Corporate event insights and direction

18.07.2017 17:17


Justin Squires, Group Commercial Director, GES EMEA

It happens every year. Perhaps once. Maybe time and again. A senior level executive requests the wireless microphone, takes one last look at the speaker notes and ascends to the podium to state these magic words: “Ladies & gentlemen, I present to you the newest/ greatest/coolest/most advanced/cutting edge/next generation gizmo in the history of the industry/ world/everything…”

Cue sales staff. Grow business. For as long as there have been corporations, there have been corporate events.

Over 1.8 million were held in 2012 with 225 million people attending, according to the most recent study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the Convention Industry Council. And as the number of corporate events has grown, so too has an overriding focus on performance. Despite changing business environments and the emergence of more marketing channels and technologies, many companies face challenges and questions on how to improve their event performance.

Take a look at the first-ever benchmark study to quantify event marketers’ expectations for corporate events, the key measures of event success and best practices for achieving it.

400 event professionals gave their insight into how they measure contribution to the sales funnel, best practices for achieving it, and expectations for corporate events. To download your free copy of event ROI click HERE


Emma McKay, marketing manager, Blitz|GES

Millennials – every marketers favourite group. Whether you love or hate the name, the fact remains that you need this target group. These people aren’t just a theoretical demographic anymore, they’re actually here – living, working and breathing right beside you.

Who are millennials?

There are so many different interpretations on the term, but this is the one we hang my hat on: they’re now in their 30’s, middle management professionals, decision makers and budget holders. The most important thing to remember is that they’re also the CEO of tomorrow and you need to win them over to your event brand now before it’s too late.

What does this mean for events?

Millennials demand more from their event experience and also want everything to be instantly available. While they are powerful influencers, they also rely on each other, seeking advice from friends to make more informed decisions and are much more likely to attend an event if they can do so with their peers. But what can you do now to make sure your event is millennial ready?

Working with Event Insight, Blitz/GES identified 7 ways you can use event technology to make accessing millennials easier. These are Speed, Personalisation, Gamification, Tone, Bite-sizing, Visual Learning and Convenience. 

Inside the whitepaper, Meeting the Attendees of Tomorrow, you can find out exactly how you can add these elements to readily available event technology. Our aim is to empower you to create a truly engaging events and give you the best chance to hook those all-important millennials. To download your free copy of Meeting the Attendees


The sedentary experiences of most virtual reality activations today with a heavy headset and repurposed gaming chair are quickly coming to an end. The latest and best VR experiences allow users to get up and walk around or incorporate additional elements, such as motion or even scent, providing a completely immersive sensory experience for event attendees.

This strategy has come to life as part of the 2017 Super Bowl LIVE Fan Festival, where GES and partner IDEAS quite literally “launched” Future Flight , an out-of-this-world virtual reality experience, including a tower-drop ride that takes guests on an excursion through space to Mars. Guests don VR goggles for the 2-minute ride, which concludes with a 64-foot vertical drop that transports riders back to Earth, landing on the 50-yard-line of Houston’s NRG Stadium.

Riders not only learn real information about NASA’s exploration of deep space through a manipulative VR environment and voice narrative, they experience the thrill of the journey through the fusion of sensory immersion and literal negative gravity drop – it’s exhilarating to say the least.

This combination of a virtual environment with actual, physical motion is the latest trend in experiential events, enabling brands to completely immerse attendees into their custom-built world. This hyper-realistic experience helps to solidify the memory in participants’ brains, resulting in an enjoyable, positive brand experience that your attendees will want to share.

This is also a more dynamic way to inspire youthful riders – the next generation of Astronauts – because, as we know, the first person to step onto Mars is probably in middle school today.

Another recent example comes from Samsung, who at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show showcased a number of VR 2.0 experiences, including a speedboat race, a stunt plane ride and a face-first Olympic skeleton ride down a frozen track. Each of these experiences utilized not only VR headsets for the visual and auditory components, but also physical motion making the experience that much more visceral for the attendee.

At the Sundance Film Festival, outdoor equipment manufacturer, Merrell, provided an industry-first hiking experience that had consumers moving around in a virtual commercial – a thrilling journey along the edge of a cliff (with a rocky surface to match) while experiencing the reliable comfort of wearing the brand’s boot. What better way for customers to fall in love with your brand than to walk a mile in your shoes?

As brands push the limits of what’s possible with virtual reality, the practical applications for brand activations, live events and product experiences will continue to expand. How will you ride the virtual wave?

The maturing of virtual reality and its use in live events and experiential marketing is just one of 50 trends showcased in GES’ new 2017 Trend Tracker guide. Download your copy today – and when you’re ready to start planning your next event, give us a call… we’ll help you make it out of this world.



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