With 2018 quickly coming to a close, as event planners, it’s time to evaluate our activity for the entire year, and ask ourselves what went great and what can still be improved in the events we organize. So a question naturally arises: what is the secret to planning a successful event in 2019? What are those elements that will give our events a competitive advantage, and a higher possibility to sell out, each and every time? Drawing from the hottest event trends, and from the way our society changes as a whole, we elaborated a series of tips for planning a successful event in 2019, so read on and start implementing them from your next project on.
Make your event technology-driven and data-driven
Gone are the days when event performance and results were in the realm of guess-work. Events are mainly about face to face human interaction. But as their scale and complexity increases, there is a growing need for the input of technology. Here are the main tools you will want to incorporate into your event planning process in 2019.
Integrated online event management platforms
Managing an event offline is a thing of the past. We can confidently say that online event management platforms will be mainstream in 2019. Basically any type of event, whether with free or paid tickets, whether a conference or a sports game or a concert, can be managed with an integrated platform. If you choose Metooo as your platform, you have a wide array of tools at your disposal. You can use them to manage various aspects of your event from one place: from the creation of a beautiful event website, to selling various types of tickets through safe transactions, to invoicing, storytelling, and email marketing.
Increase efficiency of communication before and during the event by using chatbots that can respond simultaneously to thousands of questions. Advanced chatbots are able to have custom conversations based on the specific needs of different types of participants at your event: attendees, sponsors, speakers. This will not only free your event staff for more important tasks but will also make your guests feel that they can get whatever information they need about the event, in no-time. Notifications about changes in schedule, speaker cancellations, or room switches, are another application for chatbots. You can also use chatbots at your events to gather attendee feedback by sending survey questions, and report results to event staff.
Smart mats and RFID wristbands
Both technologies considerably improve data collection about event traffic, showing flow and attendee engagement in various areas of the event. This type of information is priceless for sponsors and measures anything from entrances/exits and heat maps to engagements, turnover and wait times.
Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
VR and AR started off as trends at events in 2017, and will become very close to mainstream in 2019. The difference between VR and AR is that content experienced in VR is completely “made up” (video and/or computer generated graphics, similar to video games), while in AR, virtual elements are mixed with real life elements. One example of VR is a virtual hike or drive through breathtaking scenery. One example of AR is projecting a hologram on a concert stage.
Virtual reality can take your event one step ahead of the competition, in at least two ways:
- if you use it to broadcast the event at a large scale – this way more people will be able to attend the event without physically being at the venue
- in sponsorship activation – attendees can be offered experiences related to the brand (a test drive for an automotive brand is the example that comes easiest to mind, but the possibilities are endless)
Smart ticketing policies
A successful event in 2019 will be one that will maximize earnings through smart ticketing policies. These will be focusing more on the value of the experience for the attendees and less on the price battle. Here are some tips for a smart ticketing policy:
- various types of tickets based on the specific content and type of activities that attendees might be interested in at the same event (works best for a complex event, where you have various type of activities. Your tickets can be all inclusive, or workshop-only, party-only, meet-and greet, etc)
- VIP tickets (higher prices for tickets based on premium seating)
- replace early bird ticket pricing with flash sales (price discounted for one day or a few hours)
Get creative in choosing event venues
Whether we’re talking about conferences and business events, workshops, cultural events or concerts, it is clear that in 2019 a successful event will be one that will offer attendees a complex experience. No matter what your type of event is, give people the chance to marvel at something. That means that the hunt for unconventional venues will not end, and, as an event planner, you need to keep pushing your imagination further. Check out our guide to unconventional event venues to get ideas and learn how to face the challenges of such a venue for your planning process.
Keep costs down with efficient planning
We mentioned above that technology is a must in a successful event in 2019. We also suggested you get creative with venues. And we do realize that these add costs to your event budget. To keep costs down, try to be as efficient as possible in other aspects of the event. For example, plan as much in advance as you can, to get the lowest rates on venue rental fees. Book flights for your speakers as early as possible, to reduce airfare costs. Reserve blocks of rooms in hotels, to save on accommodation costs. Organize shuttles for group transport from the airport/station to the event venue. Another tip: choose a venue in a city/area that offers exciting entertainment opportunities, so your potential attendees will have one more reason to attend your event. And that’s a zero cost for you.
Balance is the key
Last but not least, optimize your staffing by using technology at its best. Using chatbots does have its cost, but that means you may need less people in your staff roaming the show floor and asking attendee questions. Moreover, using an event management platform means you can have less staff for check-in at the door. For example, if you use Metooo as your platform, you can increase speed of check-in and minimize waiting lines by using our Event Plan app to scan QR codes on tickets.
To make sure you keep an eye on all costs, use an event budget template like the one we created (download it here, for free).
These were our tips, and we hope you draw inspiration from them. To conclude, planning a successful event in 2019 means making sure your event runs flawlessly, has a WOW factor for attendees through smart use of tech and venues, satisfies your sponsors through tangible performance data, maximizes your revenue and stays within your budget.