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Event Planning: How to Build Meaningful Online Events

By | 2022, Uncategorized

Mr. Henry Hall is head of business development at CrowdComms and here, he discusses on how online events have evolved, make online events meaningful and, what events of the future might look like. 

 

How can you build meaningful communities in an online environment?

Technology has enabled humanity to connect for thousands of years. For example, the invention of fire went hand-in-hand with the growth of human civilisation. Creating a space for people to congregate, communicate and share is, in concept, no different today in the digital sphere as it was back then for our hunter-gathering predecessors. The first step is to create the space, the second is to encourage acceptance and adoption, and finally, to increase contribution and participation from members to drive meaning from the environment.

These conceptual foundations are good pillars to structure your methodology when creating an online community. Instead of a rack of ribs to congregate over, your users need quality content, instead of grunting and pointing they need 1:1 video calls and push notifications. We can lead and encourage users’ behaviours by adopting technology, and using it to influence activities, whether that be networking, content sharing or content creation. The technology you choose to build your community needs to have the functionality to act as a conduit for communication and participation.

What does a 360-degree event mean?

The lines between work and home life have blurred since the pandemic, as has the notion of a single stand-alone event. Live events are a fantastic time to share with old connections and develop new ones. The 360 event is an event that never switches off, where conversation can happen outside of the initial experience, with regular touch points to incentivise future participation and content-on-demand whilst marketing other opportunities aimed at similar communities. The digital transformation in home and work life we are experiencing is a testament to the change in our behaviours and serves as an excellent example of how our concepts of an event will change.

Some people thrive in remote working and networking situations, while others are less enthusiastic. How can event planners support both types of user?

It’s no surprise that this digital revolution we are a part of presents many challenges for us. From digital fatigue and the absence of familiar human connection to a lack of engaging content and poor user experience, many of us feel resistant, challenged and frankly bored of the virtual networking environment. Others see the benefits of accessibility and sustainability in having ten meetings daily in the comfort of a pair of sweatpants. Understanding these benefits and challenges of user groups is essential when developing a remote networking tool.

CrowdComms is focused on finding solutions to these challenges, which involves creative thinking about how we can modify functionality to be more engaging. Smart Sessions, which we launched in 2022, is a prime example of this.

What do you see on the horizon for the future of event technology?

There is lots of exciting tech developments in the pipeline for both live and virtual events. Every week I hear of a new technology designed to improve the event experience. I think biometrics will become more commonplace in the physical environment, as well as trends towards immersive rooms and live digital spaces to connect the different user groups. Then there is the Metaverse, and what a dystopian but truly liberating concept that is! Statistics show that the average 18–24-year-old in the UK spends over 50% of their waking hours on a computer, already participating in a metaverse (with bad graphics) that is the current internet. It’s a natural progression to develop a more immersive and interactive experience to drive contribution and participation with the ultimate aim of delivering meaningful online communities.

You can catch Mr. Hall’s Knowledge Programme session on ‘Events and the carbon footprint conundrum’ which will take place on Wednesday, November 30 at IBTM World in Barcelona, Spain

HML’s Think Before Plastic initiative Wins UFI Sustainable Development Award 2019

By | 2019, Uncategorized

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (HML), the professional private management company responsible for the daily operation of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), wins UFI Sustainable Development Award 2019 for its plastic reduction initiative ‘Think Before Plastic’.

Under the initiative, HML successfully eliminated the use of:  883,000 pieces of disposable plastic cutleries; 176,500 disposable plastic straws; and 67,100 disposable plastic meal boxes within the first six months after the campaign was launched in July 2018.

An extensive communication campaign was conducted to engage event organisers, exhibitors, contractors, visitors and restaurant guests including, an animation video that reached over 220,000 Facebook users.

A creative competition for neighbouring school students was organised to further promote a plastic-less lifestyle.

Monica Lee-Müller, HML’s managing director, said, “Sustainability is one of HML’s guiding principles. HML strives to be at the forefront of a greener event industry. We are proud to have taken this bold step forward and are delighted for the achievements that we have accomplished together with staff members and stakeholders.

“Receiving the UFI Sustainable Development Award from the world’s leading industry association is a strong endorsement of our commitment to environmental protection, and recognition of our effective communication campaign on disposable plastic reduction. This encourages us to continue our efforts. I’d like to call upon all in the exhibition industry to play an active role and make a greater impact together” she added.

HML’s ‘Think Before Plastic’ is also recognised in the new report and online database launched by UFI to track initiatives and projects in the exhibitions business globally that pay into the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UNSDGs).

International Exhibitors Return to AIME 2019

By | 2018, Uncategorized

A series of international exhibitors are returning to showcase at the 2019 event. Leading the comeback are the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Dubai Business Events & Convention Bureau (DBE).

This notable return to AIME comes as a result of the refreshed vision, which has overhauled the way that exhibitors take part in the event – sharpening the focus to a positive return on investment through rigorous curation of the buyer program and format that meetings are delivered.

TCEB is using the 2019 event as a major platform to meet with new and existing clients will maximise networking as well as, launch a global rewards program for event buyers. TCEB Australia Representative, Nicole Tingey from Clockwise Consulting commented: “Australia and the broader APAC region has strong ties with the Kingdom of Thailand, and AIME presents the perfect opportunity to promote Thailand as a key destination for Business Events due to its excellent reputation for service, aviation links, high quality hotels, convention centres and appealing choice of experiences for incentive groups.”

Other international exhibitors attending the 2019 event include Hawaii Tourism Authority, Ministry of Tourism Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau – all set to reveal a new rewards campaign; and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LATCB), who will be showcasing their new Banc of California Stadium and the highly anticipated renovation of the LA Convention Centre.

“The interest that we’ve received from both international and regional exhibitors has been monumental. Whilst they span very different industries, they are all signing up for the same reason – to meet and connect with more quality buyers from across APAC who are ready to do business,” said Matt Pearce, chief executive officer of Talk2 Media & Events.

Only three months to go before the industry event open, AIME 2019 has already confirmed quality buyers from across 32 different countries, with 48 percent having never attended AIME before and 65 percent originating from outside of Australia.

AIME 2019 will run from February 18 to 20 and for more information, please visit aime.com.au.

Banc of California Stadium (left) and Los Angeles Stadium (right) showcase by the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board (LATCB)  at AIME 2019.

Wedding Venue – Aloft KL Sentral Grand Ballroom

By | 2018, Uncategorized

For the wedding occasion of Azydynia Rahim and Muhamad Nur Azmi, the happy couple chose to share their joyous moment with friends and relatives at the Grand Ballroom of the Aloft KL Sentral.  Azydynia is the niece of Julia Douglas, the managing editor of MICE in Asia.

The evening’s theme was white floral design with shimmering silver hangings cascading from the ceiling, which is one of the hotel’s signature designs for functions and receptions that include a red carpet laid out for guests entering the ballroom.

The bride and groom made a spectacular entrance by driving up to the Grand Ballroom in a red MG Classic sports car, much to the pleasant surprise of the guests for the evening.  Looking resplendent in white lace wedding gown, the bride was then escorted by the groom to the decorated wedding dais on stage accompanied by the best man and bride’s maid for a traditional Malay wedding ceremony.

Congratulations to Azydynia and Azmi.