The IMN Solutions team was motivated and inspired by the opportunities our clients gave us to help them succeed in 2016. Delivering results that exceed expectations will always be one of our top priorities. As we close out the year, it’s a great time to reflect on all that we’ve learned and accomplished together and compare our actual experiences to our predictions when the year began. Below is a recap from our team highlighting the major trends we anticipated for 2016 and how we observed them play out:
We kept a close watch on the evolving sharing economy and its impact on our industry. I had the distinct privilege of speaking on this subject twice this year at the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE) Annual Conference and the International Association of Exhibition and Events (IAEE) 2016 Expo! Expo! Annual Meeting and Exhibition. The current state of the sharing economy can be compared to where social media was a decade ago with revenues expected to grow from $15 billion today to $335 billon by 2025. Association, meeting and event professionals are encouraged to gain a better understanding of the sharing economy in order to be prepared for the future. Incorporating principles and business models from the sharing economy can help organizations increase profitability, stakeholder ROI and reduce environmental impact. Find more information on this topic on the IMN website.
MEETING & EVENT MANAGEMENT
More pressure to demonstrate ROI was another trend we forecasted this year and will remain on our radar for 2017. Part of this includes the changing expectations of attendees who are now seeking compelling meeting experiences over just wandering through a trade show and having a few dinners. We’re seeing an increase in demand for experiential learning and companies are seeking high-sensory experiences that create emotional connections that will drive better brand recognition, sales, client retention and behavioral changes.
SITE SELECTION & CONTRACT NEGOTIATION
As predicted, hotel rates have continued to rise as the economy continued to improve. As we approach year end with the changing political climate, it could prolong the strong sellers market we have been experiencing. We also saw fees and surcharges continuing to increase as the hospitality community continues to develop new revenue streams.
Last year at this time we predicted 2016 would be the year that social media, and more broadly, content marketing, will finally secure its place in conference and tradeshow promotion. As new tools are introduced to target very specific audiences and drive very specific actions, more associations and event managers are going to see measurable results with social media marketing. We saw this trend take hold with several association clients throughout 2016 as more sought to expand content marketing and test newer tactics such as mobile advertising. Read this year’s trend predictions from IMN, Frost Miller and other event industry experts.
HOUSING & REGISTRATION
As anticipated, registration platforms continued to evolve their functionality to also serve in the capacity of a secondary digital marketing departments.
Mobile Apps continued to grow in popularity and usage, but now play into consumers’ desire for personalization in everything they do more regularly, from their morning coffee to their technology solutions. 2016 was the year personalization made its way to be part of the mobile app experience.
As predicted, we have seen greater interest from clients to work with DMCs on a more strategic level. DMC’s are ensuring they have the capability to fulfill program needs across multiple destinations to deliver consistency of service, which is critical to the success of a program.
For over 35 years, IMN Solutions has remained dedicated to developing our team, strengthening our capabilities, and building valued relationships with our clients and partners. We also pride ourselves on providing superior talent to deliver high-quality solutions aligned with the key objectives of our clients. We do so with flexibility and nimbleness that fit your objectives—not ours. We’re excited for what 2017 holds and the opportunity to work with you again to exceed your expectations.
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and happy, healthy and successful 2017!