Meeting & Events Trends for 2017 [Infographic] 71

Meeting & Events Trends for 2017 [Infographic]

The following article is a guest post.

The meeting and events sector is huge niche and has really grown fast in more recent years.

Why this is the case is uncertain but the emergence of a global audience who are content hungry is likely a factor. The advancement of technology and the Internet in general has also contributed.

Further to this, more and more people are working remotely or have varied working locations as opposed to all working from the one physical location. As a result, companies have the requirement to organize more meetings at several periods across the yearly calendar to gather employees together.

Being physically together in one room still has benefits to many companies and so these companies require large locations to facilitate all their employees at once. Of course, they are also likely to require up to date technology and resources at those locations which puts the onus on event planners and meeting organizers.

Conferences that focus on continued learning and advancement have become hugely popular all over the world in many niches.

The NRF, for example holds a huge event annually in New York and retailers from around the globe attend and share knowledge and of course suppliers get the opportunity to sell on their services.

Other niches such as the hotel industry hold trade shows all over the world in various locations like exhibition halls and event centers and these locations are under pressure to have the capabilities to hold large numbers. This means there is huge pressure on facilities like WIFI technology and other telecommunications requirements and not forgetting requirements like hospitality to cater for the attendees’ food and drink needs. This requires huge amounts of planning and experience from event planners.

If a location doesn’t meet the requirements of the event or meeting, it is likely to cause major issues for the possibilities of the event being hosted at that location again. Event planners depend on reliable elements like the obvious lighting, heating but things like unreliable WIFI can ruin an event for the organizers…and the attendees alike.

In today’s world, unless it’s a private meeting, attendees like to shout about their attendance on social platforms like Twitter and Facebook. They like to take selfies and post them to Instagram. They like to add Snapchat stories and include a geotag.

If the technology that they’re used to having on a day to day basis is unreliable or non-existent at an event, this is highly annoying and embarrassing for the event organizers. In today’s world of the so called “keyboard warrior”, attendees are likely to demonstrate their unhappiness and dissatisfaction on their social profiles (albeit at a later stage).

This infographic from the people at The Europe Hotel in Ireland details some interesting statistics about meetings and events attendees and it also highlights the emerging trends for this year and shows how they are likely to manifest themselves:

meetings and events trends 2017 letsreachsuccess.com infographic

What’s your vision for these trends in 2017?

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest
Directly into your inbox every Monday.
Previous ArticleNext Article

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 11

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

How to Use Content Marketing to Boost Your Business 6 Marketing Influencers You Must Follow

You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.