Still Strong & Celebrating 20 Years

Time flies – and 27 September marked our 20-year anniversary!

While 2020 has presented more challenges than cause for celebration, we believe that running a successful business for two decades is a significant milestone in anyone’s books.

So, while we may not be popping the champagne, we’re taking the time to reflect on many positives that will help us get to the other side and thrive once again.

Overcoming adversity
COVID-19 may be unprecedented, but this is not our first rodeo. Over the last 20 years, Impact has successfully steered clients through SARS, 9/11, the global financial crisis and natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions.

Relationships that stand the test of time
Many clients have shared the journey with us – some contracts even lasting 15+ years! This loyalty speaks to our unwavering high standards of customer service, alongside a fierce determination to constantly improve.

The longevity of our team is also worth commending. Most of our team members have been with us for 10+ years. They are truly invested in both ours and our client’s success.

Moving fast with unparalleled efficiency
With COVID-19 sweeping across the globe, the Impact team in the space of 2 weeks during March cancelled conference and incentive programs to the UK, Vietnam, Thailand and Egypt, as well as domestic conferences in Cairns, Sydney and Melbourne.

We navigated many complexities involved with airline ticketing, including problematic hotel and ground supplier contractual issues that were clouded by travel bans. Our staff worked relentlessly during this time. In the end, we saved our clients AU$2 million+ in liabilities.

Peace of mind and unrivalled financial outcomes
Impact has now completed hundreds of refunds to clients and event attendees with virtually no complaints. Our dealings with suppliers are founded on respect – that’s how we get the most out of every budget and deliver excellent win-win results.

We are proud of our efforts, especially given the negative publicity surrounding travel supplier reimbursements. I can’t thank our team enough for persevering through this very stressful time (and enduring the heartbreak that comes with unwinding events they’d been planning for years).

What’s new: Virtual events
To meet COVID-safe guidelines, we have adapted our business offering to include virtual events. You can trust we have invested heavily in technology and training so customers can enjoy:
• Virtual conference sessions
• Virtual e-poster sessions
• Virtual exhibition and instant video meetings with exhibitors
• Virtual group discussions in pre-allocated groups
• Virtual networking functions with other attendees

Post-COVID, we believe virtual events will continue. Hybrid events that allow for both face-to-face and online participation will become commonplace. However, there are always shared moments between attendees that you can’t replicate in a virtual world.

What’s next: Travel trends
We have seen very strong interest in far North Queensland and the Northern Territory (especially the Kimberley region), with new bookings already in place for 2021. We believe these will be THE top destinations next year, amidst strong demand for domestic travel (pending state borders opening).

Fingers crossed at some stage we’ll see a trans-Tasman bubble that includes the south-west Pacific islands for travel to further locations such as New Zealand and Fiji. We think it’s unlikely we will see any international movements outside of these areas in 2021.

Looking ahead to 2021
Overall, we feel confident that next year will be about rebirth and recovery. In the meantime, we will wait for a viable vaccine to be developed and distributed, hopefully in the next 6-12 months.

We’d like to thank everyone for being part of our journey so far. While there won’t be any parties for our 20th, watch out! We’ll be celebrating our 21st birthday next year in style.

Stay safe, stay well, and we look forward to working with you in 2021.

Impact Events Covid-19 Update

Like millions of people around the globe, the team at Impact have been working from home as we continue to prepare, plan and patiently wait for travel restrictions to lift so we can continue to do what we love – delivering amazing conferences and incentives that fulfill our clients marketing objectives!

With our team constantly being on the road delivering “amazing events” the transition to home-based operations has been seamless as we regularly work off-site and with our VOIP phone system our clients won’t notice the difference.

Apart from planning, training and undertaking other activities to enhance what we do, we are about to launch a “virtual” conference platform. While we don’t see this replacing face to face meetings, we do think it has a future for our clients to supplement their current programs. More on this over the coming weeks as we roll out our first test site.

Our weekly team zoom meetings see the team discussing the various ways we have all managed to fill our spare time. A wide variety of activities from quilt making, gardening, exercise, house cleaning to bottomless virtual brunches were mentioned! We all agreed, we can’t wait to make the most of the opportunity to explore our own backyard (or NZ) sometime soon.

We wish all of our clients and colleagues in the industry the best in these trying times and we have no doubt we will all rebound strongly once this is over with so we can all continue to create amazing moments and memories in Australia and abroad!

Aligning Business Events With A Charity

It’s no secret that giving to charities is an inherently good and altruistic thing to do. However, can getting charity organisations involved with your business event be good for business, too?

At Impact Events, we’ve seen first-hand the popularity of combining business events with charity work take off over the last few years. With an increased focus on sustainable and ethical practices, more companies are taking it upon themselves to make a difference.

More organisations are realising that the power of charity work is that in giving, we receive. By aligning your business event with a charity organisation, you will see improved staff morale, emotional investment from customers and a better public image. This unique opportunity is heightened yet again when the cause aligns directly with something meaningful to your business.

Business events with heart — bringing sustainability and social contribution to your next business event  

Let’s take a look at some ways that we’ve helped businesses create meaningful events that give back to the community.

Team building with a difference

In one of our most recent conferences, our team-building exercise saw participants completing challenges around Noosa to earn points (and have a fun in the process). The difference? Beyond bragging rights, participants’ points also represented donated meals to the charity: Our Big Kitchen (OBK). Our Big Kitchen is a community-run organisation that provides nourishing meals to needy people across Sydney. By the end of the challenge, the team had enough points to cover 1750 meals!

Creating a cleaner world (and office)

Another example that we’ve touched on previously is the ‘Create a cleaner world’ conference. With a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) client mandating many global initiatives to reduce waste, improve recycling and educate employees and consumers on sustainable practices. This idea was front and centre at their conference, which was equally engaging, on-topic and good for the world.

Corporate meets conservation

Customising activities to drive employee’s interest and to embrace the company’s initiative, we collaborated with the team at Tangaroa Blue. This not-for-profit organisation heads science-led marine conservation programs to assist the government and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. With their help, we created fun, engaging activities with a focus on sustainability.

Trust in the experts

There is no shortage of ways to involve charities in events that match the conference theme and the message you need to get across to your delegates. At Impact Events, we can customise any event or conference to support your business’ objectives and help the community at the same time. To ensure your next event goes off without a hitch, get in touch with our team of expert event organisers today.

For professional, expert assistance with planning sensational business events, contact Impact Events today.

Architecture Adventure In South America

Architecture adventure in South America

In May, Hayden was lucky enough to accompany a group of Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV) members, partners and architects for their annual BDAV Study Tour to South America. The tour gave the BDAV members fantastic CPD opportunities, while they explored the rich architectural history of Argentina and Brazil.

The group was eager to embark on this study tour, which began in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires provided the perfect introductory location for the travel group, to immerse in the rich South American culture and get settled on their trip. We were lucky to have the expertise of local tour guide Alejandro. His architecture qualifications and experience in having owned an architecture firm in Buenos Aires made Alejandro the perfect guide to introduce the legacy of Argentinian architecture.

Alejandro’s enthusiasm and impressive background made the four nights in Buenos Aires even more engaging, as the group visited historical sites such as the San Telmo and La Manzana de las Luces districts, San Nicolás Cathedral and the Café Tortoni.

Next, the group explored the more modern architectural highlights including the impressive Banco De Londres, El Ateneo Grand Splendid Library, and the newly renovated Soho and Hollywood Palermo districts. The group also enjoyed private transfers in 1930s vintage cars to a tango show, as the city watched and took photos of the parade of classic vehicles.

A brief stay in Iguazu Falls was also a tour highlight, with the group experiencing the magnificent waterfalls via jetboat, coming away with soaked clothes and another amazing view. Next was a journey across to explore São Paolo.

São Paolo

São Paolo provided a great chance for the tour group to explore the biggest city in Latin America, and visit some world famous projects developed by renowned Brazilian architects, including:

  • SESC Pompeia Factory and Casa de Vidro (The Glass House) (Lina Bo Bardi)
  • Memorial da América Latina, the Copan Building and Ibirapuera Park (Oscar Niemeyer)
  • Praça das Artes (Marcelo Ferraz).

It was inspiring to see how these architectural wonders had shaped and helped develop São Paolo into the richest city in South America and the biggest economy in the Southern Hemisphere. From there, the group journeyed to Brasília.

Brasília

From an architectural perspective, Brasília was a clear highlight of the South American adventure. When Brazil’s capital was needing to move from Rio de Janiero to a more central location, landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx was tasked with designing the new city plans. Thanks to Burle Marx’s designs, Brasília is now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is famous for its modernist architecture and unique urban planning.

Some architectural highlights of the city the group saw included:

  • Residential Super Block South 308 – the first neighbourhood unit built in Brasília
  • Santuario Dom Bosco (Sanctuary of St Dom Bosco) by Claudio Naves
  • Cultural centre featuring the National library and National Museum, by Oscar Niemeyer.

The tour members marvelled at more works from Niemeyer, Costa and Burle Marx right throughout the Brazillian capital, right before the final stop of the tour: Rio de Janiero.

Rio de Janiero

While the group didn’t experience the perfect sunny conditions they hoped for, Rio was still a fantastic place to finish an eventful tour. Staying right on Copacabana Beach, everyone loved being close to countless restaurants, bars and beach front entertainment.

Not all beachside cocktails, the tour continued to look at more projects from Burle Marx, including his estate, and 1.2 million metres of lawns and flowers at Aterro do Flamengo. This was a great contrast for the group, as the focus moved from buildings to landscape throughout this tour!

The group ventured to the top of the Corcovado, where the iconic Christ the Redeemer landmark oversees the city, giving everyone the chance for some spectacular photos (When the clouds parted for a split second at a time). An equally amazing view was found as the group made it to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.

Some drinks and samba dancing at Rio Scenarium brought this fantastic tour to an end, one full of unforgettable architectural discovery and history.

If you’re wanting to discover how our Architectural Study Tours can provide exciting professional development and the chance to explore new destinations all over the globe, contact the Impact Events team today.

Creating A Cleaner World On Hamilton Island

Case Study: Creating a cleaner world on Hamilton Island

Last month we hosted an exciting conference on the gorgeous Hamilton Island. Working closely with the client, we ensured the event focussed on their efforts to create a more sustainable planet.

This involved our team planning activities around sustainability practices, but also making sure our client’s team members were having fun and staying engaged with the overall message. Discover how we went about organising an event on Hamilton Island aimed at creating a cleaner world.

The event plan: A focus on sustainability

As previously explored by Impact Events, sustainability is a hot conference trend this year. And there’s no better example than this event, where sustainability was the driving force.

Our client, a global FMCG corporation, has mandated a number of initiatives globally to reduce waste, improve recycling and educate employees and consumers on sustainable practices. The key message that our client wanted to tell was around bridging the gap between these conservation initiatives and broader environmental issues. This led to developing the conference theme: ‘Create a cleaner world’.

Our client’s request was to develop activities that could drive employees’ interest and embrace the company’s initiative, which is why we chose to plan this event with the team at Wild Mob and Tangaroa Blue.

Wild Mob and Tangaroa Blue are not-for-profit organisations that work on science-led conservation programs. This involves collecting marine waste debris, identifying the pollution, and sourcing and feeding the information into a database to assist the Government and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in their efforts at marine conservation. With their help, we were able to develop a series of activities over two days that were fun, engaging and, importantly, focused on sustainability.

Key activities

Day 1

Attendees arrived in Hamilton Island and enjoyed exploring the fantastic facilities that would be available for the two-day event.

After engaging conference sessions to settle in, guests were then able to let their hair down with a poolside welcome function and after party that went well into the night!

Day 2

Day two commenced with a group breakfast by the beach, where attendees heard from Wild Mob board member Jo Ritchie. Teams of four were then organised for the Be Challenged/Wild Mob activity.

This program was designed with the Go-Team app, which gave teams the instructions to complete a variety of challenges and tasks around the island to earn points.

It included two compulsory challenges:

  1. Wild Mob Station: Tangaroa Blue marine debris sorting competition. Teams were tasked with separating and counting items of debris collected by Wild Mob from a nearby beach and identify what was polluting the environment, the source of the pollution and what categories they fitted into.
  2. Wild Mob Station: Three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle. This activity was done in collaboration with Carolyn Roche, the Assistant Director of Communication and Regional Engagement for the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority. Teams had to brainstorm and deliver creative ideas for waste reduction, then present them to Wild Mob and Carolyn.

Additional challenges to score bonus points included:

  • collecting rubbish
  • team photos/videos in key locations
  • photographing wildlife
  • David Attenborough impersonation videos of wildlife
  • on-demand questions from their GPS relating to keynote topics and trivia.

After the teams engaged in some friendly competition, they had earned a break in Whitehaven Beach, where either snorkeling or a picturesque hike were on offer.

An entertaining gala dinner at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club was the perfect ending to a successful event, where team members celebrated, dressed up and enjoyed the festivities.

Key outcomes

Bringing all of the main elements and organisations together was a key challenge, and one the Impact Events team relished. Be Challenged and Wild Mob did a fantastic job running the team building exercises and seemed to enjoy helping coordinate the program as much as our client enjoyed participating in it!

“Their creativity with different challenges was also up there with some of the best we’ve seen, especially their Baywatch films!” a team rep from Be Challenged said. “Incorporating Wild Mob and Tangaroa Blue was a huge success too; they did an awesome job and participants were mentioning to me post-event how informing the two activities were.”

Our client was incredibly pleased with how the fun activities and stunning location allowed for a deep sense of education on sustainability.

To find out how we can help you organise an exciting and professional work event for your team, contact the Impact Events team today.

You can see more from our Hamilton Island trip in the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAVayb9EpaA&feature=youtu.be

Kota Kinabalu – Your next dream destination

A buzzing gateway to picturesque tropical islands and spectacular mountains, Kota Kinabalu is sure to shoot to the top of your dream destination list. Our team was fortunate enough to spend a few days in and around the city, courtesy of our friends at Shangri-La Resorts.

Kota Kinabalu fast facts

Located in the Malaysian area of the island of Borneo, Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the north-west state of Sabah. Best known for its natural beauty, this seaside city also has an active nightlife and a sensational open-air night food market.

While not as well-known as other major Asian hot spots, Kota Kinabalu is just as easily accessible as similar sized destinations. The Impact Events team travelled in style on Royal Brunei Airlines directly non-stop from Melbourne and good connections also exist via Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Kota Kinabalu highlights  

Mari Mari Cultural Village

One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Mari Mari Cultural Village. Set up as a living museum, the village provides insights into the history, culture and traditions of Borneo life.

Outdoor activities  

Kota Kinabalu is an active holiday-maker’s dream. Our team went white water rafting, took in a rainforest walk and visited the nearby idyllic offshore islands.

If you’re travelling in a group, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy, including several world-class golf courses, steam train rides, hiking at Mount Kota Kinabalu and various island adventure activities.

Night Food Market  

Seafood is the staple diet of the city and quality restaurants are in abundance throughout Kota Kinabalu. A visit to the night market has adventurous eaters lining up to try the seafood at the famous Night Food Market.

World-class shopping

For the fashion conscious among your group, Kota Kinabalu has great shopping options in and around the city centre. With several air-conditioned shopping centres selling genuine brand names at Malaysian prices, even the fussiest travellers can find a bargain here.

Shangri-La Resorts  

Luxury, service and convenience – the Shangri-La Resorts in Kota Kinabalu have it all. With two resorts on offer – Tanjung Aru and Rasa Ria – Shangri-La caters to any group’s needs or preferences.

Close to the city centre, Tanjung Aru is lively and bustling. The resort features extensive conference facilities, a fantastic spa retreat and easy boat access to neighbouring coral islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The resort is also a good option for adventurous, travelling families.

In contrast, Rasa Ria is more relaxed and spread out with access to an extensive beach area and within easy walking distance of the Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club. Located an hour north of the city, the resort features two large pools and sprawling lawn areas, perfect for functions. The easily accessed Golf & Country Club can also be used for functions or conferences.

Both resorts offer plenty of theme options for any group size, local dancers and fire performers on request – the showstopping tropical sunsets are free!

The locals

Our team was repeatedly impressed by the overwhelming friendliness of the locals. From our guides and hotel staff to performers and locals, everyone we encountered welcomed us with open arms. The people of Kota Kinabalu are incredibly proud of what their home has to offer and are eager to share it with international visitors.

Travel like a star 

Ready to start exploring Kota Kinabalu? Get in touch with our team of experts today, and we can help you plan your next incredible team event.

Common event pitfalls to avoid

A lot is at risk when planning an event. More often than not, you’re putting all your work, faith and hard-earned money into something that won’t happen for weeks, months or even years. One simple misstep can quickly turn a smooth sailing venture into a disaster, potentially affecting relationships with team members, important stakeholders or clients.

Our four tips for great event planning

Whether you’re in the process of planning your next corporate event or looking to improve your skills for future endeavours, read on to discover the most common event planning mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Secure your supplier deposits

While every event supplier is different, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t need a deposit and rightfully so. These should to be worked into your budget accordingly.

However, be aware of the difference between reasonable and unrealistic deposits. Understanding the finer details of your cashflow and reserves will prepare you for a fair and reasonable negotiation of supplier deposit amounts and timelines. Be prepared to renegotiate the terms of service before you sign the contract if a deposit is unreasonably high or unexpected.

2. Triple check contracts

We can’t stress this enough – don’t forget to triple check all your contracts! Contracts for accommodation, food and beverage packages are particularly notorious for having the devil in the details.

Remember that your suppliers are businesses too. They don’t want to be left in the lurch if something changes with your event. Double check that your contract allows you to cut back realistically on numbers should your event circumstances change. Not just rooms, as minimum catering numbers are often overlooked. No point committing to 300 attendees at a dinner 12 months out and then having to shell out for 300 when you only have 200 attendees on the day..

Think you’ve checked everything? Go back and check again.

3. Understand seasonal changes

The more you understand seasonal fluctuations in your industry, the more money you stand to save.

For example, high summer in major European cities can often be the best time to negotiate great deals for corporate events. Although this is peak tourist season, it’s often an off-peak time for local corporates and commerce, so those deluxe city hotels are on the look out for opportunities. Long weekends in major cities away from popular holiday destinations can also mean reduced rates for your event.

Similarly, booking events outside school holiday times can lock in great deals at resorts experiencing a lull in patrons.

A bit of simple planning around seasonal price changes means you can secure incredible deals for your event,.

4. Be prepared for anything

With so many moving parts, any number of things can happen with events.

The best way you can reduce your stress levels and secure your event’s success is to remember one thing: be prepared for anything. Drop off in guest numbers? Know your contractual obligations. Event space rained out or cancelled? Have back-up plans and insurance at the ready. Last minute accommodation needed? Make sure you have a contingency plan.

Many organisations, associations and corporates overlook risk management procedures and planning, all to their detriment. We’ve seen unprepared clients pay hundreds of thousands of dollars due to poor planning and under-insurance for their events.

Don’t be caught out, and always be prepared for the unexpected.

Get some expert advice

The events industry is rife with potential dangers, especially if you overlook important details. By working with a professional event organiser like Impact Events, you can leave all the finer details to someone else! Let us do the hard work for you, get in touch with our team of expert event organisers today.

Gamification in Event Apps

Technology is responsible for the creation of new and emerging trends. From AI advances to augmented and virtual reality, tech is changing the way we communicate. And in the events industry, we’re starting to see innovative ways to engage attendees. One such way is through gamification, specifically gamification through event apps.

With gamification, you can educate your event guests while immersing them in an engaging virtual and physical environment. Here’s the rundown of how app-based gamification can be used at events and conferences worldwide.

What is gamification?

Gamification integrates gaming and rewards-based structures into non-gaming environments. If you’ve ever played ‘Words with friends’ or ‘Candy Crush’ before, you know that you’re rewarded for your success and progression within the game. These rewards come in the forms of points, badges, coins etc.

This same philosophy applies to engaging event attendees. In the context of an event app, it’s about finding activities, games and goals – backed by various incentives – to encourage your attendees to engage positively with the app and learn something or achieve a ‘reward’.

How can gamification be used in events apps?

Through gamification, you can create incentives for attendees to encourage event participation. This is done by giving prizes, coins and badges for the completion of specific tasks. For example, you could have your attendees:

  • Check-in to sessions and functions
  • Connect with audiences
  • Visit a certain amount of exhibitors
  • Participate in social networking (through EventStream)
  • Participate in live polling.

By using badges

With a game-like events app, you could make your guest’s time more enjoyable and fun. And badges are one way to reward achievements during events. For example, badges help encourage social networking interaction, participation in EventStream, and provide recognition for attendees who visit a certain number of exhibitors.

By using prizes and coins

At the heart of gamification is encouraging audiences to participate in aspects of your event. One way to do this is by awarding points and coins for completing different tasks. You might consider:

  • Prize draws – if attendees get prize draw tickets, you can award large or small prizes from a pool of earned prize tickets.
  • Coin redemptions – attendees could earn coins (like one coin per five points) and then use the coins to purchase items at the event, like merchandise, food or further event registrations.

What’s a good example of gamification?

There have been many good test cases of gamification, and it has benefited many industries, from large corporates to start-ups. One particular success story of note is that of global financial advisory, Deloitte. Deloitte started incorporating gamification into its training programs. The results of which were a 50% reduction in the time employees took to complete training, as well as a marked improvement in engagement levels*.

As learners completed each online learning program, they received a badge to mark their achievement. The impacts were widespread; it encouraged employees to engage in a range of organisational processes, which in turn increased learning and development.

Adding value to your business event  

Gamification helps provide a value exchange – allowing attendees to participate by meeting people they may not have met otherwise.

To see how you could increase engagement and interaction, and have a bit of fun on an app for your next event, get in touch with the event experts at Impact Events today.

Source: Gamification: The Hard Truths, Huffington Post, accessed 7 February 2019.

Impact Events goes to Alaska

Alaska is renowned for its spectacular scenery of wilderness, mountains, fjords spectacular coastline and amazing wildlife. Our team recently hosted a tour for 200 people here, and for most of the group it was their first visit.
We took every opportunity to showcase this incredible place. Read on to learn all about our trip highlights.

Amazing Alaska Highlights

Dog sledding

One of our tour highlights was glacier dog sledding, also known as “mushing”. Travelling in style, we jumped onto a helicopter that took us up to the glaciers where the dogs are kept fit for the winter. Click here for a short video of this amazing experience.

Cruising the Prince William Sound

We took the group to Prince William Sound to see the tide water glaciers. An incredible sight to see, we learned about how the glaciers flow into fjords where the ice breaks off into the sea (which is how icebergs are formed). The group also saw a variety of wildlife native to the region, including pods of dall porpoises, breaching whales, sea otters and even some bald eagles.

Gold Rush Themed Dinner

Much like Australia, Alaska also experienced a gold rush in the 19th century and our exclusive theme dinner was held at Crow Creek Mine, a former gold mining village now beautifully restored in a spectacular mountain setting. Our attendees enjoyed gold panning, a birds of prey interaction and a spectacular salmon bake dinner. The night was topped off with plenty of square dancing with an expert dance “caller” backed by a toe tapping, knee slapping Bluegrass band!

Test your Alaska knowledge

Know much about Alaska – aside from it being snowy and cold? Take this quick quiz to test your knowledge!

Alaska Quiz

Interested in learning more or wanting to run your own tour? Contact our team of experts today on 03 9535 3600 or email info@impactevents.com.au

Hot Conference Trends | Impact Events

Hot conference trends: take your event to the next level

As we leap whole-heartedly into 2019, excited for the events and experiences ahead of us this year, we want to take a moment to highlight the latest trends we’ve been noticing at conferences. These trends can provide ideas, inspiration, and a peek into what some of the most forward-thinking organisations are doing.

Here’s what to consider in 2019 if you’re running a corporate event.

Sustainability

While the word ‘sustainability’ can be bandied about in offices and corporate settings with no real objectives attached, conferences provide an opportunity to bring it to life in interesting and valuable ways. We’ve noticed corporates partnering with NGOs in conference settings, to educate people and help develop practical measures to create a cleaner world.

Tying into this is the concept of wildlife conservation. The world is facing some eye-opening stats such as:

  • 60% of the Earth’s vertebrate wildlife populations have declined over the past 40 years
  • 20% of the Amazon has disappeared over the last 50 years
  • 90% of the world’s seabirds are estimated to have fragments of plastic in their stomach.

It only makes sense that conservation is a hot topic at events and conferences, as organisations build sustainability and conservation goals into their missions. At events, this can translate into talks from NGO speakers in the space, or fun and engaging team activities that help support the organisation’s sustainability and conservation objectives.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Hands-on activities that make a difference to less fortunate communities are also trending in a big way at events. We’re seeing corporates running programs to build kindergartens, support victims of natural disasters and raise funds for orphanages.

Consider looking beyond the venue where you’re holding your event, and identifying any issues within the local community that your team could be involved in. This is an excellent way to make an impact locally while building team morale, as team members are empowered to contribute to something bigger than themselves.

Gamification

In a world driven by technology, it makes sense that tech has much to offer conference organisers. The industry is starting to use tech in interesting and engaging ways at events.

One method we’re expecting to continue trending is gamification – the use of tech to introduce activities, games, quests and goals to encourage attendees to participate. These games or activities are built around goals, which are the specific engagements or actions that event organisers want to see happen. Attendees can earn points, accumulate badges, win prizes, and redeem coins to purchase items and gifts. And while this may all sound like something out of a Super Mario game – more engaged attendees mean better outcomes and a greater tangible return on investment from your event.

The power of brand

We’re seeing a focus on ‘the power of the brand’ at events and conferences. Organisers are becoming more and more attuned to the fact that brand experiences aren’t just important for customer engagement, but also for team engagement too. That’s why corporates are putting more effort into organising events that stay true to brand values and image.

That means on-brand colour schemes, messaging and activities, as well as intentional focus on brand values, and always bringing it back to the mission. It’s about creating a culture that supports the brand at every touch point, ensuring attendees are aligned with the culture.

Consider the role that your guest speaker, team activities and presentations could have in developing this experience.

Customer experience

Customer experience (or CX) is a hot topic in most industries at the moment, and we’ve seen it come up as a trending topic at many client events. It often starts with gathering customer data, either internally or by engaging an external company to survey your customers. Large sections of conferences are being dedicated to understanding the drivers of customer loyalty and retention. This is done by highlighting key findings, with presenters engaged to help organisations transition systems and culture to create an ideal customer experience.

Good, old-fashioned human interaction

Robots might be out to steal our jobs in 2019, but they’ll never be able to trump interacting with real humans. That doesn’t mean ditching digital and doing everything by hand; it means using digital technology to enhance human interaction.

This often includes event apps that enable attendees, including sponsors and exhibitors, to connect with each other face to face to achieve their business objectives. While technology often isolates us, recent events we’ve attended have proven that it can be used as an engagement tool.

Keep your eyes peeled over the next few months as we deep dive further into these rising trends in our industry, as well as other exciting topics. If you’d like to learn more about organising an engaging event or conference, get in touch with our team on 03 9535 3600.