The world of event management is fascinating. But how do you make an event outstanding and impressive? And how do you deal with huge numbers of visitors in a smart way? The answers to these questions are constantly changing. Just like the trends and developments in the field of event management. Marc de Winter, Manager Events at the Beurs van Berlage, tells from his experiences about the wow effect and other hot topics around event management in this blog.
By: Marc de Winter – Manager Events Beurs van Berlage
A first striking development is that the diversity of events is increasing. In the Beurs van Berlage, we no longer only host one-day meetings and dinners. For the past two years, there has been a clear increase in multi-day scientific conferences, start-up meetings and eSports tournaments. On one hand, there are more is possibilities and on the other hand there appears to be more demand for specific themes. Compare it with the festival offer. There are more and more festivals focused on very specific target groups. There is something for everyone. Based on the philosophy of the Beurs van Berlage, we try to respond as good as possible to that desire for variety. The Beurs van Berlage originally was designed as a public building that is accessible to everyone. We are happy to continue that idea with our conference / event centre. That is why, in addition to the closed conferences, we also organise public events, rent out offices and house public stores for various target groups in our building.
Another clear development is the increase in events and congresses focused on IT and Healthcare. We see this in the number of applications and events with relevant backgrounds. Regard Healthcare, topics such as innovations in the field of dentistry and plastic surgery are common. Event managers are bound by strict rules, because pharmaceutical companies have to be transparent about their expenses and advertisements. Communication with such customers should therefore be different than, for example, an organiser of a corporate event. That is why these organisations are more likely to use only the standard facilities to organise an event. Reading into the target group is therefore a highly valued feature for an event manager in 2019. That is why we did an assessment and training course on being an official approved Healthcare Venue, to truly understand the needs of this sector. A nice example of the other fast-growing group is, IT events, like the “Hack in the Box Security Conference" we recently hosted. This is one of the largest security conferences in Europe. Internationally renowned professionals from the cyber security industry presented the vulnerabilities in contemporary technologies, such as (mobile) networks and payment systems. Internet speed is crucial for these types of events, because a smooth connection without interruptions and with the possibility of live streaming is essential. It is therefore important to carefully check these matters. It appears too often that venues do not have fiber-optic internet, so that participants and visitors are ultimately not satisfied with the online part of the event. A missed out opportunity!
We often see trends in sustainability and healthy nutrition not only in daily life but also during events. People are more aware of what they eat and where that food comes from. For example, there is a higher demand for organic, vegetarian and vegan products of local origin. And we are getting more questions about corporate social responsibilities than before. How do we separate our waste? How do we reduce plastic? And what do we do with the food that is left over after an event? That we get these kind of questions is only good! As a member of MVO Netherlands, we take this input into account for our operational execution by conducting all our activities and processes in a sustainable and responsible manner and communicating that to our customers. Consider the use of tap water instead of PET bottles, local products for less CO2 emissions, sorting waste in the right bins and giving leftover food to organisations such as “To Good To Go".
Purely attending an event or conference and then returning home is no longer an issue in 2019. Participants are looking for the wow effect and want to be impressed! Today, an organiser can no longer only send information, he has to ensure an interactive program that shakes the visitor up. Opening acts with crazy loud music or calling in a funny comedian for the afternoon program are currently popular ways to keep the audience sharp throughout the day. Matters such as state-of-the-art audio visual facilities, mobile apps and online broadcasting are also becoming increasingly essential. Experience can be created by registering visitors upon arrival with “face recognition", by providing “live cooking" or with impressive AV technologies such as “mapping". Projections on the building are shown with beamers. With this you catch the attention in an original way.
At the Beurs van Berlage we always try to exceed expectations. Monitoring and responding to trends and developments is enormously important. That is why we work with a selection of preferred suppliers, all of whom are at the top of their field and are always aware of the latest developments. And because a few of them are in the Beurs van Berlage every day, we can make quick decisions and respond directly to the latest trends and demands.