Today we are launching the latest report for our Skift Research subscribers, The State of Conferences and Events 2017.

Skift’s The State of Conferences and Events 2017 report examines the trends that are reshaping the meetings and events sector across all industries, evaluating how factors like new types of event technology, changes in sponsor activations and shifts in the broader culture are offering new opportunities for executives organizing meetings. It also investigates some of the challenges forcing meeting organizers to fundamentally rethink their approach to such gatherings, as the demands from audiences, sponsors, new types of conferences, and bigger questions about how to measure success remain on many executives’ minds.

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As conferences and events become a more important part of businesses’ branding and promotional efforts, many are also trying to steal a page from traditional music and entertainment festivals to keep attendees engaged and excited. On top of this, the changing demographics of corporate event attendees are causing a shift in audience preferences related to event programming and use of social media. Both of these factors are contributing to a phenomenon where traditional corporate meetings are becoming “festivalized,” incorporating the same creative, visceral, multimedia-focused activities one might have found only at a music or film festival in the past.

The high expectations set by C2, SXSW and TED are just one big change shifting the conferences and events landscape for meeting planners. Rapidly evolving event technology is another area that’s reshaping every aspect of the event experience, transforming everything from event management to analytics, digital event content and engagement, on-site networking, and personalized attendee programming. Most importantly, the evolution of marketing automation and data capture tools are helping organizers to inform strategic meeting management (SMM) and assess return on investment (ROI) more effectively.

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What You Will Learn From This Report

  • How have events like SXSW, TED and C2 transformed the event sector and raised the expectations of attendees?
  • Why are more corporate conferences and events taking their inspiration from creative-driven music and film festivals?
  • What types of technology are meeting organizers currently deploying for their events?
  • Which types of event technology tools offer the best return on investment for meeting planners, and create the best experience for guests?
  • Why is personalization critical to designing a successful meeting in 2017?
  • How do event organizers use tools like artificial intelligence and chatbots to improve the conference experience?
  • What struggles do event organizers face when creating compelling event sponsorship programs?

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