2016 Forecast: Agencies predict this year's event trends

Intelligent events, increased salaries and consolidation of agencies are on the cards for the events industry in 2016, according to planners.

Agency forecasts 2016 (©iStockphoto.com)
Agency forecasts 2016 (©iStockphoto.com)

Technology

Randle Stonier, CEO and founder of AddingValue

"Technologies like Oculus and Google Cardboard are being rolled out, and the market for virtual and augmented reality will only become stronger. I think the app market is really oversaturated at the moment and a lot of these companies will die out over the next year. In 2016 we’ll see a smaller number of tech suppliers providing a better quality product. Over the next year, I think the focus will fall less on ‘trying every new type of tech’ and more towards how we actually apply that effectively to the events industry. We need to ensure that we’re using it get a better understanding of the audience and really improve the experience for delegates."

Acquisitions and competition

Mark Riches, managing director, First Protocol

"We’re in a fragile economy so we’re expecting 2016 to be quite a tough year. I think we’re likely to see an increase in the number of agencies consolidating, through acquisitions and partnerships. They’ll be looking to develop and expand services in certain area, to compete in an increasingly saturated market. We expect that the volume of events in 2016 will be similar to 2015, but there’ll be more competition for that business. Agencies are likely to become more selective when it comes to pitching over the next year. Talent acquisition has been a major factor for agencies in 2015 and we expect this trend to continue. It’s more of an ‘employee’s market' than ever before, and agencies who can afford to are likely to increase salaries to keep and attract the best staff."

Intelligent events

Tim Shepley, CEO, Bluehat Group

"We can expect the demand for intelligent teambuilding events to increase in 2016. Clients are making a conscious move away from live events with disconnected activities. Business thought leaders will recognise the benefit of cleverly coordinated business games to provide both entertainment and learning as an integral part of the agenda. Active and experiential learning while people are together will transform the impact of meetings of all sizes. The challenge for global clients in 2016 will be to create consistent live event experiences for their teams around the world."

More:

C&IT's five agencies to watch in 2016

Five agencies to watch in 2016: Chillisauce

Five agencies to watch in 2016: Ashfield Meetings & Events

Five agencies to watch in 2015: How did they fare?

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