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by Sarah Chew

The Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry is no stranger to being on the receiving end of the impact of digitization. However, it is essential to note that the industry is as much social as it is digital. The key is to demonstrate how the integration of both is essential to ensure the industry’s long-term viability. There is no prediction to how the MICE landscape will transform in the next ten years, but there is no doubt that it has to capitalize on the opportunities available and seek to create experiences that will reach out to the right audience effectively.

Investing in Data

In a data-driven marketing environment, industries are transforming vast amount of information into meaningful insights to drive business strategy. While the industry has digitized itself to stay relevant, many still do not leverage on the power of data to make informed decisions and improve operational efficiency. Perhaps exhibitors and organizers can start their analytic efforts by utilizing it for attendee marketing and generating exhibitor sales. Online platforms such as social media are vital tools in capturing data and collecting instant feedback, but the real value lies in harvesting the data and using it to drive businesses.

Technology-Driven Experiences

Moving beyond the preoccupation with event technology, the key is to create relevant content by connecting with attendees using the right narrative. Establishing a meaningful connection may be achieved through the use of experience zones or interactive activities. Application of new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, automation and artificial intelligence has played a crucial role in this change, allowing for a more personalized experience.

However, the use of digital technology requires thorough planning in order to focus on the right digital engagement for the target audience. With endless possibilities of digital solutions offered, it may be a challenge to successfully identify the solutions that offer added value. It is important to remember that the best form of engagement should not be a source of distraction but one that considers the user’s experience and enable engagement.

Sustainable Events

There is a growing demand for sustainable events and the industry is pressured to take action to address these concerns. The transition to smart digital solutions can guide venues, organizers and exhibitors to leave minimal carbon footprint and save resources. Projection mapping is a versatile tool that uses energy-efficient technology to dynamically transform the space. The technology enables the light-up and projection of different visuals, creating a dynamic and interactive experience for the attendees. More common uses of technology include virtual assistants and mobile apps to automate guest registration and provide event information, substantially reducing production waste.

After all, digitization is not solely a matter of technology. The key is how the industry responds to it and reimagines the experience that is being delivered at events and on the tradeshow floor. Technology is just a tool and cutting out the noise to get the right message delivered is what is most important.

Sarah Chew is the executive director of Kingsmen Exhibits Pte. Ltd., a leading communi­cation design and production group in Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

This story originally appeared in the March/April issue of Exhibit City News, p. 64. For more pictures and original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/mar-apr_ecn2018  

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