Last week, Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report came out, and as usual it was packed full of interesting data, insights and stats – 196 slides worth!
If your potential event attendees use the internet or own a phone (hint: they all do!) then you need to pay attention to the big shifts taking place online.
To save you a few hours digging through the full deck, we’ve digested the key points relevant to event organisers.
Here are the 8 key digital trends you should pay attention to.
- Your events need to be easily accessible on mobile
As you can see from below, mobile is a huge deal. It’s gone from a growing trend to a dominant force in our lives. At 73% global penetration, it far outstrips regular internet penetration (39%).
Internet giants like Google are making conscious decisions to help mobile users enjoy a better experience (see what this means for your events), so if your event pages don’t provide a great user experience, you need to start making that right today.
(Don’t worry, if you already use Eventbrite, we’ve designed all our pages with mobile front-of-mind, meaning your event pages are mobile friendly and optimised without you needing to do anything).
- You should be using more video
There were several slides that speak to the importance of video in 2015.
The slide above shows that consumers love video, as indicated by their consumption of it. If you want to really connect with your attendees, then you should be creating more video content for them to enjoy, whether its highlights of your event, back-stage previews or celebrity interviews, there’s a huge audience waiting to watch.
The slide above shows that all video isn’t created equal though, so if you’re going to shoot video – particularly any content aimed at millenials and those who might consume it on mobile apps – it should be recorded to be viewed in a vertical orientation.
- Let your attendees communicate
The following slides were all about the incredible rise in popularity of messaging apps like Whatsapp and WeChat.
As these slides illustrate, event organisers should be looking at ways to both facilitate conversations amongst their attendees, and insert themselves into existing mobile communications hubs.
With billions of actives and highly engaged users collectively, messaging apps just can’t be ignored. For those who can crack this next frontier, the rewards could be massive.
- Wearables and push-notifications will start to change the event experience
In amongst the slides about messaging apps, this slide jumped out at me on the increasing importance of push notifications.
As their comfort with these developments grow, it will begin to become an expected behaviour. This is a brilliant opportunity for event organisers to harness new technology and new user behaviour to deliver even more personalised, interactive event experiences.
- Use more images in your communications
Given the rapid rise of Instagram, Pinterest and other image-first social networks it’s no surprise to see this slide in the deck.
Still, the adoption rate and numbers are pretty staggering. There’s one simple message here – make sure you’re producing lots of high impact visual marketing materials if you want to connect with your audience.
The next slide shows that it is even more important if you are targeting millenials for your events.
This brings us onto our next big take-away…
- Millennials will be increasingly important for your success
This finding chimes with our own research which shows that millenials continue to control a larger proportion of discretionary consumer spend, and as they are now the largest generation in the workforce, this will only increase.
Therefore you should start to think actively about how to reach this audience if you want your events to continue growing.
- Make your event experience worth sharing
Speaking of millenials, did we mention how important mobiles are?
Well, it turns out mobile isn’t just important for consuming content, but it’s equally important for creating and sharing great content too, as shown by the next two slides.
Therefore if you want to create a sense of FoMO (Fear of Missing Out), then you need to ensure your event has the visual appeal to warrant being shared.
There are a lot of snap-happy attendees out there – all you need to do is encourage and enable them to tell their friends how great your event is!
With new apps like Meerkat and Periscope breaking out, this is a trend we’re confident will keep on growing.
- Take the event experience online
This brings us to the next slide, which shows that the increasing time people spend online is an opportunity for event organisers.
Given the tendency of attendees (particularly millenials) to create digital content from their experiences both offline and on, events should be in a great position to feed digital media with high quality, authentic content.
In other words, events should be in a great position to move from occasional, temporal experiences to year-round lifestyle brands.
The digital age can be challenging for a traditionally offline industry, but Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report actually highlights a huge and exciting array of opportunities for those organisers willing to try new things, break down online/offline silos and push the boundaries of what event experiences can be.
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