Since historical times, events have been viewed and used to bring together communities to share experiences, exchanges thoughts and ideas, and engage in lively debates and discussions. The aristocracies of 17th and 18th century Europe were well-known for hosting lavish parties, characterized by an extravaganza of food, drinks, and material opulence. Elaborate dinners and luncheons were usually arranged and hosted by aristocratic women, and featured popular musicians of the day, with the attendees showcasing their most recent fashion purchases.
The Industrial Revolution changed the character of the field of event management. As the manufacturing sector flourished, events went beyond simple gossip of everyday happenings to focus on business activities. Budding entrepreneurs used these parties to propagate their businesses and expand their horizons. Parties and gatherings suddenly emerged as the hotbeds for business collaborations, partnerships, and establishing influence among peers.
Why AI Matters for the Event Management Industry
Today, event management is a massive revenue-generating industry. According to Fortune Business Insights™, the global event management software market size stood at USD 6.63 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.8% till 2026. Fueled by advanced technologies, this industry is undergoing remarkable transformations. One of the most promising technologies enhancing the efficiency of event management is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Event planners are developing AI-powered chatbots, which can be created at low costs, to provide improved engagement and comprehensive solutions to interested customers and organizers. For example, Styckie, a US-based event start-up, conceived an AI-based solution designed to connect planners with ideal vendors, based on their needs and location preferences. The cost-effectiveness of AI-based solutions make them the ideal candidate for event companies to interact with their clients and attract new customers.
Leveraging Big Data Analytics to Enhance Event Experience
Another next-gen technology being leveraged by event planning companies is big data. This technology is based on collection and analysis of large swathes of data, whose algorithms can be configured to highlight patterns useful for the concerned business. In case of event management, companies are deploying big data tools to enable targeted promotions of events on social media platforms and other digital marketing channels. This type of advertising ensures that the company is gaining visibility among the relevant audience and is not burning away its resources in unproductive activities. Big data is also being leveraged by companies to enhance venue-based experience of attendees. For instance, at a dance party organized by Pepsi at the SXSW Music Festival, dancers wore RFID-powered wristbands which transmitted data to the organizers about the intensity of reaction of the crowd to external stimulus. The DJ playing the music used this data to play songs that produced the highest excitement in the dancers. Integration of modern technologies with event planning, therefore, is enabling this industry to make staggering progress.
How COVID-19 is a Turning Point for the Event Management Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across industries around the world. In case of the event management, the pandemic has struck at the core of its being, because lockdowns and social distancing measures has forced event planners to suspend, cancel, or postpone events. But that has not deterred companies from capitalizing on this unique opportunity. If anything, companies have gotten even more ambitious and they are now hosting live events using virtual platforms. Let’s take a look at a few recent developments in this context.
Hubilo’s Novel Solution for Holding Virtual Events
This Indian event software company introduced an end-to-end cloud-based virtual platform for event management in April 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Featuring smart tools such as live sessions, automated ticket processing and registrations, digital booths, and real-time networking, the company’s platform has been widely utilized across India for virtual events as well as by international clients such as Erlang Solutions, Martech Vibe, and Tech UG.
Aventri’s Hybrid Platform to Create Waves
In June 2020, Connecticut-based event management software leader, Aventri, released its Aventri Virtual Event Platform. Touted as the industry’s first-of-its-kind hybrid-virtual solution, the platform was designed and developed after closely studying and understanding client insights. It is fully integrated with Aventri’s flagship technology, which will allow organizers to add virtual components to their events as well as enable smooth flow of data for planners to deliver the best experience to customers. According to the company, the virtual platform will prove instrumental in organizing any kind of event during the trying times created by the coronavirus.
HTC Expands Its Reach by Going Virtual
HTC, the Taiwanese consumer electronics pioneer, held its VIVE Ecosystem Conference virtually in March 2020, citing the dangers of holding a physical event in the wake of the coronavirus. Deploying its Virtual Reality (VR) technology, HTC’s virtual event elicited the participation of over 2,000 attendees from more than 55 countries, all of whom were interacting with each other and keynote speakers through VR avatars.
From the above examples, it is evident that event management during COVID will be wholly dependent on virtual technologies and platforms and will, perhaps, open up new avenues of innovation for industry players.
How Does the Future Look for Event Management?
Management of events, whether they are small-scale birthday parties or large-scale corporate events, entails a host of operations. From coordinating with your team members to optimally utilizing the materials and resources at your disposal, event management puts to test the organizational skills of those tasked with these activities. Event management today has been bolstered by the advent of advanced technologies, mainly AI, Machine Learning (ML), and cloud. Although the coronavirus threatens the prospects of the physical coming together of people in the immediate future, digital technologies have ensured that the virtual togetherness of communities remains unharmed.