Breaking the conference mould

Sparq, a technical event production specialist, looks at how the 'traditional' conference format is being turned on its head.

Blurred lines

When you think of live events, it’s usually the B2C ones that get everyone talking. Consumer events have always focused on the ‘experience’ to ensure that the audience engages with the product and brand. This is something corporate events seem to be catching on to, recognising that experience IS the marketing for both the external and internal audience. Event content and immersive experiences created by impressive tech such as projection mapping, large screen formats, AI and VR, which were previously reserved for pop concerts or high-end, top budget brand experience are now regularly featured in the ‘everyday’ conference.

Social sharing

The influence of social media has played a huge role in shaking up the traditional conference format. Organisers have access to a wealth of inspiration and are borrowing these ideas to reinvent their own events. Events that were previously only for the eyes of an exclusive guestlist can now be viewed by all in an instant, thanks to the power of social. Organisers are no longer at the mercy of the ‘creative’ to come up with something new, they are seeing things they like and then seeking out partners and suppliers who can help them integrate these things in their own events.


Content is king

It’s a cliché but one that is still relevant. With attention spans diminishing, content simply can’t be dull. Produce boring content and the audience will switch focus to their phones. On the flip side, even the most interesting stuff won’t be absorbed if it’s poorly delivered. This is also where the tech can play a really important role. Expanding your audience’s vision with the help of a multi-blend screen or LED wall means content can be delivered in a crystal clear, fully immersive way. This can go a long way to ensuring an event is appreciated by those attending in person, in addition to those tuning in online.

Challenging convention

More recently, unique and quirky event spaces have really taken on the traditional venue market. Alternative venues and non-traditional locations, often outside of the city centres, are breaking the mould. While hotels and convention centres will always have their place, sometimes brands need a venue that they can make their own. Everything from converted former rum warehouses and vault space right through to art galleries, museums and pop up venues are giving the traditional event spaces a run for their money.


Getting digital

The pressures of modern life are making us all extremely time poor and trying to juggle our work life balance has never been more challenging, which has helped drive the demand for digital. There’s no doubt nothing compares to face-to-face communication, but time constraints have forced us to address the way we do business; which is why webcasting and live streaming has become so huge.

Digital products such as Q&As to collect data and delegate registration are commonplace at events now and this tech is just continuing to evolve. These platforms are helping organisers gather information about their delegates during the conference journey, which can ultimately be used to enhance their experience in the future. From how long they spend in one particular area or what elements they engage with the most; these vital snippets of data are helping to shape the ‘conference of the future’.

For more information about Sparq, visit Sparq.Live or call 0370 606 1100.

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