Education at events in 2012 will have to be entertaining and 'on demand', according to a survey undertaken by the IMEX Group of hosted buyers following its inaugural IMEX America trade show in October.
One of the biggest trends to come out of the research is the need for easily-accessible knowledge-sharing education ‘on demand’, mainly through the use of social media and smartphones/tablets. Education will also need to be increasingly entertaining, with educators having to find ways to deliver the content in interactive and diverse ways, including 'gamification' – the cross over of gaming technology into events.
The survey showed that 87.5 per cent of hosted buyers used LinkedIn for business, 70.8 per cent used Facebook and 50 per cent used Twitter. More than 40 per cent of buyers also agreed that social media is helping to generate business for them – unsurprising when the buyers also reported a 50 per cent increase in social media usage in the past six months.
The survey also revealed that buyers had seen an upswing in business over the past 12 months, although there has been a trend toward shorter and smaller events. The strong push for 'added value' from buyers will remain over the next 12-plus months and, with few increases in budgets or timelines forecast, doing less with more will become 'the new norm'.
The second IMEX America will take place at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas from 9-11 October 2012.