A couple of weeks ago the nice people at London & Partners suggested that we check out The Meetings Show in London. We went today, the second day of the three day show, and we'd highly recommend attending if you're keen to research interesting locations and specific venues for future meetings and conferences. There were also a bunch of interesting suppliers there who had great ideas about how make your next event memorable and engaging.
With Hiver being a young business (we've been developing it as part of the London Business School & Deloitte incubator over the past 10 months), we thought it would be useful to hear from event organisers, planners, venues and tech suppliers about the trends they're seeing in the market place.
As we walked the event aisles, two themes clearly emerged as hot-topics:
- Meetings in sterile hotels/conference facilities are boring... event planners are focusing on either
- finding locations that are unique or that deliver 'an experience' to attendees, or
- they want to jazz up the hotel and/or their event agenda so it's significantly different to what attendees are used to or expecting. To differentiate, some planners are turning to tech, others are looking at off-the-beaten-track locations, and others luxury (on a budget).
- Event tech is hot....but lacks innovation and is not joined up. Audience voting (like Sli.do), presentation engagement (like Glisser) is clearly popular which was great to see, but as these become more wide spread, event planners have an appetite for something shiny and new - we're confident that Sli.do and Glisser.com have it in their blood to continue innovating, but there's a need for more of these type of innovations. It was great to see The Meeting Design Institute and the show organisers promoting start-up innovation at the show. We also spoke with a number of event management platforms and event app suppliers, who seemed surprisingly resistant to integrating with partner tools, which we can only think will change in time.
We weren't the only ones looking at what's hot and trends in the industry. Patricia Durocher who runs Global Cynergies - an agency that helps planners arrange amazing events - ran an interesting seminar on trends and themes she's seeing are emerging from her work with venue suppliers and event planners. Summarised in 9 points, these trends are:
- Ongoing shifts around security, demographics
- RFPs - quality over speed
- 'Venues' vs meeting rooms
- New destinations
- Price sensitivity
- Lead time / flexibility
- Move to consultative selling
- Keep current on supplier changes
Thanks to the show organisers Centaur for a super event - we hope to be back next year!