Pre-IMEX 2012 social media survey by AIM Group International

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1 How Event Planners use Technology & Social Media Pre-IMEX 2012 social media survey by AIM Group International 1

2 This report is based on a May 2012 survey conducted by AIM Group International primarily via LinkedIn professional group Latest trends in Event Industry by AIM Group International as well as through other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The survey was exploring questions and trends on technology and social media in the meeting industry and how meeting professionals and their clients use them in everyday life. AIM GROUP INTERNATIONAL Worldwide know-how. Local experience. 2 BRUSSELS BUDAPEST FLORENCE LISBON MADRID MILAN PARIS PHILADELPHIA PRAGUE ROME SOFIA VIENNA VILNIUS

3 {Summary} The purpose for usage of social media in the meeting industry This study surveyed event planners and meeting professionals with the goal of understanding how they are currently using social media and technology in their job. The respondents of the survey include an invited group of meeting professionals who are responsible for running large-scale (in size, budget or visibility) congresses, conferences and events for associations and corporations. On the following pages, you ll discover: The most effective social media platforms and technologies to use before, during and after the event or conference Technology tools and trends influencing the future of meeting industry Difference in social media and technology use and approach by corporates associations governmental institutions Use of meeting apps during events and conferences Future for paper free conferences What are the major pros and cons for the meeting industry 3 AIM GROUP INTERNATIONAL Worldwide know-how. Local experience.

4 {Most important findings} Here s a short summary of our findings: Top three reasons for social media use for the meeting industry: marketing and promotion of the company to keep up with industry news and happenings promotion of events Top five social media networks/tools for event organizers: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Conference / Meeting apps (in no particular order). Conference and meeting apps holds the top spot for future trends in the meeting industry Corporate companies most demanding clients concerning social media and technology use during events Inexperience as main obstacle to use social media and technologies Conference website 4 BRUSSELS BUDAPEST FLORENCE LISBON MADRID MILAN PARIS PHILADELPHIA PRAGUE ROME SOFIA VIENNA VILNIUS

5 {Use of social media in the meeting industry} We asked a few questions to determine the event planners experience using social media in the meeting industry. 66,7% 66,7% We began by asking survey participants what is their main purpose for usage of social media in the meeting industry. The majority indicated they were employing social media for marketing and promotion of the company and to keep up with industry news and happenings. Multiple answers were possible. 16,7% 50% 16,7% 66,7% 50% 50% 66,7% 50% 50% Leads acquisition Promotion of events Online networking Marketing and promotion of a company 5,6% 50% 5,6% Keep up with industry news and happenings Building a community Other (please specify) 5 AIM GROUP INTERNATIONAL Worldwide know-how. Local experience.

6 {Use of social media in the meeting industry} Promotion of the Events The event promotion was mentioned as a third most important objective for social media use in the meeting industry. Yet which specific channels are used by event planners and is there a difference in promotion during 3 stages of the conference life, i.e. before during after the event? Multiple answers were possible. 61,1% 50% 55,6% 50% 44,4% 22,2% According to our survey respondents, conference website and LinkedIn are leading the ranking as the most effective ways to raise awareness and create communication and networking opportunities among the attendees before a conference. Conference website Conference Apps LinkedIn Facebook Twitter YouTube 16,7% 16,7% Google+ Blog 11% Other (please specify) 6 BRUSSELS BUDAPEST FLORENCE LISBON MADRID MILAN PARIS PHILADELPHIA PRAGUE ROME SOFIA VIENNA VILNIUS

7 {Use of social media in the meeting industry} During the event The channels and platforms are dramatically changing for the period of the conference happening where Conference Apps and Twitter are taking the lead. LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube are rarely used by the respondents during their events. 7 AIM GROUP INTERNATIONAL Worldwide know-how. Local experience.

8 {Use of social media in the meeting industry} After the event LinkedIn is back at lead after the event to review event performance and to continue the networking opportunities amongst the participants. Conference website is keeping its importance throughout the whole period of a conference life. 8 BRUSSELS BUDAPEST FLORENCE LISBON MADRID MILAN PARIS PHILADELPHIA PRAGUE ROME SOFIA VIENNA VILNIUS

9 { What will be the leading tools and technologies} for meeting planners in the future Beside the actual use of social media and new technologies in the event industry, it is very interesting to see what the event organizers see as main trends for the future. Again, multiple answers were possible. Almost 80% of the survey participants see smartphones and mobile apps for events to take a leading role for meeting planners in the future. It is obvious that the congress participants tend more and more to find all information related to a conference online. The actual life of an event is starting well before the opening ceremony and first speaker s presentation and lasts long after the conference venue closes its door to the delegates. 9 AIM GROUP INTERNATIONAL Worldwide know-how. Local experience.

10 { What will be the leading tools and technologies} for meeting planners in the future A future leading tool: Conference and Meeting Apps We asked event planners if they were creating and using meeting apps during their events and whether this happens through outsourcing or own development. A 52% majority said no nevertheless with the intention to create an app for their next event. Outsourcing predominates over the internal development for those who already use meeting apps during their events. Will future events be paper free? The overwhelming majority 81,3% of event organizers has no experience with creating a paper free conference. Nevertheless with new technologies and social media we may soon experience a trend towards creating completely paper-free events with no printed materials or poster panels. 16,7% 81,3% 16,7% 81,3% Yes No 10 BRUSSELS BUDAPEST FLORENCE LISBON MADRID MILAN PARIS PHILADELPHIA PRAGUE ROME SOFIA VIENNA VILNIUS

11 { Event organizers and meeting planners } - what their client say? Social media and new technologies offer a variety of possibilities to extend the event or conference experience. Despite the fact that these tools are getting more and more popular, there are situations when event organizers cannot use the full potential of them due to the fact that their clients are not keen on using these tools. We asked about the reasons, multiple answers were possible. Inexperience is by far the biggest obstacle to meeting professionals clients to use the social media and new technology when planning an event. Amongst other reasons were costs, security and also time issues, i.e. a manpower to manage the social media accounts. Non respondent mentioned that a client would have a bad experience in this area. Further we asked event organizers what feedback they receive from their clients re use of new technologies and social media during events and whether there is a difference in behavior between a corporate, association and governmental meeting/ client. All respondents showed a similar general point of view and experience: Corporate meeting / client : a must Association meeting / client : a possibility (to involve the audience, to explore new approaches towards members, etc. nevertheless with concerns) Governmental meeting / client : no requests 87,5% 18,8% 25% 18,8% 12,5% 18,8% 87,5% 25% 0% 18,8% 12,5% Costs Inexperience Security issues Bad experience No need for their members/ delegates/employees Other (please specify) 11 AIM GROUP INTERNATIONAL Worldwide know-how. Local experience.

12 { What the main pros and cons for use of new } technologies in the meeting industry? An open question to summarize personal feelings of event planners and meeting professionals on this area concluded the survey. Here is our selection of replies: Pros Reaching a wider audience Everyone needs to keep with the technology being developed and used in this or any other industry The facility of management, time management, image, logistics, performance of the conferences New technologies can help to the fusion of knowledge and awareness. Also helping to target a specific group of people or companies, decreasing costs This will be the future More visibility and speed of information, increase links Faster, less rigid, everything on real time! Cons Not all people are acquainted with technologies so it depends on who is your target client. Not everybody is adapting nor inclined to keep up with the fast changes in technology and applications; too many things to learn in so short a time Sometime are the cost and the inexperience New tools are implementing new rules of communication. The pace of changes in technology, may be leaving behind more aged experts -that are not sufficiently informed on new technologies but might have a lot to give It is necessary to train staff to manage and also to sell these new tools to clients 12 BRUSSELS BUDAPEST FLORENCE LISBON MADRID MILAN PARIS PHILADELPHIA PRAGUE ROME SOFIA VIENNA VILNIUS

13 Meet AIM Group International live AIM Facebook fan page AIM LinkedIn Company page AIM LinkedIn group AIM YouTube channel Search in groups Latest trends in Event Management by AIM Group International AIM on Twitter aimgroupinternational.com

14 aimgroupinternational.com AIM GROUP INTERNATIONAL Worldwide know-how. Local experience. BRUSSELS BUDAPEST FLORENCE LISBON MADRID MILAN PARIS PHILADELPHIA PRAGUE ROME SOFIA VIENNA VILNIUS

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