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T H GI SB &I TE V I EON N T HHE EM EEE TXI N T

EDUCATION, INNOVATION AND INSPIRATION FOR GREAT EVENTS


The MICE Planner on miceplanner.net is a one-stop platform for finding venues and suppliers. It’s where you can read the hottest industry tips and trends as well as source event planning tools and gain insight from valuable information in the MICE Hub. Plan your event by using the platform’s event boards and keep up-to-date with the daily newsletters. Use these resources to take your events from great to flawless.

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I B I T I O N

Packed with advice, handy tips, tools, checklists and eventplanning insight from leading industry experts and combined with the comprehensive listings, The Meetings & Event Planner is essential if you’re organising any type of event. Published annually.

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This alternative monthly publication Investigates new trends, ideas and strategies relevant to the meetings and events industry to keep you ahead of the planner pack. Meetings provides a platform for branding and promoting venues and service providers to the heart of the South African conferencing and event industries. The Exhibition Planner is an essential tool for exhibitors. Information is packaged in an easily digestible format addressing the entire process of planning and arranging a show stand, what to do pre-show, during and post-show. Published annually.

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Looking for new and exciting desitinations? The Incentive Planner is jam-packed with fresh ideas and top tips to turn any incentive trip into a memorable experience. Out in March and September with Meetings.

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STAY AHEAD OF THE PACK

02 AUDIOVISUAL 03 CATERING 04 CONFERENCE CONTENT 05 CORPORATE GIFTING 06 DECOR 07 DESTINATIONS 08 EDUCATION & TRAINING 09 ENTERTAINMENT 10 EXHIBITION STANDS 11 GREENING 12 INCENTIVE TRAVEL 13 SOCIAL MEDIA 14 REGISTRATION 15 TEAM BUILDING 16 TECHNOLOGY

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EING A PHENOMENAL event planner means thinking differently

and adopting new behaviours, It is not just about staying ahead of the competition, but changing the game by being unconventional, innovative and embracing new ways of the thinking. The Meetings & Event Planner l 2016 Trend Report gives you the means to do just that. Industry experts share their predictions for the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibition industry for 2016.

EXTRAORDINARY EVENTS START NOW

GET YOUR COPY TODAY subs@3smedia.co.za

The Planner

CONNECTED Also visit miceplanner.net for daily news.

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T H GI SB &I TE V I EON N T HHE EM EEE TXI N T

Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Editor Martin Hiller

martin@3Smedia.co.za

Contributors Helen Brewer,

Danie Greyling, Justin Hawes, Heather Hook, Alastair Lang, Sue Mariller, Stephanie Moss, Clare Neall, Kim Roberts, Carla Rossouw, Gerry Skerritt, Terry Sutherland and Karmen Vladar Chief Sub-Editor Tristan Snijders Client Services & Production Manager

Antois-Leigh Botma Administration Tonya Hebenton Digital & Marketing Philip Rosenburg Distribution Manager Nomsa Masina ADVERTISING Ruth Baldwin

+27 (0)11 233 2600 ruth@3smedia.co.za

Make sure that you get a copy of The 2016 Meetings & Event Planner handbook to assist you in planning your events. It contains essential information on venues, services and suppliers available in each geographical area. In conjunction with miceplanner.net, the handbook can help you plan your event with tools, case studies and expert advice. This new, online platform allows you to interactively plan your event. Simply create a new event from your customisable dashboard and search for your perfect venue and service providers. You will then be able to pin any relevant information and inspiration. In addition to this, the online platform will be highlighting various event-planning tools that you can use. It will also provide you with innovative concepts, creative designs and event trends. By using the online platform and handbook, you will remain innovative and create events that are personal experiences for your attendees. The most successful event planners use technology that allows them to focus on creating unforgettable experiences. There is no need to go anywhere for the information you need – you now have a definitive online platform and handbook to plan your events. I wish you all the success for your events in 2016.

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PUBLISHED BY No. 9, 3rd Avenue, Rivonia, Johannesburg PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117, South Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 www.3smedia.co.za The Meetings & Event Planner 2016 Trend Report All rights reserved 2016 miceplanner.net NOTICE OF RIGHTS The Meetings & Event Planner 2016 Trend Report is published annually by 3S Media. This publication, its form and contents vest in 3S Media. All rights reserved. No part of this book, including cover and interior designs, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form

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or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. The authors' views may not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation and compilation of this publication, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, completeness or accuracy of its contents, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. While every effort has been taken to ensure that no copyright or copyright issues is/are infringed, 3S Media, its directors, publisher, officers and employees cannot be held responsible and consequently disclaim any

THE Meetings • Incentives • Conferences • Exhibition

liability for any loss, liability damage, direct or consequential of whatsoever nature and howsoever arising.

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TREND REPORT 2016

AUDIOVISUAL The rate at which technology is changing is staggering. Stay up to date with these 6 trends. 1 INTERACTIVITY The combination of

social and mobile technology offers a wide range of new and exciting attendee engagement opportunities. Delegates want to be involved. Allow delegates to direct the conversation. We’re moving away from “top-down” content to “bottom-up” content. Paper is taboo – save on paper; focus on event apps and online communication.

2 GAMIFICATION This online marketing

technique is used to encourage engagement with a product or service. We will see a much bigger adoption rate in 2016. Gamification speaks to our competitive natures and creates fun at the same time.

3 3D SCREENS An exciting, recent

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development was the purchase of a holographic screen by one of the most prominent production houses in South Africa. It’s the first of its kind in South Africa. The Musion screen is different to other gauze screens that have been around for many years. The holographic screen enables the audience to experience content in 3D. So, whether it’s a virtual fashion show, a speaker presentation, content, or a conference opening, the Musion 3D holographic presentation will add that next-level wow factor to your event!

THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER

4 VIDEO MAPPING Projection

mapping actually dates back to the late 1960s. Disneyland introduced the first public display of a 3D object in 1969. Granted, it did take some time to reach the events and conference industry, but it is here to stay. Selecting the 3D object is one thing, but what will set you apart in 2016 is your content, and the combination of dancers and entertainment interacting with the video mapping and object.

5 DIGITAL SETS Instead of spending

your budget on static sets with standard screens, recommend to your clients seamless and continuous LED screens, powered by Watchout, to optimise everything – from visuals to sound and lighting.

6 3600 CONTENT RECORDING

Recently introduced to the market, DeepVR takes content viewing to a whole different level. It allows for liveaction content, filmed in 360 degrees, to be viewed in 2D and 3D. DeepVR does this by using special equipment, like an Oculus Rift, which enables you to seemingly interact with a simulated world in a real or physical way. This technology is now so accessible that you can download an app for viewing 360-degree content on a mobile, albeit on a flat surface.

The audiovisual trends were complied by Sue Marillier & Associates in proud partnership with Keystone Productions. An idea generator of note, SUE MARILLER's can-do attitude and limitless thinking are the backbone of a career spanning over two decades.


TREND REPORT 2016

CATERING

5 things you can do right now

1 STREET FOOD Street-style food is all the rage. People will start to see these easy-to-make

and often peasant-style dishes in a new light. Items like pies and sausages will start to feature fancier meats. Portion size will continue to be smaller as people are more conscious of not wanting to waste.

2 FOOD STATIONS AT EVENTS Food stations that guests can move around offer a far more

3 Having been involved in the hospitality and events industry since 1994, KIM ROBERTS joined the forum company eight years ago in the role of campus executive chef. Now acting as operations director, she is still a passionate foodie as well as co-author of the AKA Cookery Book.

interactive experience. People have become a lot more aware about food and ingredients from all the cooking shows and want to ask questions and see for themselves what is on offer. Food stations allow people to experience different tastes, dishes and engage with chefs. They also alleviate queues, allowing guests more time to network and engage with each other.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FLAVOUR With drought and food-shortage conditions, as well as rising food costs, food becomes more about flavour and less about the geography of where it comes from. Simpler, fewer ingredients will form a dish of high quality. Supply chains will grow as a focus for the end user as food becomes more of a treasure. Chefs will start using all of the ingredients including stalks of vegetables that will be worked into a veggie patty or become a fresh juice.

4 SMOKE IT AND PICKLE IT Smoking and pickling are linked to previous trends but are also 5

key in introducing different flavour profiling. These techniques work with both food and beverage offerings.

WINE AND FIZZ Wine by the glass is growing, as people want something to match the

occasion as well as the food they eat throughout an evening. Fizz includes all bubbly styles with specific mention to Champagne-/Prosecco-style cocktails and artisanal bubbly-based soft drinks, ginger beer, homemade cordials and soda/sparkling waters. THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER

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TREND REPORT 2016

CONFERENCE CONTENT Here is what to expect in 2016... 1 POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS A

pivotal element of most conferences, PowerPoint presentations will likely remain a staple in the foreseeable future, however the 100-slide rambling presentations are now trimmed down, lean and succinct, keeping key points to a minimum, and letting delegates take a quick snapshot of the slides from their phones, to keep and review later when required.

2 VIDEOCONFERENCING With the

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unprecedented rise of webinars and online conferencing over the last few years, this may likely become a top trend in 2016. Joining delegates from around the world and learning from international authorities from the comfort of your home, office or car speaks volumes to a market under pressure to deliver on deadlines. And being able to focus on other tasks, while listening in to an event, not only saves time spent in traffic, standing in queues to register and lengthy lunchbreaks, but also appeals to the business owner in that they can let their employees log in at a certain time, for a certain session – thereby increasing productivity and decreasing time spent out of the office. Citrix GoToMeeting and Click Meeting have seen an increase in popularity in the last three years, and livestream events are on the rise. A stable Internet connection, a

THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER

soundproof room and some basic video equipment finds almost anyone able to present to groups, large or small, from around the world. I foresee these types of conferences becoming more popular as people multitask during their days, learning, listening and working at the same time; however, a stable Internet connection is a necessary requirement, one which is being addressed by many conference centres in South Africa, with more and more venues providing reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi access to delegates at no extra charge.

3 EVENT APPS Many conference organisers now also provide an app that delegates can link to, allowing attendees to download presentations, view speakers’ biographies and session information, glean key points and connect with other attendees from their mobile phones, storing information to be reviewed at a later date. No more piles of paper that may get displaced or damaged – all the information is on your phone, at the swipe of a finger.

4 TIME-SAVING AND EFFICIENCY

Conference organisers are realising the need to save time for their attendees. USB sticks with relevant information are standard in most conference packs, giving delegates easy access to biographies, photos, programmes and any other takehome information that they may need.

As an industry professional with over eight years of experience, HEATHER HOOK has run the gamut of clients, both local and international, that have tested her mettle to the utmost. She is the owner of Haiku Events.


TREND REPORT 2016

CORPORATE GIFTING There’s no doubt that the practice of corporate gift giving has become an integral part of today’s business incentive programmes.

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REPORT RELEASED by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) in 2015 states that United State companies have increased spend on customers’ Christmas gifts by 16% in comparison to 2014, laying out $43 (around R616) on existing and prospective customers and $50 (approximately R716) on employees. “Corporate gifts are given to express appreciation and generate goodwill, but they’re also critical for businesses wanting to improve their brand image, build awareness and increase sales,” explains Joshua Low, event director for Markex, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery. “When more than 68% of these gifts bear a company logo, you want to ensure that you are giving something that is on trend and suitable for the recipient. The 2015 ASI survey showed that, while they are spending more per gift, companies are giving out fewer than before. Not only are they giving higher-value gifts to more important clients, businesses are also increasing spend on employee gifts – a

sure sign of a difficult economy – as they try to retain top staff members,” he adds, a sentiment that is echoed by Dale Cooke, chairman of the Resellers Association of Corporate Gifts & Clothing (ROSA). “Corporate gifting follows the current state of the economy closely, with value increasing and decreasing according to economic ebbs and flows. The market is also very much driven by large, important events, such as sport events, as well as commemorative days. For example, from 2016 through to 2022, we’ll see a sharp increase in branded gear for the 22nd edition of the Commonwealth Games, set to take place in Durban in July 2022. There will also be an increase in demand during April and August 2016 (Secretary’s Day and Women’s Day respectively) for more personalised individual gifts,”says Dale. Companies still gain mileage from branded pens and corporate apparel, such as t-shirts, golf shirts and caps, so we will also see these gifts continue to make an appearance over 2016,” he concludes.

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MOST-WANTED GIFTS FOR 2016

1 POWER BANKS These sought-after gifts allow users to charge mobile phones and tablets on the go, and can easily be branded and customised.

2 OTHER TECHNOLOGY-RELATED

GIFTS Products like USB sticks and chargers are still immensely popular, as are larger mobile phone covers, and this will carry on through 2016.

3 ECOLOGICALLY FRIENDLY GIFTS

Rechargeable lights and torches, bamboo products, recycled paper notebooks and seed or plant-related gifts are gaining tremendous ground as both companies and individuals become more environmentally aware.

4 REUSABLE GIFTS In the same

vein as ecologically friendly gifts, items such as reusable conference bags and water bottles are becoming increasingly popular when it comes to practicality and sustainability.

Now that the trends for 2016 have been shared, be sure to visit Markex 2016 for all your corporate and promotional gift needs – from bags, tablet holders, umbrellas and golfing products to branded pens and pencils, gift sets, lanyards, notebooks, drinkware and USB drives – or branded clothing and caps. Taking place from 6 to 7 July at the Sandton Convention Centre, Markex 2016 will be a targeted promotional product event aimed specifically at resellers of promotional products and their corporate buyers.  markex.co.za

THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER

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TREND REPORT 2016

DECOR

arrangements, centerpieces and event graphics. For companies with specific logo colors, accents are a great way to enhance without changing a company’s identity.

Impress with these simple yet effective trends.

3 UNCONVENTIONAL SEATING For

1 TRANSFORMING VENUES WITH

4 VINTAGE STYLING This trendy

many events, we’ve found that traditional and dining seating tends to supress interaction and, in some cases, hinders visibility of the podium or stage. Nobody wants to twist or move around to see the speaker or groom addressing guests. A trend that will continue is less structured seating that encourages interaction between guests.

CREATIVE DRAPING To achieve a

dramatic transformation in tough economic times (which I’m sure will continue well beyond 2016), skill is required to creatively conceal unappealing walls, doors, ceilings and fittings or take raw, unusual and plain spaces and convert them into magical wedding settings. Let’s face it, today, budgets are strained and often times smaller or less conventional venues are preferred for events and weddings. Draping will continue to be the answer to transform these spaces to the right look and feel. Whether transforming a small, ordinary venue or making a massive hall feel cosy and intimate, creative draping is the canvas for your event mood. Through the clever use of draping to lower ceilings and create up-lit walls with washes of colour, you instantly transform unassuming spaces into elegant and memorable bridal settings.

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2 BRIGHT AND COLOURFUL Colour is the cornerstone of event decor. Stemming from the worlds of art, technology and fashion, the 2016 colour trends may

THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER

Victorian-inspired decor for 2016 is akin to afternoon high tea and garden parties fit for Downton Abbey. Combining lanterns, pearls, garlands, rich textures, and deep, clean colours and dainty chinaware, lavish vintage event decor creates a wonderfully nostalgic setting for an elegant event. This year, you’ll see a lot of event decor mixing and matching pieces of traditional lace with rustic textures, wood, vintage suitcases with gramophones, birdcages and vintage flower arrangements of roses, tulips, pansies and hyacinths for a bridal celebration in a bygone era.

gravitate toward tranquill and calming palettes – reflecting on natural colours that communicate serenity, relaxation and exploration. I believe that the 2016 colours will transport us to a happier, sunnier place. When bringing the latest colours into your event decor, if you’re afraid of going over the top with a color theme, rather incorporate bright accent colors into table linens, your floral

ALASTAIR LAING is the group CEO of Unlimited Events Group - a leader in the events supply industry and the preferred event solution supplier to many blue-chip clients across the country.


TREND REPORT 2016

TREND REPORT 2016

DESTINATIONS Consider these factors, when choosing a meeting destination 1 WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE AND HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU WANT TO SPEND? Be mindful of

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your budget limit when choosing your destination. For domestic destinations, clients always want to feel that they are receiving value for money. When considering international destinations, the current ZAR exchange rate will certainly influence the choice of destination: Central Europe and North America may be off the list for 2016, but consider Africa, South America and Asia.

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CITY HUBS VS OUT IN THE COUNTRY

As our lives get more demanding and hectic every year, your delegates will most likely enjoy a venue out in the country. On the other hand, a countryside venue will only work if it suits the business objectives. Make sure you plan well and that your business objectives can be achieved.

3 NEEDS VS WANTS Make sure that the CARLA ROSSOUW is a conference organiser, event manager and freelance travel writer.

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client’s decision is based on needs and not wants. If choices are made based on wants, the destination may not be able to provide what the client requires.

 AKE CARING FOR THE M ENVIRONMENT A PRIORITY Over

the last few years, event greening has become very prominent. You can contact the Event Greening Forum for additional information. (eventgreening.co.za)

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TRAVEL TIME VS TIME SPENT Keep a balance – it is unreasonable to spend extensive time on travel only to have an unsatisfactorily short time spent on the event itself. TIME OF YEAR Ensure that you choose well in terms of the season. In South Africa, the busiest months are during summer. However, many destinations are fabulous during the winter and one can possibly negotiate a better rate.

 XCLUSIVE USE VS GETTING LOST E IN THE CROWD In my opinion, clients

often do not see this as an important factor. However, I have yet to come across a client that did not thoroughly enjoy an exclusive-use facility from time to time. The type of event and group size will determine if exclusive use can be an option at all.

 E SENSIBLE IN CHOOSING YOUR B DESTINATION If the majority of

your needs cannot be satisfied by a destination, look elsewhere. It is often not worth the money and effort to try to fit a square peg in a round hole.

COSTING There are often hidden or

less obvious costs that clients may not take into consideration. It is also very important to compare apples with apples – only then will your client be able to make an informed decision. THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER

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TREND REPORT 2016

EDUCATION & TRAINING How event management courses can truly be effective in 2016...

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HERE DO THE corporate, association and public sector turn to when looking for up-and-coming individuals with the effective grounding in events management who, in turn, can be groomed in the internal nuances of their particular events? The answer is not as simple as you think. Research conducted by The MICE Academy has shown that various colleges and universities’ event management courses do not have a commonality of achieved outcomes. The MICE Academy’s lists its top three suggestions of what must be taken into consideration when designing event management courses.

THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER

1. UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF EVENT ORGANISING NUANCES Planning a corporate or association gathering are not the same. There is a prevailing misconception that 70% of all organising is the same; however, the reason for attending together with the character of the gathering can be vastly dissimilar in basic planning requirements. 2. IMPERATIVE OUTCOMES A qualified student must be able to: •d  raft the objectives from both the documentation and attended discussions • list the target audience and provide input on the cautions of differing audience levels

• put forward a conceptual design based on the objectives • recommend suitable venues to match the event’s criteria • calculate a budget based on the objectives, conceptual design and type of venue charges.

3. ESSENTIAL PRACTICAL APPLICATION A student should not qualify until they have had six month’s experience within either an event management department or company. Universities and colleges need to be instrumental in communicating to the private sector which students, with the regulations for indenture, are available. Those undertaking event management courses should provide students with effective feedback for possible correction. With the pointers provided, only in this manner can event management students stand up with pride in 2016.

HELEN BREWER is a director of the MICE Academy. She has been involved in the MICE industry for over 35 years and has immense knowledge and experience to assist with best practice.


TREND REPORT 2016

ENTERTAINMENT Wow delegates with these trends... 1 I WANT TO BE FAMOUS Delegates want well-known bands, comedians and DJs at their events. Due to budget constraints, you may not always get A-listers, so use an up-andcoming artist. Talent agencies will be able to provide you with the act that best suits your event.

2 KEEP IT SHORT For acts such as bands, comedians and entertainers, shorter is better. Nowadays, delegates have shorter attention spans and long entertainment sets don’t work. Short, punchy dance acts with great lighting and lasers for impact are gaining in popularity.

3  THEME IT Themed functions are still in. Whether it be Great Gatsby, Arabian Nights or the Sixties – themes are popular.

4 SAY CHEESE Photo booths and photo walls are going to continue being popular in entertainment, allowing people to do things in their own time during a function.

STEPHANIE MOSS is managing director of Stephanie Moss Solutions. The company manages product launches, roadshows, conferences, incentives and marketing for a number of companies.

5 SOMETHING DIFFERENT Interactive game arcades are also popular at conferences

and themed functions as relaxed entertainment. The Launch Pad/Mixing Desk is a new technology activity in South Africa allowing delegates to mix their own music with LED lighting.

6 L ET THERE BE LIGHT LED Acts and 3D video mapping, as well as lasers for special effects, are a must have in 2016.

7 EMBRACE SOCIAL MEDIA Create custom hashtags for your event so photos and experiences can be shared in real time.

THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER

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Scan Display won the 2014 Green Stand Award for its stand at Markex 2014

TREND REPORT 2016

EXHIBITION STANDS Use these 10 trends to stand out of from the crowd.

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CUSTOM-DESIGNED STANDS

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 INIMALIST ANGLES AND OPEN M SPACES Walls and frames are a thing

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CREATIVE USE OF LED SCREENS

LED screens have become a fundamental element of any successful stand. Flexible LED screens are being wrapped around corners and posts and one can also see dynamic and extensive LED screen walls enhancing exhibition stands.

 UDIOVISUAL AND INTERACTIVE A TECHNOLOGY The elimination

of paper trails has given rise to more elaborate audiovisual displays and increased use of technology. Augmented reality demonstrations attract visitors, allowing for interaction and the generation of leads. Touch screens and tablets are being used to display products, collect customer information and interact with customers by allowing them to post to social media feeds displayed on the stands.

PRINTED GRAPHICS Graphics panels

have been replaced with printed graphics and digital fabrics, which come in a vast variety of colours and textures, and allow exhibitors to stay true to their brand identity. They are also easier to transport and may be reused at future exhibitions. Fabrics are being used both as accents as well as comprising entire booths.

THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER

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Budget cuts have gradually eased and exhibitors are not financially obligated to opt for standard designs anymore. Stands are now being tailored to accommodate detailed brand requirements and are catering to the specific target market and company’s goals in mind.

of the past. Geometric and pointed structures with clean lines are being used to open up stand spaces. This shows a trend towards bolder stand design and can also prove to be more cost-effective than elaborate stands, as these angles require less material. A key focal point is creating open spaces to ensure smooth traffic flow.

BOLD COLOURS Exhibition colour trends prove to be the most versatile as they change at a rapid pace and can be quite fleeting. The current colour trend involves combining both conservative and dynamic colours. Colours such as white and grey act as neutral palettes with vibrant colours like orange and blue used to accentuate features. HEIGHT AND STRATEGIC LIGHTING

Stands are increasing in height in order to attract attention. The trend is to use raised gross flooring on the stand and have a tall structure on the stand itself. Height is added where key features are accentuated, often adding light for greater emphasis. Exhibitors are demonstrating creative use of light in order to highlight certain areas of a stand.

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 ATURAL FINISHES AND N MATERIALS Global design trends

have introduced natural elements, such as untreated timber and metal, to go along with the use of fabrics. The trend is to use metal to create a European look, often combining it with timber. Metal is growing in popularity as it is more resilient than wood and can be transported to other exhibitions without being damaged. Translucent material is also being used to display full-wall graphics.

SUSTAINABLE STANDS Even though it is not exactly a new trend, the greening of exhibition stands remains an essential element. Exhibitors are constantly seeking new and improved ways to be environmentally friendly, and this also influences stand design aspects such as incorporating natural elements and making use of more technology.

10 ELEMENTS OF HOSPITALITY

The exhibition industry is placing great focus on creating social ambience within stands. The trend is to create a comfortable space for visitors such as comfortable seating and coffee stands. This encourages visitors to engage with an exhibitor for longer.


TREND REPORT 2016

GREENING Sustainability is starting to form an integral part of South African organisations’ philosophies,

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URING 2015, there were numerous

international sustainability events that took place in South Africa. Sustainability initiatives that were incorporated at these events, and which are becoming popular at other conferences and exhibitions, include:

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RENEWABLE ENERGY CERTIFICATES

Exhibitors are being encouraged to purchase renewable energy for their stands, thereby further offsetting the environmental impact of events.

 HE USE OF LED LIGHTING T THROUGHOUT THE EVENT More and more organisers are opting for the use of LED lighting at their shows as it uses less power and has a positive impact on the environment, as opposed to fluorescent bulbs , which are toxic to the environment due to the mercury.

(IFES). IFES has created an international network that has proved useful for both local and international builds. As a result of exchange rates and challenges associated with the transportation of containers, it has become costly for clients to use international stand builders when abroad. Through the use of local suppliers, organisations are not only able to lower their costs but also reduce their carbon footprint for that particular event. In addition to international organisations using local stand builders, there has been an increase in the number of international conference organisers using local PCOs to organise their events. The Event Greening Forum held an educational session, in partnership with Meetings Africa, and booking for the event had to be closed a week early due to its popularity. It was interesting to see a large number of corporates attending this event, indicating the growing interest in sustainable practices for events. For years, there have been no guidelines on how to host a green event, which is why the EGF recently developed minimum standards. With the introduction of these standards, we will see events taking on a completely new form in 2016. Watch this space.

 URCHASING A TREE TO OFFSET P YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT In 2015, events such as Meetings Africa, SAACI Congress 2015 and the 11th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations supported this initiative.

 HE UPLIFTMENT OF LOCAL T COMMUNITIES Event organisers are

engaging with local communities to oversee and manage various aspects of events, such as waste management. They are also donating fabric, carpeting, food and unwanted infrastructure to

charities and communities after the event has taken place.

OTHER NOTABLE TRENDS In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of international stands being built locally. This is facilitated through global associations such as the International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services

JUSTIN HAWES founded the Event Greening Forum, a non-profit organisation promoting sustainability in the events industry, and is currently Treasurer of the Brussels-based industry association, International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services (IFES). He is also the CEO of Scan Display.

THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER

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TREND REPORT 2016

INCENTIVE TRAVEL Are 2016 incentive travel trend forecasts looking optimistic?

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CCORDING TO THE Society for

Incentive Travel Excellence, 2015 was a good year for international incentive travel, with this positive trend expected to continue in much the same way. However, for the local South African market, there appears to be a mixed bag of comments. Many incentive teams seem to be really busy while others mention a downturn in RFPs coming through for corporate incentive programmes.

WEAKENING RAND

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Notably, due to our weakening rand, budgets have definitely been reduced, with procurement teams justifying every cent spent. Where budgets are available, itineraries are being shortened in either duration and/or the size of the travelling group cut. Inbound incentive travel to South Africa is still of high appeal but various local and other volatile issues during 2015 have naturally created turmoil and uncertainty in this market. But, for those who are still considering an incentive programme, here’s an update on current trends:

THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER

1 FLEXIBILITY Travel rewards are still the major component of any incentive initiative, with younger and seasoned travellers looking for more freedom of choice – they want to choose their own destinations, have more free downtime and less planned itineraries. 2 CULTURAL IMMERSION Featuring high on any agenda are local cuisine, authentic experiences, adventurous moments and time spent in smaller, boutique hotels. Incentive participants also want proximity

to city centres, ease of travel and access to Wi-Fi. They really want to explore and experience their incentive destination. 3 P  OPULAR DESTINATIONS Social media and the ease of access to information has enhanced the appeal for distant destinations such as Cuba, Iceland, Japan and New Zealand. Closer to home, destinations such as Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, and Zanzibar are still popular. 4 A  LL-INCLUSIVE Cruising, as always, remains a favourite for incentive groups, with all-inclusive packages being a real advantage for managing any slimmeddown spend. 2016 is bringing through a challenging landscape for any South African incentive consultant. In this competitive market, creativity, budgeting skills and really understanding the client’s requirements are essential to seeing the industry through a questionable year for outbound incentive travel.

CLARE NEALL is the managing editor of Event Stuff SA and is a Certified Meeting Professional. She has many year's experience with incentive travel.


TREND REPORT 2016

REGISTRATION Today, the key to a successful event is firmly in the clutches of your guests. It’s our job to make sure that their experience is one that resonates and, importantly, eliminates any pain points. And that’s where event registration comes in. 1

A TYPICAL EVENT REGISTRATION EXPERIENCE IS LESS THAN STELLAR; LONG

LINES AND MANUAL CHECK-INS TURN GUESTS OFF BEFORE THEY’VE EVEN SET FOOT IN YOUR VENUE. Ask anyone who attends corporate events about the average

event check-in and you’re bound to be met with tales of a woefully long line, frustrated guests and harried event staff. Event planners need to do all they can to ensure that this experience is a pleasant one, and will be embracing several tools to help them achieve this. For this reason, we’re going to see more and more simplified and streamlined event registrations.

2 THE POPULARITY OF QR CODES WILL CONTINUE TO GROW, OFFERING BOTH

GUESTS AND EVENT PLANNERS INCREASED CONVENIENCE AND AN ELEVATED EVENT EXPERIENCE. Gone are the days of manual access control. Thanks to QR codes,

event planners can quickly and easily register or check-in guests, and ensure that the security of guests is optimal. In keeping with the emergence of big data, and the benefits it offers to brands and consumers, QR codes will also increasingly be used for their data capturing ability. A myriad of data can be collected and stored via a QR code: event planners are able to see – and program – information, like which sessions and areas a guest has access to, whether or not they’ve received their gift pack as well as demographic details.

3 IN A FURTHER EFFORT TO EASE THE PAIN POINTS OF ATTENDEES, WE’LL SEE

MORE EVENTS OFFER A SELF-CHECK-IN OPTION. Effective event management is far more achievable when processes are automated. Providing your guests with a self-service registration option further cuts down on queues, eases frustration and speeds up the entire process too.

TERRY SUTHERLAND is the founder of The RSVP Agency and has extensive experience in the development of RSVP solutions for clients across industries.

4 EVENT REGISTRATION SOFTWARE THAT’S UPDATED IN REAL TIME WILL

BECOME AN INDISPENSABLE TOOL. The ability to pull up the most recent copy of your guest list – up until the time a guest arrives – as well as a function that enables you to add last-minute details, is crucial. Importantly, being able to pull your own event reports will see event planners embrace software that offers them instant access to this vital data. RSVP Agency’s Guest Concierge Management Software™ offers all of the above – find out more about why leading brands embrace it at rsvpagency.co.za

THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER

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TREND REPORT 2016

SOCIAL MEDIA 3 social media trends that meeting and event planners should keep in mind. 1

CAPTURING AND SHARING THE MOMENT In a world with more

distractions than ever, social media is trending towards experiences that require complete attention in the moment. The launch of Periscope and Meerkat connects viewers from around the world to one person’s live stream from their phone. Snapchat, an app that enables users to send private messages that disappear after a maximum of 12 seconds, continues to grow. And Facebook’s recent experimentation with messages that disappear shortly after viewing prove that people need to be captured in the moment.

2 AUTHENTICITY Why are in-the-moment

14

experiences becoming popular? It’s because people are increasingly seeking out authenticity. The craving for authenticity partially explains the rise and popularity of Airbnb, organic food and the new trends in social media. With the rise of social media, it has become increasingly easy and common for people to present a sunshine-and-rainbows version of their life that doesn’t reflect real life. But, as people come to learn, this isn’t reality. Recently, a few social media influencers have even shut down their own accounts because it didn’t reflect their actual life. Authenticity

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helps us connect with others because it’s closer to our own life and, therefore, more relatable.

3 PHOTOS AND VIDEOS As Internet

speeds get faster and cameras on cell phones get better, the trend towards photos and videos dominating social media will continue into 2016. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram’s integration of native videos into their social networks has pushed the popularity of video beyond just YouTube.

WHAT DO THESE TRENDS MEAN? For meeting and event planners, this means you’ll want to give people an experience worth sharing, while also documenting your meetings and events in the moment – not just writing about them after they’re over. For example, during a conference, you could use Periscope to live stream a panel session or live stream interviews with speakers. You could use Snapchat to create a public story by sharing snippets of videos and photos throughout the course of the event. What matters more than just using the latest social network or new technology is that you’re authentic and provide your social media following with content that’s relatable. If you can do that, you’ll be successful on any social network.

KARMEN VLADAR is the marketing manager at Lumi (previously IML). In 2009, she worked at the head office in the UK, where she gained insight into international business events industry.


TREND REPORT 2016

3

AREAS THAT DREAM TEAM CATALYST IS FOCUSED ON IN 2016

1 DEVELOPING PRODUCTS THAT

FACILITATE TEAM BUILDING ACROSS REMOTE LOCATIONS Through a specially designed interface manifesting as an app on a tablet, teams at locations across the country, continent or planet can participate in a number of thrilling activities and walk away with as much value as if they had been in the same room or sports field - all the while reducing the company’s carbon footprint and increasing its bank balance.

2 LIVE EXPERIENTIAL BUSINESS

SIMULATIONS Games can be played in a single conference room with large amounts of teams connected and interacting as they act out a realistic scenario such as climbing Mount Everest or extracting gold from a mine. The technology allows the teams to collaborate (or choose not to), multitask and complete virtual and traditional physical tasks. Instructions can be given by facilitators or through video link to tablets. One of these scenarios can turn a conference room into a realistic base camp (complete with tents, climbing ropes and harnesses and all the paraphernalia that you would expect to find at 5 364 m above sea level in the Himalayas).

3 SKILL-ENHANCING ACTIVITIES

TEAM BUILDING 2016 is sure to be an exciting year in the team building, motivation and employee-engagement world. 1 KEEP IT INSIDE Broad trends will be an increased demand for shorter, more effective

interventions with a bias towards indoor activities that don’t require a rural venue or delegates to change clothing. Make no mistake; there will always be a place for traditional outdoor activities and we anticipate demand to be high again, but there is no denying that, 'the times they are a-changin’.

2 TECHNOLOGY It seems a bit like déjà vu (and yes, you have heard it before) but

technology is going to play a huge role in conferences in 2016. This time it’s different (and yes we know you have also heard that before), as it’s time to move beyond the event app and the goal of information dissemination and engagement to solutions that increase return on engagement through adding real business benefits to an experience. Technology has been used to a large extent to show us how clever science can be. But, in the process, it all too often leaves the user feeling a little dumber as the supposedly simple-to-use gadget or app, with an apparently intuitive interface, and is claimed to be idiot-proof, isn’t quite as simple to connect with as the brochure would have you believe. It’s often a case of information overload and the learning and value dissipates as quickly as the poor end user’s self-esteem and social standing! The revolution is happening with a much more focused use of the power of gamification, a much better understanding of the psychology of technology used to drive behaviour and a realisation that the best tech is invisible. It is an enabler – there to enhance the experience, while simplifying things and delivering tangible results for everyone.

Participants get to learn real skills that can be transferred back to the workplace; things such as writing a computer program, making an animated movie, designing the front page of a newspaper or even building a PC from scratch.

GERRY SKERRITT is a founder of Dream Team Catalyst, established in 1992, and works at the cutting edge of team development. He is in demand as an MC, trainer, motivator and facilitator. His experiences in multinational organisations have given him a solid understanding of what makes companies successful and what motivates individuals to peak performance. dreamteam.co.za

15 THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER


TREND REPORT 2016

TECHNOLOGY Make events more interactive and engaging with these trends... 1 IMMERSIVE TECHNOLOGY AND

EXPERIENCES Something has to be

2

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quite captivating for me to avoid the temptation to glance at my phone. We’re all tempted to check for new notifications, updates on social networks and new emails. It’s only when we’re engaged in “flow”, as the researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls it, that we can focus completely in the moment. New technology, such as Google Cardboard, 360 video, curved TVs and brain-training apps, all seeks to capture and keep people’s attention. In 2016, expect to see meeting planners leverage immersive technology and experiences, whether through new apps, gamification or new technology.

TECHNOLOGY THAT ENABLES CONNECTION AND PARTICIPATION

People are wired to connect with other people. This fact of life is why so many of the most popular sites today are social networks. Not only do we want to connect with others, but we also want to participate in group activities. This is why people gather to watch sporting events, why people live tweet major awards shows and events, and why

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people aren’t content to only watch sports – participation in fantasy sports leagues is booming. In 2016, you can expect to see technology that makes it easier for people to connect with others and participate in groups.

WHAT DO THESE TRENDS MEAN? One question every meeting and event planner should ask themselves this year is: “How can I transform technology from a potential distraction into a tool for engaging attendees?” Thankfully, mobile phones are a blessing to savvy meeting planners who leverage the technology to engage attendees.For example, I’ve seen a smartphone app, Meetoo, transform what would have been a dull panel session with a roving microphone passed between introverts into an interactive Q&A session with questions submitted and voted upon by the audience right from their phones. In 2016, meeting and event planners should examine each of their events and look for ways to harness the power of technology to capture attendees’ attention, providing them with a remarkable experience.

DANIE GREYLING Is the managing director for Lumi Meetings & Events, South Africa. He is passionate about maximising the effectiveness and ROI of events through the use of technology.


CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH PLACES ACROSS AFRICA If you’re planning a business meeting, conference or event, whatever the size or nature, Tsogo Sun has the perfect venue for you. Connect with over 250 venues that include more than 90 hotels, 14 casinos and the world class Sandton Convention Centre - all situated in premier locations that range from luxury to select service brands. For more information call: + 27(11) 510 7433 or e-mail: tsogosun.conferencing@tsogosun.com

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