2020 Forecast Pt 1:  Focus on Standing Out

Here are some ways to stand out with your brand this 2020

February 21, 2020

2020 Forecast Pt 1:  Focus on Standing Out

Be Creative:  People will want to be different.  It’s the branding aspect. Businesses want to get their unique brand noticed and that requires you to think outside the box on things. Whether it’s different sets on stages, having different speakers, the audio visual equipment, the AV technology, the activities, even the networking parties. 

They want people to remember their event. They want that recognition.  People are trying to move it forward, and I find we have to do networking differently in every location. For example, in Utah we did skiing, dog sledding, and tequila tours. We have one in Mexico next month, and that will be private yacht tours, turtle releases, tequila and wine,  running on the beach and fishing. When you go to London, you can do London touristy things. In Beverly Hills, we did a scavenger hunt on Rodeo Drive. It gets them out into the destinations, but it also builds rapport with their group. 

Rely on the Experts: I rely on people in each part of the industry that excel at that. When it comes to an event like Traffic and Conversion Summit,  I rely on Sam [Catalyst CEO/Executive Producer] who is out there seeing all the trends in the audio visual world to tell me what is hot in the market, what is something to take it to  the next level. In the expo side of things, I look to our contractors and ask what is something that can really push us to something different? Like this year, we’re not doing any pipe or drape, even though that’s the standard in the U.S, we’re building all custom walls, and yes it’s a 20x price tag, but it’s also going to take us to the next level because nobody else is doing that. Things like that, that are going to make a big difference in the look and the feel of the show. We’re hiring a designer to come in and actually design every aspect of the show, so that every piece of that show is touched, rather than just the event coordinator trying to think of everything.  You are going to see a lot of outside influences taking the elements to the next level.  

Go Fit & Healthy:  More people will want fitness networking events. We are doing more pre-event yoga, and we recently did a meet at the gym for a one hour workout before the show. When you go off site somewhere, such as an event in Mexico, we had one person take everyone out on a beach run. It is also building a community which is good for your attendees.  

People will be pickier with the food at events because many are now vegan or vegetarian or gluten free or lactose intolerant. You have to be more conscious of your attendees’ habits and their lifestyle. Even puppies are going to be part of this stress reducing equation.  The theory is if you can go into the expo hall and play with a  puppy for 20 minutes, you are relaxed and then you are willing to go back and  spend 5 more hours learning. 

Accessibility: We are getting a lot more international people coming into the U.S. for shows, which I think will lead to the need for  interpreters at your events. Not a lot of people do it yet but I think we’re going to see a huge trend in that because as you get more non-native English speakers, you want to make sure you offer a solution for the people that travel to your show.

Let the Sunshine In: Outdoor venues are starting to come back. These shows will be more like a festival. Of course, there is a risk because obviously it is outdoors.  Throw in some outside bands and it is a lot less stuffy than in a ballroom. Even if the event is still in a convention center, there is a lot more of the design being brought in so that way it does not feel like a convention center. This includes fake food trucks being brought in, so when you are eating it looks like you are eating out of a food truck, or people bringing in grass to make grassy knolls for people to sit on inside making you feel like you are actually outside. 

Millennials are driving the outdoors trend and the search for unique venues. The younger generation wants to be outdoors, off site or maybe out of country in places like Costa Rica or Mexico. They want to travel. More events are also being held in resorts, like in Utah at a ski resort or it could be in Mexico at a beach resort. From sites, there are more excursions for networking events because the younger crowd wants that. 

Choose Tactile Speakers: People could care less if you were a celebrity twenty years ago or 10 years ago. In 2020 people want stuff that is going to impact their day to day, that is going to give them ROI when they leave that event because some of them have spent $2,000 to get there. They want tactile information on ways to go back and grow their business, or tactile ways to move forward whether in personal development or technology or whatever that space is. They want to see something that the needle is moving after that event.  Celebrities do not move the needle. They are awesome to have and obviously they do sell tickets, but it is not the reason why people go to events. 

Security:  There is a new focus on it just because of the world that we are living in. At every event now we do have security, not just at the larger shows where you are required to have it anyway. It is very important that you have it. It is almost like an event policy: you hate to spend the money on it but it is the best money you will ever spend because you hope you will never use it. Security is the same thing. It is an operational cost that protects your company, protects your brand, protects your event.  This year when we are on the show floor, we are going to have wristbands for anyone working on the floor prior to build out, we do not just want anyone coming into the loading docks. Anytime you are in a larger space where more damage can be done as event planners, we have to be more aware of that, we have to be open to training our staff, open to guidance, whether it is from consultants or actually bringing in a professional security company for the event. Metal detectors before you even go into an event are something that is new and probably something we are going to start looking at.  As shows get bigger, it is something that will be a more prevalent force. Think about it because when you go to museums or any place with large quantities of people you walk through a metal detector, so if it is a large enough show, you have to have those things in places.

Leader Spotlight : Kathleen Scott, Owner/Producer, KScottCreative, https://www.kscottcreative.com/

I am unique in that I come from the marketing side, specifically from a  creative marketing side, so my approach is very much from a marketing standpoint. We are going to talk about objectives, we are going to build  that creative and audio experiences around those audience objectives, that defines my role. I play a very creative and strategic leadership role on the outset and then drilling down deeply into the event. I am very involved in the execution and production of the event. Depending on the budget, I may end up being the stage manager on site. I may even direct and call the show. It depends on the event, larger events I want to stay more client focused, I will bring other team members to do that. I might want to stay more content focused.
Personal Quote:  “Where my passion lies is in that creative direction and development of that messaging and seeing it come to life. That is what makes me really soar.”