Best Of Events: Everything Old Is New Again | Event tech
Each year, the big “Best of Events” show in Dortmund brings together the industry’s top suppliers, producers and service providers to showcase what’s hot when it comes to live communications. Held in January, it’s always a timely show to set off the year’s events and get a good sense of what to expect from the market. It’s also a great opportunity to check out some of the latest event innovations up close.
This year’s show was no exception. Several of the PIRATEx team took the trip to Dortmund this week to visit the show to see what was fresh for events in 2023.
Here’s some of what we found, courtesy of Fred Bleck, PIRATEx’s Head of New Business:
- Top topics in the program: Sustainability, CO2 reduction, zero waste, and inclusion.
- The popcorn machine is the most popular gadget at many booths.
- Anything retro and vintage was trendy (carousels, shoe shiners, jukeboxes).
- The photobooth 2.0 is alive and popular as never before. People line up for 3D shots, boomerang clips & video animations of all kinds (event organizers create “proud-to-share moments”).
- Furniture made from recycled cardboard is en vogue. But are they actually more sustainable?
- The metaverse doesn’t play a big role here yet. Only software providers advertise with the term, but not everything that says “Metaverse” on it – is actually Metaverse in it.
- In a panel discussion among event directors, event moderation is described as the key game changer when it comes to the success of hybrid events. That’s right. Not technology or concept design– an “appreciative integration” in language and permanent reference to all target groups place completely new depending on moderation.
If the BOE is meant to be a showcase of what’s to come for the year in events, well, things just feel quite, well familiar. Popcorn machines and shoe shiners– they’re familiar crowd-pleasers. Vintage designs and a hint of nostalgia are always a way to connect with an audience. However, they don’t particularly bring the “wow” factor. I’ll admit I was a bit surprised at just how traditional many of the offerings on show were. Overall, it did feel a bit safe, which may speak to a desire to return to the familiar after several years of pandemic upheaval. But I worry that playing it too safe may risk turning off participants in the future.
Has anyone from Generation Z used a shoe shiner? Or even needs one?
Here’s what I’ve been catching up on:
The Events Industry
German Convention Bureau
Redefining Attendance: The final conclusions from the Future Meeting Space project
The Future Meeting Space project has been a groundbreaking exploration by the German Convention Bureau and partners to explore what meetings and gatherings in the future will be like. Since the course of the investigation, I’ve covered the findings with interest. Now, as the project comes to a close, the groundbreaking project shares its final conclusions.
Ausblick 2023: Messeveranstalter starten mit Zuversicht
2023 begins on an optimistic note from Germany’s Exhibition Organizer association, as 2022 closed on a more positive forecast than initially expected. Frustratingly, however, cost increases, staff shortages, and uncertainties from the energy crisis and prospective recession do temper expectations for a full recovery in 2023 to pre-pandemic levels.
Ergebnisse der HR- und Gehaltsstudie 2022 ausgewertet
Results from this latest study of the German event industry show a very positive rebound from the pandemic, especially when it comes to employees and career paths. This latest HR and Salary study finds that the event industry is an attractive and creative career pathway for professionals, especially for younger and female employees.
Trade Show News
CES Rebounds With Strong Numbers, Delivers Largest Global Tech Event
Last week’s CES showed a return to form for the event industry and a very welcome return as one of the world’s largest shows since the pandemic went ahead with no hiccups. The successful show validated the return of the in-person model and the shift away from technology, for now.
Digital Event Technologies
£13.75m BGF investment for event technology firm
Investment in event tech is not stopping– but changing character, as this latest funding announcement indicates. Rather than funneling cash toward platforms and gadgets, money is flowing to expertise and innovation, supporting the growth of existing success stories to make a bigger impact. A good depiction of this is the latest funding announcement for Blue-i group, an established player in the event audiovisual and theatre industries, with a range of clients from the United Nations to arts and stage productions.
Samaaro Raises Seed Funding to Empower B2B Event Marketers
Another place for Event tech investment? Disentangling event promotion. With an ever more crowded event calendar, raising awareness of one’s events becomes more and more challenging.
Don’t miss it
I’m deaf, but it’s the event industry that can’t hear. How can it be more inclusive?
As we’ve said time and time again here, the exhibitions and events industry has work to do when it comes to improving inclusion. This means making events accessible for those with disabilities. In this piece, a hearing-impaired eventgoer puts the industry to task when it comes to making events accessible to the d/Deaf community– and how much was lost in the shift from virtual to physical. Powerful food for thought– and action.
Planners Embrace Transformational Experience-First Events
Experience is not enough when it comes to events in 2023, argues this piece by Skift and First Events. What actually will move the needle for participants this year is not just experiencing something, but improving oneself through their attendance – events should make an impact. They suggest event organizers should be “considering people’s desire for self-improvement and transformation” at the heart of the event design.
What’s New in Event Venues: Unexpected Gathering Spaces, AI-Driven Guest Experiences, and More
BizBash rounds up some of the latest when it comes to the attendee experience and finds some great inspiration from venues (always your key part of a physical event). I particularly like the advancements from hotels to incorporate more immersive and themed spaces, which elevate the feel of events from just a hotel to something more.
That’s it for this week’s edition of The Lookout!
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The Lookout Newsletter #75
PIRATEx Managing Director