A-Z 2014 by KONGRES MAGAZINE
of the most-read stories on kongres-magazine.eu
From the editorial board of Kongres magazine we have gathered together some of the events and trends that are predicted for 2014 and that were sent to us by our correspondents, partners and other professionals with whom we work. After years of reflections on the crisis, a wave of congress optimism is finally sweeping, with 2014 also to be marked by important anniversaries and major sporting events. In particular, we are bring to your attention:
Anniversary of Emona
In 2014 we will mark 2,000 years since the establishment of the Roman settlement Emona on the ground of today’s Ljubljana. The anniversary will be celebrated with many events peaking between the 22nd and 24th August 2014, with the event Ave Emona that will trace 2,000 years into the past and show the life as a former Roman settlement.
On the congress scene the green convention destination Bled will shine once again, a destination that has long been preparing for a comeback and today is fresh and with new congress energy awaiting conference guests. It is also increasingly becoming a regional Davos, due to important political meetings being held. In addition, among all of the regional destinations it most comprehensively tackled and profiled itself in the context of sustainable tourism.
In 2013 contextual marketing was on the rise, and in 2014, in our opinion, it will finally establish itself. The winners will be those who will be able to tell the best stories. Changed market conditions require a new strategy for content marketing, which builds on positive communication with customers through stories and storytelling.
The key question for event organisers is how to get under the skin of participants. Most of us are familiar with the heart of conference organisation, but much less is at the forefront of thinking about the soul of meetings. In Europe, more and more professional meeting designers are coming on stream and that you are going to encounter in the future. In 2014 we are predicting their definitive breakthrough in the meetings industry.
2014 will be a year of experiential marketing, which will be at the heart of event organisation. The user experience on a personal level with an option of choice is the basic paradigm that will distinguishe good from bad events. The experiential benefits of events will this year be recognised even by the greatest traditionalists.
FIFA World Cup Brazil
July 2014 will be marked by the football World Cup. Brazil will be following up on the World Cup by hosting the Olympic Games. It will be interesting to monitor what the effects of the championship will be on the meetings industry of the entire region.
The path of the meetings industry towards green meetings has only just begun, although in some ways it seems that this topic has already been exhausted. The world is constantly changing; it is necessary to take into account many different factors and environmental issues are just one of them. The meetings industry will continue to focus, but in the right way – through the observance of all the three elements of sustainability: environment, economy and social responsibility.
The next phase of hybrid and virtual conferences will be holographic projections. The technology has become cheap and is a champion of virtual meetings. Cisco is a pioneer also in this field with its Cisco On-Stage TelePresence with which it has already equipped 150 conference halls in 28 countries. We are looking forward to the first hotels in the region to offer such an experience.
Istanbul and Turkey
Istanbul and the whole of Turkey will in 2014 host some of the most important congress events of the year. It will begin with the MPI conference in Istanbul, the ending with the ICCA conference in Antalya. This is a confirmation of the totally outstanding direction of this country in the meetings industry.
Some creative events have already been financed by this most famous crowdfunding platform. The logic of kickstarter is a great opportunity for new, innovative congress projects that want to try themselves out and be funded in such a way. In 2014, test your ideas on crowdfunding platforms.
Live streaming of audio and video allows people who, because of a lack of time, cannot be physically present to watch the event online. This allows for proper interactivity. To paraphrase a little: if your conference or event in 2014 is not live, it does not exist.
With the continued development of smart phones the percentage of people who use their mobile phone as their primary source to access the web and web content increases. Bear this fact in mind when restoring your website and writing or sending web mail, but also make sure of it so that your conference and its contents are suitable for reading and using from mobile devices.
2014 will be a year of new convention destinations that Europe is not yet aware of and that we are reckoning to be in Eastern Europe. These destinations are full of energy, believe in themselves and know exactly what they want. To the European meetings space they are bringing freshness and new exciting congress stories. Put in your mind the names of the new convention bureaus: Ostrava, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Azerbaijan and many others…
Virtual conferences and webinars are not new on the market, but their organisation has become technologically simple and mobile, so we are predicting an explosion of them in 2014. Solutions such as CiscoWebex and others are now becoming affordable and easy to use.
Planners of the future
In the year 2014, in our view, meeting planners will change into planners of marketing and communications. The future will arrive in the form of young planners eager for change and more open to the idea of lifestyle ideas than the mature traditionalists oriented towards conference logistics.
The concept does not seem anything new, but think about how important it is for the organisation of events to capture ‘the right moment’ – to report on events at the time when they are happening, to create news. Event organisers are changing into editorial boards of stories that they have been able to launch to participants in real time.
A year of important anniversaries for the legendary place by the Miljacka river, which will also be important as a communication opportunity for this beautiful city. It will start in February with the anniversary of the legendary Winter Olympic Games in 1984. The highlight of the year will be the anniversary of the First World War, which began right in the city by the Miljacka river.
The Slovenian Convention Bureau will celebrate its tenth anniversary. Ten years have passed in a spirit of numerous innovations and a number of successfully implemented projects. All of this and much more stems from the healthy and respected balance of the Slovenian meetings industry, which will be presented within the framework of the celebration of ten years of the bureau.
Umag and North-western Istria
North-western Istria offers a genuine and very active conference experience. The options of activities with which you can load a schedule for your conference guests are countless. Including through the help of a convention bureau, which is now being established, we are counting it to be among the most promising congress destinations in 2014.
Today there is undoubtedly no event that does not want to achieve virality, possible only through paid advertising or organised virality. Since paid advertising is too expensive for most events often the only option is viral marketing. It is best done by word of mouth, which has to be properly promoted. Knowledge of viral marketing will become key in 2014.
Winter Olympics Sochi
XXII Olympic Winter Games – Sochi (Sochi) 2014 will start on 7th February, when the opening ceremony will take place and will run until 23rd February. This will be the first Winter Olympic Games in Russia. In addition to the positive impact on tourism, they are devoting great attention to congress tourism after the event.
In the field of congress tourism the speed of decision-making is important, as is the speed of execution. We estimate that 2014 will be a turning point for providers who will not be able to adapt and use quick and inexpensive organisational solutions. In this a crucial role will be played by technology and the huge number of Apps that are growing like mushrooms after rain.
The meetings industry does not exist because of hotels, catering providers and vendors of technological solutions, but because of a genuine and unique human need for meetings. Participants have taken things into their own hands, so this year will be the year of purebred organisers, who talk with their body and soul. Participants feel this; they are attracted by the smell of events, the smell of the people around them and a human proximity.
The youngest generation is on its way and it will soon conquer the world. These are the young people born in the 90s or after. Although it seems that they are not important for the meetings industry, a lot can be learned from them, because they are superiorly informed and want to actively participate in all of the processes, particularly in the organisation of events.