together the best of digital and physical together. And here, things are completely open.
Digital is not going away. But for many, physical will not be going away either. It may be roaring back bigger and better). In this case, the opportunities are greater than ever before.
Here are my top reads of the events industry from the week!
- Zoom to acquire German startup to bring real-time translation to meetings [TechCrunch] Zoom makes a birthday buy of Kites, a machine-learning-based translation tool. The acquisition nets Zoom an entire research team to work on breaking down language barriers.
- ON24 Advances Digital-First, Hybrid Engagement With Breakout Rooms in ON24 Virtual Conference [Business Wire] Eventtech platform ON24 launches breakout rooms, a feature found in many competitor products.
- Hubilo refreshes brand identity to reflect the future of hybrid events [Marketing Interactive] Hubilo shares a new look for summer, designed to speak to their platform’s robust branding capacities for organizers and event professionals.
- How Robots Can Help Bring Back Live Events Safely [BizBash] While many robots were seen onstage at MWC this week, they might also be key to returning faster to physical events. Should you look into enlisting a robot for your next gathering? BizBash breaks down some of your options, including robotic sentries for security, butlers and hospitality staff and much more. Personally, I’m waiting for a C3PO clone.
- Event Tech Check: 7 Technology Tools to Have on Your Radar This Month [BizBash] Another great rundown of the latest eventtech tools and developments in the industry for your next event.
- Hopin launches live show [Conferences and Meetings World] Hopin launches a new live event series for event professionals and industry experts. The first in the series, Illuminate, takes place next week.
- As venues reopen, Mixhalo announces new tech for in-person live event streaming [TechCrunch] Mixhalo’s new streaming offerings allow streaming over 5G or your venue’s Wi-Fi connection, giving organizers more opportunities for streaming than ever before. No excuses for a weak connection!
- $770 Million-Plus Raised for Event Tech: EventMB Mid-Year Investment Outlook [Event MB] One of the most comprehensive accounts of investment over the past 6 months. Shows the amount of invested into event technology is not just a flash in the pan, and that it spans across the industry into new innovations into AI, Machine Learning and all sorts of engagement technologies.
- Getting a Grip on Precision Communities [Exhibition World] Eventtech platform Grip announces a partnership with with Precision Communities, a B2B event organizer. The two firms will launch a series of virtual events this fall to bring together agencies, brands, technology providers and investors.
- Clubhouse Opens Creator First Accelerator in Brazil [Voicebot.ai] Clubhouse, the social audio platform that many thought would thoroughly disrupt the events industry, has now launched an accelerator program specifically for social audio creators in Brazil. The move follows a similar program launched in India last month.
- Shindig Launches Virtual Lobby Functionality, Enabling ‘Work the Room’ Networking for Virtual and Hybrid Events [IT News Online] Eventtech platform Shindig launches a raft of new features designed to facilitate those spontaneous run-ins that many miss from in-person events. The “work the room” networking feature is designed to work with hybrid events as well, allowing participants attending both in-person and remotely to network together.
How to do it:
- What virtual event tech means for event marketing [MarketingTech] With more and more brands turning to virtual events, how to stand out? Here are some suggestions on how to market effectively in 2021. Something that stands out? Use your tech to attract your audience. For example, providing the opportunity for your participants to stream themselves at your event can create opportunities for engagement but also encourage sharing.
- How to Use Technology to Enhance Your Hybrid Event Strategy [Successful Meetings] Don’t let your platform dictate your event strategy. Rather, it should be one of your last decisions. Let your choices drive your platform choice, so that it complements, rather than competes with your vision.
- Digital Tours And Hybrid Events, How New Technology Can Boost Community Engagement [Minutehack] It’s long been time to think creatively about how events can activate your community. We should see them as an opportunity to drive niche content and provide a venue for continual engagement.
- Doing More than Just Getting By [Meetings Net] Have you considered using a virtual world for your next event? Well NACCU did just that, with a simulated reality trade-show for their latest event. The event did more than bring their community together, it brought in healthy revenue. The choice for a virtual world? A lack of engagement at their previous virtual events. It really seems to have paid off.
- The New Normal In Event F&B, According to Thrive Meetings & Events CCO Tracy Stuckrath [Trade Show News] Something event organizers haven’t really had to think about for a long time– but worth revisiting now hybrid events are on the horizon for many of us: Food and beverage. What’s in? Food safety and social distancing, as well as healthier foods on the menu.
- Health Is Your Greatest Wealth: Wellness In The Events Industry [Endless Events] All event professionals know the feeling at the conclusion of a big production. The exhaustion, but also the never ending chore list. This panel of voices brought together by Endless Events argue convincingly that it’s time for event professionals to take stock of their health, and to prioritize it moving forward.
- Retailers Are Bouncing Back From The Pandemic Using Hybrid Platforms [Forbes] Following my note last week on the change of business since the pandemic, we’re seeing real change from some brands on how they’re using hybrid platforms to sell in 2021. Expect more to move in this direction. Event organizers– it’s time to get creative to attract and serve this market.
- German exhibition industry restarts in 12 states after eight-month standstill [Exhibition World] It’s back to business as usual [somewhat!] in some German states, as fairs begin to start again in some regions. Top notch health protections are in place in all locations, and will be a test to see how quickly things move back to normal.
- Events Research Programme: Phase I findings [UK Government] Results from the UK Government’s recent research projects and pilot programmes targeting a safe return to the events industry. Key findings? Venues, and the structure of the event matters. But no matter how open your space is, closed locations such as toilets will enable virus transmission.
- New partnership between trade show companies Messe Frankfurt and Messe Friedrichshafen focuses on innovative mobility [Messe Frankfurt] The world’s biggest fair company and Messe Friedrichshafen come together on the topic of mobility with a new joint venture designed to address a new shift towards urban mobility and bicycles.
- Adopting a post-pandemic shift to a citizen-centred approach: Findings from IMEX’s Virtual Advocacy Discussion [IMEX] The IMEX Policy Forum’s virtual advocacy discussion on the importance of putting people at the center of the conversation when it comes to planning and organizing business events. There are some important issues addressed here, especially when it comes to event planning that organizers should keep in mind when we design our events.
- To boldly go where no Highland Show has gone before [The Scottish Farmer] Scotland’s biggest show of the year went hybrid in 2021, and PIRATEx was there, virtually. The virtual format was a smashing success, with viewership of “a total crowd of 270,000 people from across eighty-seven countries around the world, and garnered over two million engagements on social media”. Here’s how they did it.
Don’t Miss it:
- Consumer Habits Post-COVID-19: Study Finds Majority of Respondents Eager to Experience Live Events [Hollywood Reporter] New survey from the US finds a majority will continue to embrace online events, even as some in the events industry return to physical. Key takeaway: “88 percent said they will continue to tune into virtual events even after live events are fully up and running, citing the comfort, affordability and absence of crowds.”
- MWC in the time of COVID: Reflections from Barcelona [RCR Wireless News] I really appreciated this first hand account of MWC from a longtime attendee. Sean Kinney describes the change of feeling in this year’s first post-pandemic event, but also the hope that things in the event space will continue to improve as vaccination rates increase.
- The Future of Trade Shows, Part I [Trade Show News] As tradeshows have returned in North America and Europe, what will the future hold? A few suggestions from a host of event professionals across the industry. Maybe the most surprising conclusion? The suggestion that for some shows, things won’t change that much.
- Are in-person tech conferences still necessary? Mobile World Congress could be a test [CNN] Many eyes from the event industry looked to Barcelona this week (from afar) to see how the MWC weathered the first show since the beginning of the pandemic. Bright points? The feeling of safety of attendees, as well as the opportunity for new companies to shine in a less crowded fair space. Commentators also lauded the big name speakers as well as continued support by brands who connected launches to the event, despite not appearing in person.
- Wo muss die Reise im MICE-Markt hingehen? [Event Partner] Hans-Jürgen Heinrich looks into the future of the MICE industry, and what does he see? The customer, and user experience at the center. Digital becomes standard, and the old ways of doing things are reevaluated. I can’t agree more.
That’s it for this week! If you want to be kept up to date on the innovation of the event industry, sign up to The Lookout Newsletter!