The MICE industry is already on the path of integrated events which seek to equalise the experience between their online and offline audiences. Increasingly, it means that engaging an online audience will no longer be secondary; it will be as much a key to success (or more) as impacting the in-venue audience.
Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have released a joint report on Hong Kong’s digital evolution in ecommerce, food services and creative industries. Titled Explore Opportunities in Hong Kong's Digital Ecosystem, it highlights Hong Kong’s connective role in business between the world and Asia Pacific, as well as the increased agility of its digital ecosystem has developed following the disruptions brought by COVID-19.
As we approach the second anniversary of COVID-19’s initial outbreak, we should by now have accepted that ‘business as usual’ likely won’t resume in the foreseeable future and begun to devise new strategies to make the best of an unstable situation. For the MICE industry, this means finding ways to make events as inherently ‘virus proof’ as possible and enable them to carry on as scheduled under most conditions.
The moment that marketers spent years preparing for is already here: Generation Z’s phase of demographic dominance has begun. So, as the influence of their expectations, habits and needs becomes increasingly embedded in brand marketing and the MICE sector, it makes sense to look forward again to who and what is next.
Every paradigm shift creates new buzzwords – and for the post-pandemic business events industry, they’re ‘hybrid’ and ‘integrated’. One needs only to glance at the flurry of industry articles from the last few months to know that these types of events are looming in marketing and event professionals’ minds as they look forward to Covid-19 receding and their work ramping up again.
Online and integrated experiences are plainly here to stay, in part due to their inherent applicability during future crises. Virtual will become even more of a mainstay when the digital natives of Gen Z and Gen Alpha grow into consumer market dominance. At that point, offering a choice of participating in live events either in person or via a laptop or mobile device will become a best practice.
Just as nobody knew how far and deep the pandemic’s impact would be on business, nobody today can predict when its effects will cease to be felt. Or even if they ever will. ‘Business as usual’, when it returns, may be strikingly different from the pre-pandemic norm. Is there any way to prepare for the unforeseeable?
Having foreseen a digital future for the events industry, Pico has in the past five years pursued a digital transformation strategy, applying technology to enhance the experience and promotional effectiveness of events. More and more brands found the results impressive, and the pandemic further boosted demand for such services.
Even in the ‘post-vaccine world’, companies may need to adjust their strategies, marketing, messaging and communications to stay relevant and sustain their businesses for a period of ‘business not quite as usual. Read the full article to find out how marketers can win over target audiences with digital experiences and safe physical events when it's ‘business not quite as usual’.
As the world reeled with the loss of physical events, Pico, a global brand activation company, have had a digital leg-up. 'We were already a digital company pre-COVID,' says Gregory Crandall, Senior Vice President of Pico’s Global Activation Team. 'What the pandemic did was to push demand for digital experiences into hyperdrive' Greg explains.
Virtual events have swiftly become the norm; but while organizers have grown to appreciate their many advantages, keeping audiences engaged remains a challenge. In many cases, audiences have simply become fatigued by online events that seem too long, too predictable, and lacking personalisation. The result is too high a proportion of audience members zoning out; or even worse, logging off.
The medium may be different, but webinars need just as much organizing as a conventional seminar. Factors such as timing, what data to collect and what kind of interactivity will be effective all need to be considered for a webinar to be successful. In TTGmice magazine, Tay Ling of TBA Hong Kong offers marketers ideas for designing engaging webinars that improve lead...
The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed changes to our daily lives to an unprecedented scale in just a few months. New normal – a new way of living and disruptions in our habits and tradition relating to the way we live, work and interact with others will – affects day-to-day activities as well as business operations.
The sudden tilt toward online events in 2020 triggered an onslaught of digital and virtual event solutions of varying degrees of usefulness. Let’s look at the common ROI-affecting challenges and proven ideas of reaching customers online, continuing effective dialogues and digging out actionable insights for ROI measurement and strategy optimisation.
Given COVID-19’s ferocity, most businesses are trying different ways to reach their customers and continue their operations as much as they can. Many of them are ramping up investment in digital solutions, social and e-commerce platforms. Some businesses would opt for transforming their events to virtual ones. And the key to a successful virtual event is keeping your audience engaged.
In an interview with M&C Asia, Pico’s Vincent Yap pointed out the importance of providing virtual events solutions to continue driving the meetings ecosystem amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, live events will remain vital because of the irrepressible need for human interaction. Hybrid events are likely to evolve as 'the new normal' for the industry.
Events are going greener – but not for the sake of the environment alone. Consumer expectations of good corporate citizenship are an even more powerful driver; according to Nielsen, an overwhelming 81% of respondents from around the globe strongly believe that companies should help improve the environment.
When we talk about conveying the essence of the brand – the substance that makes it meaningful and unique – we are talking about storytelling. But storytelling is more than a literal all-purpose history; it’s about crafting information into a human experience. On each occasion it is used, a story needs to be refreshed so that it resonates with a different audience, time, place or product.
Pico’s Chairman looks at how AI has become routinely applied in an increasing number of industries in the past few years. With AI-powered robots now successfully drafting legal documents, patrolling airports and taking on other tasks, AI is set to proliferate even more quickly into more aspects of event, business and daily life.
In his Headline Finance column, Pico’s Chairman offers examples like the GUINNESSTM Connoisseur Bar pop-up store to explain how brands are creating novel experiences to relate their stories to a new generation. With different generations having different expectations, he says, brand marketing must change with the times.
Events upgraded with new technology are the focus of a Headline Finance column by Pico’s Chairman. Pico’s own Born to Run virtual running platform and ‘Our Harbour 1881, Our Stories’ are examples of how interactivity can bring fresh appeal to familiar histories – and even the ancient activity of the marathon.
As Pico’s Chairman points out in Headline Finance, cyber-crime tactics are constantly changing – and businesses and individuals need to be vigilant to keep up. Common-sense measures like using unique and complex passwords can make a huge difference in security – and help businesses maintain their reputation as a trustworthy partner.
Many businesses rely on data to predict consumer behaviour and optimise their strategies – but for good predictions to be made, ‘good data’ must first be collected. In his Headline Finance column, Pico’s Chairman describes how immersive new technology like VR will yield more accurate data at lower cost – and lead to better results for businesses like retailers and event planners.
Pico’s Chairman takes note of how brands are increasingly diversifying beyond their traditional market segments in an effort to build a bigger following. The key to success? Starting with a brand image sufficiently strong and defined to add distinction to almost any product, for almost any audience.
The promise of truly high speed mobile VR/AR and video livestreaming is about to be fulfilled as 5G edges closer to the mainstream. For event planners, 5G should usher in a new crop of tech that will make audience experiences more vivid and engaging than ever – even for audiences far beyond the confines of the venue.
Customer behaviour has changed in this digital era – even when the customers are the clients of B2B firms. As Pico’s Chairman explains in his new Headline Finance column, the B2B world is responding with marketing strategies that use tech to pinpoint target audiences, and reach them with fine-tuned content via digital platforms and AI.
Trade shows, conferences and even meetings are increasingly taking their cues from music festivals and fan festivals. An article by Darren Lim from Pico+ looks at how and why ‘festivalisation’ can boost engagement, including by tailoring events for maximum audience appeal, providing a choice of brand-audience interactions, and even by letting audiences plan their own agenda. Read it all here.
Cutting-edge identity recognition technologies are maturing and bringing greater convenience to many aspects of daily life. However, there are still legitimate worries about the security and integrity of the personal information we share with companies and institutions. Does blockchain offer an effective solution?
The Pico Chairman’s latest Headline Finance column builds the case for data at the foundation of every successful marketing event. Specifically, the Chairman relates how vital it is to ‘know’ a brand’s target audience before shaping events and brand interactions around their behaviour and preferences. Read the full column here.
The rising expectations of event participants can only be fulfilled with a constant stream of new, fresh and original activities. But adding new content or changing formats can be challenging, especially when venue restrictions are considered. In these situations, the use of technology can open up unlimited possibilities for event planners.
Facial recognition will certainly continue to grow, and people will come to see it as a routine part of daily life. However, some people still feel uncomfortable about the technology. Some feel that having their facial images captured at an event, or having their movements tracked there, infringes on their personal right to privacy. They forget...