In this article about corporate event trends, you’ll learn:
- How corporate events are changing
- Data capturing and analytics for corporate events
- Making events more experiential
- Gamified learning and engagement
- Integrating cell phones into the experience
- Content creation
- Keeping corporate events secure
We wouldn’t be the first to say that corporate events have a reputation for being a little… outdated.
From dry keynotes to the disinterested audience quickly tiring under fluorescent lighting, the corporate event industry has trudged along a similar path for a long time without much innovation.
But this is changing.
Spurred by developments happening across the event sector and rapidly evolving company cultures, corporate event planners are starting to disrupt the standard formats by harnessing tools, trends and techniques like:
- Custom apps & social engagement
- Gamified learning
- RFID integration
- Live streaming & User Generated Content (UGC)
“What makes a great corporate event depends on their specific audience, but generally organizers are looking for more innovation and a better way to track and understand what’s happening on site, how guests navigate the event, what they do, what their preferences are.”
– Peter Machalek, Intellitix’s Director of Brand Partnerships
“It’s a really exciting time in the corporate event space. There’s a lot of willingness to push the envelope to look for inspiration from other event verticals,” he continues.
There are some key changes that you can make to your next corporate event that will dramatically increase the effectiveness of your operation and leave your attendees feeling inspired.
6 Corporate Event Trends That Are Redefining the Industry in 2018
1) Data & Analytics
Data is driving every significant business decision. According to a Nucleus Research study from 2014, for every $1.00 invested in analytics there is a $13.01 ROI.
This shouldn’t stop when it comes to planning a corporate event.
Whether it is using a custom event app to elevate guest experience and tap into behavioral data insight, consulting past performance reviews to determine areas of weakness and planning the programming accordingly, or harnessing RFID to gamify the training process (as we’ll discuss later), there is a wealth of data available to guide your decisions.
Post-event surveys are a very simple, cost-effective way to generate actionable data from your attendees.
Making an inquiry about the programming, the logistics, likes and dislikes will help you implement changes going forward and will increase audience buy-in as they will feel that their opinions are valued.
2) Make Programming More Experiential
While “experiential” is a term most commonly associated with marketing, it’s becoming more frequently used in the corporate event and conference space to describe interactive and engaging forms of programming.
Making your event more experiential can be as simple as encouraging social engagement during a panel or discussion or reorganizing the seating layout to create collaborative working groups.
The point is to disrupt the dry keynote in the sleepy conference room format and encourage participation.
“Giving employees an experience—rather than just a lecture, course, or book—to help them learn and develop themselves can be very effective. Experiential learning is designed to help each person gain insight in their own way through introspection and self-directed activities.”
– Andrea MacKenzie, founder of Lead With Harmony, told Forbes
3) Gamifying the Experience
Following on from making events more experiential, the term “gamifying” has become one of marketing’s most trending terms.
Gamifying is the process of taking previously mundane or generic experiences and spicing them up by adding a competitive element.
At Samsung’s 2017 North American sales training conference in Las Vegas, Intellitix delivered an RFID-driven experiential solution that gamified the corporate training process and generated a significant amount of actionable data.
Each team member had an activated wristband connected to their registration profile, and they would earn points for each correct answer relating to the new products.
Each time they answered a question, their wristbands would be scanned, and this would be added to their score on the leaderboard.
“This sort of RFID integration elevates the experience and helps to drive participation and responses.”
– Peter Machalek, Intellitix’s Director of Brand Partnerships
“We were able to provide Samsung with a solution that made sense and really worked for what they were trying to achieve,” explains Machalek.
“There was a lot of engagement, and Samsung’s team were getting really fired up about the interactive elements of the program. It was a very successful integration of our technology.”
4) Integrate Cell Phones Where Possible
Pew Research found that 77% of Americans have a smartphone. But we’re willing to bet that number is closer to 100% for the corporate event audience.
You should be looking to encourage meaningful cell phone use at your event, and you should treat it as your most valuable engagement access point.
The right cell phone-based tech integration will elevate the event experience, deliver more data, open a line of dialogue with your audience and spur invaluable User Generated Content.
From encouraging social amplification through novel tools like Q&A walls or aforementioned event apps to eliminate wasteful paper guides and mine behavioral data, a powerful cell phone engagement strategy is absolutely essential for today’s events.
5) Create Content
83% of event managers plan to utilize social media at their events, and you definitely don’t want to be in the leftover 17%.
There is simply no reason that you shouldn’t be filming, recording and archiving all of the presentations, talks, panels, etc. that take place at your corporate event.
This content can be used internally and externally to develop the company culture and to continue the learning process for all staff involved.
Depending on where your audience resides online, a robust content strategy for a corporate event should be diverse and touch a variety of mediums.
You should be looking at:
- Live streaming panels and keynotes on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube
- Daily recap videos + photo galleries
- Live and guest blogging
- Tweeting updates, quotes from speakers and testimonials
Always stay on the lookout for emerging content platforms being embraced by your audience, and always strive to maximize ROI when deciding on which platforms to focus resources on.
6) Keep Your Event Secure
It shouldn’t be news to anyone in the live event space today, but paper tickets and barcode credentials simply aren’t secure.
They are easily forged and can reduce your level of oversight about who is really at your event.
If your corporate event has sensitive forthcoming product information, or in-depth strategy for the coming year, it’s extremely important that it is adequately closed off to outside actors.
Doing away with paper tickets and printable barcodes and integrating an RFID access control is one of the simplest ways to ensure that your event is open only to those that are supposed to be there.
As you’ll have noticed, RFID is playing a prominent role in elevating the guest experience at corporate events.
Widely embraced by organizers from adjacent event verticals, the features and benefits of this technology are transferable to the corporate sector.
Integrating RFID in your corporate event can:
- Gamify the experience
- Deliver in-depth audience data
- Allow more oversight over event logistics
- Eliminate risk of credential fraud
- Secure and streamline access points
Intellitix’s case study from the Samsung Sales Training Conference to tells how RFID gamified the standard training process and gave the company enormous amounts of actionable data.