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3 Event Management Trends You Need to Know for 2018

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2017 brought us many new things. Twitter increased its character count to 280, we are only ten years away from reversing paralysis, and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was proven correct.

It’s good to keep up with current events, but it’s even better to prepare for how they will affect you in the future. Luck favors the prepared, especially the prepared event planner that knows what’s happening in their industry.

I’ve highlighted three of the biggest trends affecting the event management industry, including new technologies and market shifts. These trends will affect how you conduct your events, how you spend your money (whether it is on event management software or some other new tech), and how many events you will host.

Here are three key event management trends that you need to keep in mind for 2018.

1. Using drones for filming and security

Video now brings events to life like never before with new technologies and capabilities such as 360 degree video and live streaming through major social media sites. Drones give event planners and attendees the ability to record and stream the action from new heights and perspectives.

Drone flying at events

Not only are drones perfect for broadcasting your event, but they also provide you the ability to provide additional security:

Drones have become an asset to public safety especially with the help of operational intelligence (OI) technologies like Mission Insight™ to improve situational awareness in shared airspace. They are regularly used to conduct search and rescue missions, assess crime scenes and monitor and manage special events. Large events such as the recent presidential inauguration or the upcoming Super Bowl require the kind of intense security measures that drones uniquely provide.

Of course, if you jump on the drone bandwagon in 2018, you need to be aware of the laws that govern their use. The laws vary from state to state, however there a few universal rules that you should keep in mind if you want to use drones at your events, according to Know Before You Fly:

Remote Pilot requirements:

  • Must be at least 16 years of age
  • Must hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of someone holding a remote pilot airman certificate
  • Must pass the applicable Transportation Security Administration (TSA) vetting

UAS requirements:

  • Must weigh less than 55 lbs.
  • Must undergo pre-flight check by remote pilot in command (a.k.a. you or the person supervising the operation)

Once you are compliant with the regulations that govern commercial use of drones, enjoy using this new technology to film your event and keep it safe like never before.

2. Crowdshaping your events in real time

Maximillion named crowdshaping as one of the big event management trends that will transform the industry for years to come.

Imagine having the ability to change variables such as music genre, venue temperature, and music volume on the spot based on the mood of your guests. Crowdshaping gives event managers this ability through the use of smartphones and wearable technologies, which collect this data in real time.

Using check-in apps that allow users to log in through their social media accounts gives you insight into the preferences of your guests, along with further inquiries through real-time mobile surveys and GPS locating. Using this information, you can build an event for your crowd in real time. Is the venue too warm? You can ask and find out at a moment’s notice. Is the music too loud or not to the liking of your guests? Crowdshaping technology lets you know.

This technology was a proven success in 2014 when it debuted at SXSW with Pepsi’s “Bioreactive Concert.”

Bioreactive concert via Pepsi

This concert used an interactive wristband to measure the movement of the crowds to find out what music got them moving, the temperature of guests to determine whether the thermostat had to come down, and whether volume levels were too loud for guests.

Three years later, this technology isn’t just for the big players like Pepsi, and event planners looking to crowdshape don’t always need to hand out wristbands. Guests bring their own smartphones and smartwatches, providing all the technology you need to gather information about your event.

3. Travel costs are on the rise

Travel costs are going up, according to the 2018 Meetings and Events Future Trends report by the Carlson Wagonlit Travel Meetings and Events division:

Costs are rising in key M&E markets, globally. With a 3.7% increase in hotels and 3.5% rise in air fares projected for the coming year, that trend is likely to continue.-Cindy Fisher, senior vice president and global head, CWT M&E

These increases in price make it harder for event planners to attract guests to events, especially if those events require extensive travel.

In order to combat these increases, there are tips and tricks to save you and your guests from overpaying on airfare and hotel rates. Some tricks include choosing non-traditional spots for events, constantly checking airfares using incognito browsers to avoid airlines from tracking your searches through cookies (and setting fares based on those searches), and using flight search apps such as Skiplagged and hotel search sites such as Kayak.

Be sure to make your guests aware of these hacks and tricks when planning your events so you don’t lose attendees due to costs.

Other useful guides for event managers

We strive to keep the Capterra event management blog on top of everything you need to know about the industry, especially event management “how-to” guides for new practices and technologies.

If you enjoyed this trends piece, be sure to check out some of our other “how to” guides to find out how to apply previously covered trends in the event management field:

Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Nick Morpus

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Nick Morpus is a Content Writer for Capterra, a free resource that matches buyers and sellers of business software. He has a background in politics, economics, and journalism, which he dedicates his off-time to contributing his thoughts to other political sites. In his free-time he enjoys reading, drawing, photography, playing guitar, writing, and cooking.

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