ANAHEIM – The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) released an updated version of its white paper, Future Trends Impacting the Exhibitions and Events Industry, created by the IAEE Future Trends Task Force, chaired by Francis J. Friedman, President of Time & Place Strategies, Inc. Originally released in 2013, the report identifies and addresses major trends that will impact the exhibitions and events industry within the next three years.
Speech-bots, Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) – think Pokemon Go – and 5G wireless technology that will increase smartphone speeds up to 400% faster than they are now will dominate the future. These new technologies are going to have a major impact on exhibitor marketing techniques and the need for trade shows to keep pace with the developments in these technologies.
“Updates in the 2016 edition address the areas of data quality and converting the data obtained into business strategies and plans,” said Friedman. “Data security is also becoming an even more urgent concern for the industry, given the significant rise in data hacking. Physical security at venues and contingent plans to manage a potential ‘threat’ are also an increasingly important aspect of managing an exhibition or event.”
Friedman noted that education is another increasingly important element at trade shows and events. The industry will need to upgrade its teaching and learning approaches – and technologies – to engage the broad spectrum of attendee learning styles as show floor demographics continue to change.
The exhibitions and events industry is concerned about the global economic picture ahead. The crisis in the Middle East, dramatic changes in the price of oil and other commodities, England leaving the European Union and an overall global economic slowdown continue to be of significant concern. While the U.S. stock market has shown growth since 2009, gurus predict the market will be in for a major “correction” within the next two years. Domestically, the Federal Reserve (FED) may soon raise interest rates, which will increase the cost of borrowed money and investment capital across the entire U.S. economy. The incoming president and his plans to stimulate the U.S economy, alter international treaties and change immigration policies, will have a potential effect on the U.S economy and our industry.
“Change” is how Friedman summarized the task force’s view of the future ahead. It is one in which exhibitions will increase their use of marketing and sales technologies, and the events industry will continue to face significant ongoing changes across every aspect of producing a trade show and generating audience engagement.
“The IAEE Future Trends Task Force’s annual report has proven an invaluable resource for predicting how technology will affect our industry in particular,” said IAEE President & CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA. “In tandem with its look at economic factors, this paper offers exhibitions and events professionals a powerful tool in helping them formulate strategies for the coming year.”
IAEE Announces New Certified Exhibition Program
Also, IAEE announced the launch of its newest initiative, the IAEE Certified Exhibition Program, a certified exhibition designation that will set the “Gold Standard” for exhibitions and events, as well as establish a broad set of best practices that all events with exhibitions should adhere to.
“IAEE members who earn and display the Certified Exhibition symbol are telling their customers, exhibitors, members and the general public that they produce a quality exhibition that meets IAEE’s best practice standards,” stated Certified Event Task Force Chairperson Randy Bauler, CEM. “We look forward to the time when most of the shows produced by IAEE members meet the standards and proudly display the Certified Exhibition emblem.”
This member-driven initiative will only certify an exhibition’s compliance with minimum standards of conduct and performance. Standards include those that are fact based and easily confirmed, and that bear upon customer service to attendees, exhibitors, contractors and facilities in the broadest sense.
The exhibition must contain a marketplace in order to qualify. Organizational candidates that meet all criteria will be awarded an IAEE “Certified Exhibition” graphic made available to them for use on promotional materials. IAEE will also announce newly designated exhibitions at regular intervals throughout the year via public relations, member communications and social media.