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Which Event Element Are You Spending More on This Year?

From transportation to social-media-friendly photo ops, these are the elements planners are investing in this year.

June 7, 2017, 12:31 PM EDT

(Pictured, left to right): Nancy Shaffer, Todd Hawkins, Dana Lowenfish

Photos: Jordan Matter (Dana Lowenfish), Courtesy of Readers (All Others)

“We are spending more on technology integration this year. We are focusing on digital branding for our clients and their events. Using various digital platforms throughout the event allows for our clients to tell their ‘story’ in a concise and innovative way that keeps their guests entertained and intrigued.”
Todd Hawkins, president, the Todd Group, Los Angeles

“We are spending more resources, time, and effort than ever before on strategy development, as it sets the tone for everything else we do to tell our clients’ stories. It also positions us to partner with clients well beyond the event itself. It is refreshing that clients now value event marketing professionals differently than in years’ past. We’ve become their partners in storytelling.”
Nancy Shaffer, C.E.O. and founder, Bravo Events by Design, Washington

“The National Association of Realtors will be spending more money on transportation in 2017. Our annual conference and expo will take place in Chicago this November, and we will be using a two-campus system for this event. Our governance meetings will take place around our headquarters, and our programming, special events, and trade expo will take place at McCormick Place. This two-campus layout will increase the number of shuttles used to transport our attendees between these locations throughout the four-day program.”
Matt Lombardi, vice president of conventions, National Association of Realtors, Chicago

“We’ve primarily increased spending to advance our scenic engineering capabilities, which are talent and software. Audiences are overwhelmed by more competition for their attention. Every attendee is one push notification, text, email, or reminder away from ignoring your message. Producing events using only rental equipment can create a forgettable setting. It’s no secret how much look and feel affect engagement. This is why we keep sharpening our ability to design and fabricate brand-focused, unique, engaging, and relevant experiences.”
Jeremy Lamont, growth coordinator, the Allstar Group, San Diego

“Show organizers seem increasingly interested in finding value for their exhibitors utilizing promotional spaces outside of the event footprint. EMC Outdoor and Events is spending more time with show organizers planning and fulfilling outdoor advertising solutions to increase sponsorship sales and revenue, in addition to new indoor branding opportunities.”
Maryann Ingham, executive vice president of strategic partnerships and trade show marketing, EMC Outdoor and Events, Atlanta

“All event guests today carry smartphones with cameras, yet we consistently see photo, video, and GIF booths being the last element to be cut—even from a tight budget. Social media has become such a feature in our daily lives that the photo experience continues to climb to the top of our clients’ priority lists.”
Dana Lowenfish, chief development officer, Sequence, New York

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