By many standards, the events industry is back. In fact, analysts are estimating that total U.S. spending on corporate meetings and events is expected to rise by 20% over the next two years1. Yet thanks to the corporate cutbacks of the 2008 recession, as well as pressure from shareholders and constituents for more responsible spending, organizations are expecting more from events than ever before.
The ACTIVE Network, Inc. (NYSE: ACTV), the leader in Activity and Participant Management™ solutions, has identified five major trends for 2013 that it believes will increase the strategic ROI of events for companies on both sides of the registration desk:
1. Increasingly Smart Events
In 2011, 205 million people attended 1.8 million meetings at a total cost of $263 billion in direct spending2 in the United States alone, and yet analysts estimate that only 25% of organizations maintain real-time visibility into what they spend against corporate budgets3. Event and engagement management technology is helping to change that by providing real-time data on event spend and increased engagement and exposure with attendees and exhibitors 24-7, 365 days a year.
“In 2013, we expect to see more organizations choosing event technology that helps them increase efficiency, extend engagement and grow their business across various types of events in their portfolio,” said JR Sherman, Senior Vice President of Business Solutions at ACTIVE Network. “We anticipate there will be an increased demand for technology solutions that ensure ‘smart events’ from the top down and the bottom up.”
2. Strategic Meeting Management (SMM) Offers the Next Frontier in Business Automation
Just as automation has improved the efficiency of marketing, sales, human resources and other key business functions across an organization, companies can expect SMM technology to uncover new ways to reduce and streamline event spend.
Industry analysts estimate that 9% of the average organization’s budget today is being spent on corporate meetings and events4, which means that the ability to reduce, track and understand costs will make SMM technology a vital tool for event planners in the immediate future.
3. Consolidated Solutions Can Help Make Time for What’s Important
Many organizations have historically relied on multiple point solutions to manage the various aspects of their events. “Over the next year, we expect companies will invest more money in consolidated event technology solutions that offer a one-stop-shop for organizers,” Sherman said. “Ideal solutions will have the ability to provide organizations with a single view into their strategic meeting management, attendee and engagement management and vendor sourcing, freeing up event planners to spend less time on manually pulling information from disparate systems and more time creating exceptional events.”
4. Extended Audience Engagement is Becoming the Standard
With smartphones becoming an irreplaceable tool for business—analysts predict that mobile phones will officially overtake PCs in 2013 as the most common method for accessing the Web5—it’s imperative that organizations fully leverage attendee use of these devices before, during and after events.
Many attendees will demand a mobile component for events in 2013, including: easy-to-use applications to connect with fellow attendees, speakers and exhibitors; social media integration that allows them to share their experiences with their larger social networks; and the convenience of accessing pertinent event information from the palm of their hand. In turn, next-generation mobile applications can help enable organizers to maximize lead generation through apps and interfaces customizable for each attendee. These mobile apps will offer organizers the ability to obtain real-time feedback on their events and allow them to adjust the attendee experience on the go.
5. The Ability to Measure the Value of Face-to-Face Interactions
The value of face-to-face interaction is well understood, but with the growing need to justify meetings spend, companies often require hard data to back up their financial decision-making. “Technology makes it possible to gather in-depth information on attendees’ interests and attitudes. With that data in hand, organizers can gauge whether their event strategy is working and alter it if necessary to help maximize their return on investment,” Sherman said. “Organizations will have the ability to take advantage of these capabilities to measure their results and fine-tune their meeting plans to get the most out of every interaction with attendees.”
ACTIVE Network is powering the next generation of smart events through its Business Solutions technology suite, which provides intelligent data and insights designed to increase potential revenue growth, deepen attendee engagement and gain efficiency. Customers of all sizes—including small and medium-sized businesses, enterprise corporations, associations, tradeshows and expos—benefit from a single technology partner for all of their event management needs. The Business Solutions technology suite includes Conference™ for large flagship conferences, RegOnline® for attendee management solutions, StarCite® SMM for strategic meetings management and event expense management, and the StarCite® Supplier Marketplace to connect events with suppliers. For more information on ACTIVE Network Business Solutions please visit www.ACTIVEevents.com.
About ACTIVE Network
ACTIVE Network (NYSE: ACTV) is on a mission to make the world a more active place. With deep expertise in Activity and Participant Management™ (APM), our ActiveWorks® cloud technology helps organizations transform and grow their businesses. We do this through technology solutions that power the world’s activities and through online destinations such as ACTIVE.com® that connect people with the things they love to do. Serving over 50,000 global business customers and driving over 80 million transactions annually, we help organizations get participants, manage their events and build communities. ACTIVE Network is headquartered in San Diego, California and has over 30 offices worldwide. Learn more at ACTIVEnetwork.com or ACTIVE.com and engage with us on Twitter @ACTIVEnetwork, @ACTIVE and on Facebook.
About Forward-Looking Statements
The Active Network, Inc. cautions you that the statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Any such statements are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. More detailed information about The Active Network, Inc. and the risks and uncertainties that may affect the realization of these forward-looking statements is set forth in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These filings may be read free of charge on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and The Active Network, Inc. undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
© 2012 The Active Network, Inc. All rights reserved. ACTIVE.com, RegOnline, StarCite and the StarCite Supplier Marketplace are registered trademarks of The Active Network, Inc. ACTIVE Network, Activity and Participant Management and Conference are trademarks of The Active Network, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
1 Strategic Meetings Management, Aberdeen Group, July
2 The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy, Convention Industry Council, February 2011
3Strategic Meetings Management, Aberdeen Group, July 2012
4Strategic Meetings Management, Aberdeen Group, July 2012
5Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2012, Gartner, November 2012