EVENTS INDUSTRY CHANGES: What Factors Will Impact 2018?
TUESDAY // JANUARY 2, 2017
It’s safe to say occurrences in 2017 have shaped the changes we will begin to see more clearly in 2018. Our industry is incessantly evolving, but perhaps this year reshaped us more rapid than ever. While many of these events are tragic, the way we react and adapt is the only way our industry becomes stronger. Bizbash recently highlighted the major events industry changes we will see in 2018.
Emergency Planning: The Vegas Shooting is the most recent tragedy and the deadliest shooting in U.S. history. The unthinkable happened at Route 91 Music Festival on October 1, 2017, and most of us still cannot wrap our minds around the evil actions carried out that Sunday evening. While security at the festival could not prevent the aerial gunshots from Mandalay Bay’s 32nd floor, an emergency action plan could have been put in place.
For event industry workers, this means communicating with the local police departments and security officials of the area. All event staff member should meet with these individuals and develop detailed plans in response to multiple scenarios to ensure guest safety, said Diana Cazares of Creative Circle, reported BizBash.
Emergency planning could also include engraving vital pieces of information into attendees knowledge, such as knowing the exact location of each exit. The event could make this clear prior to the event on social channels, its website and the event app if made available. Also, having a pre recorded emergency message to blast throughout the event would clear confusion for all concert goers.
Security: Again, the Vegas shooting has hyped up event security and security in general to a new level. The Las Vegas strip established tons of security measures for New Year’s Eve including law enforcement officers, National Guard members, and even snipers. City officials had even doubled the amount of rapid response teams to prepare for any situation, reported NPR.
Additionally, in New York City, New Year’s Eve called for the tightest security its had in years. Safety has been and should be event planners’ number one priority, but recent events have solidified this factor more than ever.
BizBash included data security as a priority for event planners to uphold by keeping up with the latest technology to protect confidential information. The Equifax credit disaster perfectly displays what can go wrong if security is not promoted at all levels.
Although your business may not be the size of Equifax, all businesses alike should take all measures possible to ensure their sensitive data is protected. The Daily Report of Law.com outlines five recommendations companies of all sizes should consider to protect themselves from an Equifax nightmare.
Technology: Technology is always expanding at a rapid pace in this day and age. In the events industry, we will continue to see an increase in both event marketing technology and technology in show production.
For show production, designers continue to set the bar higher with 3D projection mapping, enhancing the show’s visuals to a whole new level. The Gorillaz have held concerts displaying animated characters of the band behind and above the group, reported BBC News. Technology will only continue to push the limits on creating an in-depth connection with the audience from any seat in the venue.
Other areas such as AR and VR continue to grow, especially in the experiential marketing realm of live events. James Klein, Senior Vice President of Live Production for George P Johnson, believes VR holds the greatest potential as a business development tool, according to Live Design, since it isolates the person within a specific message curated by the company. With AR already pushing the limits, Klein explains, individuals walking throughout events with glasses on will become the standard.
Connectivity: Shannon Cook of TourTech told BizBash about the benefits of improved WiFi and ease of ticketing/purchasing within the event. If there is connectivity, Cook explains, the experience is both a memorable and profitable one, inevitably pushing companies to invest more money than ever into a working network system.
Mondicon is actually releasing a new solution at The Consumer Electronics Conference (CES) in Las Vegas on January 9. We.Stream, a pocket-sized WiFi hotspot device, is meant to keep international travelers always connected, whether the individual is on business or simply wants to stay connected, reported Business Wire.
The affordable mobile data plans will be available in over 100 countries including the United States, China, Australia, Brazil and all of Europe, the company tweeted. This will be a huge advancement in technology, especially for individuals inside large-scale events and festivals faced with the common problem of connectivity overload by the masses.
However, many artists are known for the disapproval of cell phone use at their concerts. In fact, the MISFITS implemented a strict no-cell phone rule at all reunion shows in LA and Las Vegas both at the end of December 2017, Blabbermouth reported.
The policy was even published on AXS and Ticketmaster for the events, reading “No cellphones, smart watches, cameras or recording devices will be permitted during The Original Misfits reunion shows. These exclusive one-off performances will be completely phone-free.”
Event Location Due to Natural Disasters: We have seen many natural disasters during 2017 and they have ultimately affected the cancellation of many outdoor events. In colder parts of the U.S., many New Year’s Eve festivities were cancelled due to arctic temperatures. Event industry workers were forced to cancel Fort Worth’s Sundance Square festivities due to freezing rain and 20 mph winds, Fox reported.
Patricia Simitakos, owner of Trish Star Events, told Bizbash of the effect the California wildfires will have on outdoor events during springtime, meaning we will see fewer than normal.
The Event Safety Alliance actually holds their annual event, The Severe Weather Summit, in order to inform event professionals ways they can respond and prepare to dangerous weather conditions in wake of an event impacted by severe weather.
This year’s event takes place on March 22-23 at the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Read more about this event here.
Economy: Leaving off on a positive note, the final factor we will see evolving in 2018 is the ever-changing economy. According to Richard O’Malley, President of the O’Malley Project, “Companies will spend again, people will celebrate bigger, will will be making events great again,” reported BizBash.
Tax cuts have started to prompt businesses to spend more as a result of the economic growth we have seen in 2017. With no sign of letting up, The R&D Market Pulse Index actually predicted this economic growth may carry over into 2019.