What does the future of the event industry look like? Many sectors and industries have already made the transition to digital. Be it the often-mentioned music and media industries or in retail, which is taking its first steps in the course of digital transformation. But even the event industry cannot avoid modernization. However, I would not speak here of digital transformation -- in my view it is a digital innovation.
Video communication -- the basis of an event
A digital innovation in the event industry, it sounds complicated, but it can be done with small changes. When event operators rely on video communications alone, a step has already been taken towards a multimedia, digital future. Looking at current statistics, 25% of all visitors to the trade fair are already informed in advance about the event. Not on the event’s website, but on YouTube. With these figures in mind, you can prepare for your future by watching a video about your own event in the present.
It doesn’t even have to be the glossy video type. As nice as it can be to have a professionally produced film -- and I would advise anyone who has the money to do so -- other sources of footage can also be helpful. For example, visitor videos or other short clips are conceivable. The motto is that you have to be active and creative before competing events overtake each other.
Do you already offer online tickets for your event? If you say yes, well done, an important first step on the way to a digitalized industry has been taken. But I have to ask more questions at this moment -- is the target group also ready for a digital ticket system? As with all activities, from trade fair stands to marketing, the target group must also be looked at when selecting a ticket distribution. Not every potential event visitor is digitally affined or ready to download a ticket via online portals.
Virtual Event Industry
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality -- today they are often an integral part of some exhibitions. But what do we do with those innovative technologies in our events? A pure use for just entertaining the visitors is still conceivable today. But when technologies become part of our everyday lives, real value has to be created. Therefore, companies must provide the applications with a profile right now. They must be in the world of the company in terms of content and design and must optimally exploit its advantages.
The distinction between the two technologies is also decisive for the outcome of the war. While Augmented Reality products illustrate and complement each other, Virtual Reality can be used perfectly to fully immerse visitors in the company’s brand world. The exhibition stand operator’s core business is always on an adventure tour -- better than any exhibition stand constructor could ever manage.
All in all, it can be said that the event industry is still at the beginning of the digital revolution. But like all other industries that have already undergone change and will continue to do so, they must be courageous and lead the way with creativity and enthusiasm. If they don’t, the event industry can fall asleep and then fall into disrepute behind the competition.
I gave further insights into the future of the event industry during my lecture at the “3rd Munich Event Day” in the House of Bavarian Economy.