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BizBash C.E.O. David Adler: The Event Industry Is Booming—Are You Ready to Grow With It?

Eight reasons why the event industry is becoming more important than ever.

October 7, 2016, 7:30 AM EDT

Photo: Will Star for BizBash

David Adler (@DavidAdler) is the C.E.O. and founder of BizBash.

The event industry is going through radical changes. The reason we go to events, conferences, and trade shows is to stay up on our craft, meet new people, get new business, and come back inspired to love our jobs again.

On November 15 I am hosting the 16th annual BizBash Live: The Expo at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York in an atmosphere of fundamental change. With 25 percent of marketing now event-oriented, event professionals are more important than ever, and the simple act of live gatherings and collaboration is at the heart of commerce and innovation.

As we prepare for our expo and conference, I am proud to say that BizBash is now the largest marketplace and news site for the combined event and meeting industry, with more than 235,000 users monthly and more than 2 million visitors a year. So why has a sleepy industry over the past 15 years become not only an “it” profession but critical to all aspects of our lives? At our event, you will learn about the changes through insightful speakers at the Event Innovation Forum, a variety of event suppliers in the exhibit hall, and the best-in-class work honored at the announcement of the BizBash Event Style Awards. Attendees also benefit from high-value conversations and networking with the more than 2,500 event pros expected to attend.

Here are my eight significant points about how our industry is one of the most dynamic and important professions in the world, and how we want to help you become better at your craft.

1. There is a new tribal society.
The Internet has allowed us to find each other and form tribes leading to the growth of face-to-face interaction, according to Tribes author Seth Godin. Venues are now tribal meeting places and community town squares.

2. People need to connect.
According to Social Physics author Alex Pentland, scientific study is proving the effectiveness of our need to connect. Based on research about neuroscience and using face-to-face interactions to improve idea flow, we are proving that live human networks are how ideas flow. High-performance collaboration is now the science of conversations and smart process unlocking the wisdom of the crowd.

3. Events drive campaigns.
With 25 percent of marketing now from events-oriented strategies, amplification and social media has given rise to the increased effectiveness of events to justify R.O.I. A statement event by a brand or organization can be strategically designed to influence many more people than are in the room at an event. Marketers are creating a forum to collect personal stories that are amplified to millions from a single experience. We are all storytellers and media properties within our own networks. Budgets are getting bigger because we can justify larger spends to satisfy financial objectives.

4. Temporary marketplaces rule.
The rise of the temporary marketplace is on target with how upcoming generations are approaching everything. With the rise of Amazon and e-commerce, retail is being redefined. Products like Snapchat tap into the scarcity theory that drives behavior. Events like trade shows and consumer shows are the perfect example of what the event industry has been doing for years and it’s now how people behave. FOMO—the fear of missing out—drives interest and motivates action.

5. The experience economy is a reality.
Research is showing that today’s buyers believe that experiences are the new bling. According to Luxury Daily, “Luxury’s shift to experiences as a domain of personal identity, cultural capital, and social currency has been noticed.” Brands, meetings, and events are adjusting to this phenomenon.

6. Everything is morphing together.
BizBash has long recognized that meetings, conferences, incentives, marketing, training, trade shows, and consumer shows have a common DNA. All experiences are morphing together into the festivalization of events. Concerts add conferences, meetings add new styles of collaboration, trade shows add consumer elements. Training conferences are like going to Lollapalooza. In a competition for our attention, event organizers are engaging all the senses.

7. Crowdshaping changes events on the spot.
As products and processes continue to get smarter, the event industry is no exception. Advances in technology including smart registration, the linking of sponsorship activations, the rise of the Internet of Things, and the use of biometric data are creating what some call a “digital wonderland.” We are actually using data to change and measure behavior in ways that we never thought possible. Understanding data science and analytics is one of the main challenges for event organizers of all types. It’s no longer about the shiny new object but the strategy around using technology effectively.

8. Collaboration artists drive event success.
As we get smarter and better at orchestrating events, we are seeing the rise of the true collaboration artist. That person who understands the recipe for success because he or she has learned, observed, and tested the best way to program live experiences for the best outcomes. These are among the super users of BizBash who attend our shows, read our content, and network with peers. The goal of BizBash is to turn event organizers and marketers into collaboration artists who understand strategy and creativity and elevate our industry into a force for progress in our companies, communities, and nations.

This is one of the main reasons that every event pro who wants to adjust to a radically changing industry needs to attend our BizBash Expo next month in New York, or attend our other events in North America.

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