Welcome to eventplanner.TV Today we have a famous event industry blogger and trend watcher in our studio, Julius Solares from eventmanagerblog.com. Julius made 10 predictions on how the event industry will change over the next year. I'm curious to have a look at the future with him and discuss some of the most important trends he foresees.
Hi Julius, welcome to our show.
Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be here.
Well, we're going to talk about the event trends you foresee, so lets pick some of them to talk about. The first one that made me very curious is 'crowdfunding is the new ticketing'. What do you mean by that?
Well, there's a growing tendency using crowdfunding to, you know, use communities basically to support product ideas and that, you know, funding different ways ... usually financial ways. That sort of process is now being used on events as well, so I can tailor my event to one of these communities and have the support of people pledging to attend the events. So there is a great innovation for events, particularly for those events that are new, or those event planners that are just starting out and they're not too sure about...
Because you're not taking the risks upfront?
Yes, exactly. It's a great risk diminishing strategy. And it definitely tests how the market reacts before actually engaging into, or committing to any financial expense, so it's a great way to validate your idea without really risking it.
The same thing - crowdfunding - you also mentioned that that's the future for speakers. But how does it work there?
Well, in that case we're talking more about crowdsourced speakers and definitely, you know, I guess in that sense what I mean by that it's to involve people in the planning of the event, and speakers is just an aspect of that. Because, you know, we want to stimulate people to act and structurally decide more on the event. Why? Because that usually increases the customer satisfaction, so the attendees satisfaction, because if you're more involved with the choices, more committed to them, and as a result they tend to be more, they tend to become more advocates of the event and to spread the word more about it. And crowdsourced speakers is just a prime example of that, because by allowing people to vote for whom they want to perform at the event you're effectively providing the opportunity to decide who they will listen to, rather than having, you know, one person pick the speakers they we may think are good for our audience, but obviously our audience are grownups and they can decide by themselves.
Another quite remarkable thing you were mentioning is 'cut out the middleman'. What do you mean by that, because I can imagine event agencies won't like to hear that.
Well, absolutely. I always get a lot of weird looks when I say that at events because, you know, effectively there’s a new breed of services that are marketplaces where you can now definitely find the service or the supplier you're looking for in a direct way, so you don’t have to pass through intermediaries and agencies that, you know, inflate the price. I guess we're getting used to picking our hotels, picking our holidays online, and in the same fashion as B2B consumers we should be able to pick our vendors, locations, venues and so forth online. Being able to choose between different offers as well, because at the end of the day it’s about reducing the price. Obviously, you know, there will always be a place for intermediaries, but maybe their role is changing as well.
So you do see a future for event agencies?
Yeah, there will always be a future, I mean, you know that's guiding people to make the best choice, especially people that don’t have a lot of time, you know, they'll always be there. But for those again, once again that are maybe starting out, don't have a lot of budget, these kind of solutions are needed.
Another trend that caught my attention, looking at your list, are the smart badges. What's that all about?
I believe that badges are actually one of the most underutilized weapons, I call them, that we have at events, because, well, you can do a lot of things with them, you know, but nobody has actually ever thought about using them a smart way. Thanks to existing technologies such as RFID and NFC, we can now have intelligent badges, because you can just swipe them to readers around the event points, smart points as they call them, but actually do actions from them, so you can, for example, send a tweet automatically just by swiping the badge.
Absolutely, you can like a section, for example on Facebook, just by swiping it in a reader, or you can send pictures automatically through the badge, or tweet them or update them to Facebook. So there's a number of actions that you can do offline with badges, and the importance of that to event professionals is that they are incredible passive content generators for your events. So you can actually have your attendees to use ther mobile phone, you're just inviting them basically to create content for you constantly in the event.
Ok, maybe for the last trend, I’ll let you pick one. What last trend would you like to discuss?
It's an interesting question. Obviously, crowdsourced speakers is actually my favorite, and one of the ones that I tend to pick a lot. I also like the concept, of actually, you know, sponsors reaching out to planners. And there's a lot of communities where you can now post your event and get sponsors to actually support it. Obviously you go to some of these websites, and you create a media profile of the attendees that will attend your event, you jot down some numbers and you immediately get referred the number of sponsors that are actually, could be interested in sponsoring your event. That's a fantastic matchmaking opportunity, and it’s especially important for those events that have been around for a while or those events that have quite a digital presence. Because at the end of the day it’s just all gains, you make more revenue. In these times of crisis it’s always important to look at these kinds of technologies.
Julius, I really want to thank you for joining our show.
Absolutely, it's been my pleasure.
And you at home, thank you for watching, and I hope to see you next time.