5 essentials for 2015

Concentrate on the basics and not the fluff

There have been numerous predictions over the past couple of months announcing the trends that should be adopted in 2015. They are, of course, as usual, ‘going to transform the industry’ and ‘not paying attention to them will be costly’. But, these dramatics aside, what I would actually like to see this year, is everyone, instead, getting the basics right.

1. Improve password security
A security breach more often than not derives from poor password choice. This key factor is prevalent across every industry and even major companies are vulnerable to hacking if the staff use weak passwords.

This year, the meetings industry needs to concentrate on the importance of getting their passwords right and not rely on ‘123456’ to keep their data secure.

2. Pick the right registration questions
Thanks to online services, registration has become incredibly easy for organisers to do for themselves. Although it’s a great advantage, there are potential pitfalls when it comes to question choice. For example, if nothing is going to be put in the post, then don’t waste a valuable question slot by asking for an address.

The focus should be on acquiring the must-have information, because the longer the form, the less accurate the answers. All that is needed is the registrant’s name and email address and the organisation’s name. Other questions should only be asked if the organiser is going to use the answers.

3. Forget the app and concentrate on the website
Recent research uncovered that a third of young professionals actually dislike event apps, yet they are still being sold to organisers as the ‘next big thing’. It is quicker and more efficient to go to a website to find information on a mobile device than it is to download and install an app.

In 2015, I’d like to see organisers aiming to create and deliver viable websites that work on mobile devices. 4. Don’t believe the hype around new tech
When it comes to the meetings industry, technology is secondary. However, it has become a noticeable trend for the latest, shiny and expensive gadgets to be continuously pushed as the must-have aides.

Despite the majority of hype coming from all-singing, all-dancing press releases, most of it is nothing more than buzzwords and fluff. Organisers need to cut through press releases and ask what the benefits of the tech are for them and where it has been successful.

5. Focus on the UX of the whole event
When most people think of user experience (UX), they think of websites. The term has been lost in translation and the focus somewhat skewed. Although the UX of a website is indeed important as a first impression, it is actually the whole event which can benefit from good UX.

When planning a meeting, organisers need to look through the eyes of the attendees and focus on how to provide the best experience. Take the UX of the online and apply it to the offline.

This year, get the basics right and forget about the fair-weather trends.

Low-cost spherical photography is a benefit
Make use of conference content after the event

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