It's pretty fair to say that 2020 has been an eventful year so far. But what does it mean for the events industry specifically? How will event organisers change their experiences to meet the new demands placed on them, and what are the knock-on effects for event production?
Let's take a look at the event production trends that are going to shape the rest of 2020.
A Rise in Virtual Events
It may come as no surprise given the challenges faced by the events industry, that technology will be leveraged to beam traditionally face-to-face events into the homes of potentially thousands of would-be attendees. Whether it's a product launch or a music concert, webcasting and live streaming will become part of the 'new normal.'
While the necessary live streaming technology has existed for quite some time, the health risks associated with large gatherings will accelerate its acceptance. It also neatly ticks another long-term objective off the list, which is that of reducing the environmental footprint of event production.
When looking to move your event from real to virtual, you need to take that into account with your audio visual hire. For instance, if you have a virtual corporate conference lined up, you may look to switch to a smaller venue and have the keynote speakers delivering a more intimate experience.
While you may have previously looked to hire a gigantic projector screen to accommodate a large audience, your focus may now switch to hiring a smaller, sharper-resolution LED screen and live camera feed for presentations to make it feel as if speakers are giving a talk in your online attendees' front room. Likewise, you'll need to make changes to the setups for speakers and microphones for talking directly to a camera.
Demand for Immersive Experiences to Grow
The shift away from dull 'point and explain' PowerPoint presentations has long been underway, but 2020 could be the year that they become officially extinct. Whether you're giving a significant corporate presentation or launching a product at an exhibition, simple slideshows are no longer going to cut it.
Experiential lighting is something that had continued to rise in popularity, but this year it will become a necessity to grab people's focus in an attention-starved world. 3D visual effects, immersive light shows, and moving light displays will all need to be incorporated into your event productions to stand out from the crowd.
This will be easy to implement than you might have thought with the emergence of wireless LED lighting technology. You can use equipment such as wireless LED uplighters to create captivating visual effects or incorporate your company logos, adding a touch of class to your corporate event or virtual conference.
Focus on Creating' Shareable' Moments
Despite the changes unfolding within the events space, in-person attendance is still very much on the agenda moving forwards. Nothing can quite replace the thrill of seeing a famous industry speaker, an international pop star, or getting to physically touch and use the latest gadgets and futurist products.
However, one feature which might have to be introduced to ensure the safe running of an exhibition, conference, or fashion show is limited ticket availability and socially-distanced audiences. In which case, these event productions need to bring the 'wow-factor' to have attendees scrambling for their mobile phones, streaming and sharing their experience to those stuck at home all over the world.
But what event production services will you need to achieve such an effect? Well, we think the answer is pretty much everything. It could be a booming sound and lighting show that builds anticipation before a key performer walks up to the stage, or putting together a mesmeric visual display on an enormous LED video wall. It could be by designing an innovative or unusual custom set or stage for your show that simply has to be snapped and shared online.
Either way, by throwing the kitchen sink at production values, those lucky enough to be in attendance will be unable to keep themselves from posting videos of those critical moments right across social media. These so-called 'shareable' moments will help to generate online buzz about your event, building brand recognition and interest in next year's edition, which may have less strict attendance restrictions.
Increased Efforts to Decrease Environmental Impact
With pretty much the whole hitting 'pause' on daily life at some point or another during 2020, the lack of human activity has uncovered the impact we have on the environment more than ever before. As a result, all industries are redoubling their efforts to conduct business in a more environmentally-friendly way, and the event sector is no different.
For particular types of events, such as exhibitions and conferences, there's often a great deal of avoidable waste. Promotional materials such as event-specific posters, brochures, flyers, and business cards are just a few examples of printed waste that can be avoided through improved utilisation of event production equipment hire.
Take companies advertising their business on a stand at a trade show or an exhibition, for example. Why use posters to display your information, when you can make use of LED screen hire to provide not only a more engaging delivery method for your marketing messages but achieve substantial reductions on your carbon footprint? Of course, the added benefit is that you can have rotating displays on your LED screen, delivering much more information to your audience than a single poster ever could.
Event lighting is another space where substantial energy consumption savings can be made. Here at On Tour Events we've been using more energy-efficient LED technology for several years, and we're increasingly asked to hire out LED-only lighting. With the advent of battery-powered LED lighting products, you can also dramatically reduce your on-site energy usage.
Clearly, any savings made as either an exhibitor or an event organiser can produce both positive PR and marketing opportunities. So it's a win-win situation for all parties involved as well as the environment.
This is a trend we noticed before 2020, but the events of the first half of the year will rapidly increase this particular development as a cost and time-saving measure for event organisers.
You may be wondering what we mean by supplier consolidation. No, we don't mean a spate of mergers and acquisitions of companies within the event production services (although that could happen at some point). Instead, we are referring to the increasing trend of events looking for one event production hire company to provide everything they need.
By consolidating all event production needs down to one supplier, event organisers can not only reduce costs, but they can also streamline the design, setup, and operational processes of event production. That's without mentioning the added benefit of dealing with just one contact for all audio visual hire requirements, relieving a great deal of hassle and stress.
Here at On Tour Events, it's something we noticed a long time ago when we first started as an AV hire company, but now the trend is gathering pace. That's why we've expanded to offer all manner of stage design and building services, impressive lighting shows, the latest and greatest LED screens, as well as our industry-leading event production services. If you're an event organiser that would love to eradicate the stress of handling several suppliers for just one event production, don't hesitate to contact us to discuss your requirements. You might be pleasantly surprised by just how much we can offer you!
Decentralisation of International Exhibitions and Conferences
One aspect of our lives that is set to be dominated by the virus for potentially years to come is international travel. Without a vaccine in sight, it could be a long time before international travel returns to normal. Given that many exhibitions, conferences, and trade shows are blockbuster events attracting thousands of international visitors, that presents a problem.
Virtual events may help to ease some of those issues. However, it's not a be-all and end-all solution, with many attendees, still craving personal interactions, in-person experiences, and wanting to physically touch and view products in the flesh. Given that this is the case, it's likely that the behemoth international events such as E3, SXSW, and the Geneva International Motor Show (to name but a few) may look at instigating smaller-scale shows on a country by country basis.
This decentralisation of the events industry should prove popular. It will allow attendees to receive a more personal experience than at these monster gatherings without having to incur any of the travel costs usually associated with major international conferences and exhibitions.
From an event production perspective, it might mean that you are presented with more opportunities to wow your potential customers and clients, rather than blowing your entire event production equipment hire budget on a singular occasion. It might also, therefore, give you the opportunity to experiment with different technologies, finding a winning combination faster.
Our Thoughts On the Events Industry in 2020
It's undoubtedly been a challenging and unprecedented year for the events industry. By with all great crises comes the opportunity to innovate and iterate new solutions to the problems we all face.
We've been hard at work behind the scenes, making some of those aforementioned changes and we look forward to presenting them to our clients as and when they are ready. In the interim, we've been supporting those who're delivering virtual or 'remote' conferences with cutting edge audio visual equipment with built-in-in interoperability with unified communications solutions such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Of course, we're already in the planning and design phases of plenty of other clients who are looking to come back with a bang in late 2020 and early 2021. Contingency plans are already in place for every eventuality, making the events in question what we like to call 'COVID-proof.'
If you're planning an event of any kind, whether it's a rearranged wedding, a re-scheduled trade show appearance, or a shelved product launch, we are one of the leading event production companies in the UK. As highlighted above, we provide all manner of event production equipment hire (and associated services) to clients up and down the country as well as across the European continent.
Whether you need to plan an immersive and instantly 'shareable' lighting show for your socially-distanced fashion brand launch, or you need to custom-built sat to wow the audience at your next trade show, we've got you covered. Just pick up the phone or shoot us an email using the contact information below, and we'll be more than happy to discuss your vision with you.
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