It’s become the norm to look at the landscape of event trends from a global perspective. There are many disadvantages of this approach, with insufficient attention devoted to regional patterns being one of them. Digital consumerism in Asia has a unique nature that definitely impacts event management trends. Forty-three percent of web traffic comes from mobile there while the figure is only 33% for the rest of the world. China is growing into a leader of the Internet economy, and Singapore has become a host for such historic meetings as the 2018 North Korea–U.S. Summit.
So how does Asia’s digitalism miracle relate to the events industry? The short answer is through advanced technologies. Let’s explore the key event management trends that make Asia’s events exclusive.
Countries that set trends in Asia
According to Ping He, the global general manager at Maritz Travel who works with the Asia-Pacific region, “Asia has become the epicentre for what’s coming up in the world right now.” Geographically, the most prominent regions appear to be Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, and Singapore, which Ping He calls “four small dragons.” As for the cities, Sydney, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong are believed to be the key trend-setters in 2018, according to a CWT Meetings & Events report. From favorable tax incentives to the rapid growth of tech startups, there are many reasons why these cities may be a perfect fit for your next event. What’s more, the Asia-Pacific region is very attractive, not only in terms of its high-tech infrastructure. The region also boasts some of the most fabulous meeting destinations, like Kuta in Bali and Langkawi in Thailand.
The top 6 event management trends in Asia
Based on our observations in the Asia-Pacific region, we’ve compiled a list of the top seven trends that tell the most about the events infrastructure in the region:
The booming technology scene is where trend-setting starts. The competitive advantage of the Asia-Pacific region in terms of event management is the extensive use of messaging apps. Thanks to platforms like WeChat and LINE, mobile interaction has gained a very special position in the life of this community. With all-embracing functionalities related to financial and social issues, the use of apps became part of a lifestyle rather than just content consumption. This is the reason why many event specialists focus on M&E destinations in Asia.
A strong adoption of mobile messaging makes it easier to set up the system of event interactions. Apart from event apps, top-notch technologies like face recognition, RFID, and wearables are widely used as well. Thanks to the great quality of mobile interaction, the Asia-Pacific region is also one of the best regions for conducting virtual events.
According to Asian Review, companies in Asia have increased their investments in information technologies such as the Internet of Things and AI by fourfold over the last decade. This prompted a very rapid growth of progressive startup ecosystems, especially in countries like Japan and Singapore, and it doesn’t look like the trend is going away any time soon. Agility is the key factor that gives birth to innovation, which makes the Asia-Pacific region one of the most promising regions for M&E growth.
A craving for exclusivity is another defining feature of the meetings and events sector in the Asia-Pacific region. From guest arrival procedures to event aroma, every tiny detail matters. Since such a huge focus is placed on an attendee’s journey, there’s a strong system of building joint ventures between DMCs, airline companies, hotels, and more. In other words, by striving for memorability, M&E organisations have developed a very effective system of partnerships and connection-building in the Asia Pacific.
Safety and security
Data protection is always at the forefront across the world’s leading organisations, which sets high standards for IT security at events. Asia has a very versatile landscape of security trends, which, depending on the country, may have different impacts on event organisation. For example, in countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, security is very limiting in nature, meaning that many people are reluctant to attend events in these countries due to geopolitical problems. In contrast, countries like Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore have long been international event hubs that have not only great capabilities for physical safety but also for the development of unbreakable IT ecosystems. Recently, the GlobalSign.in team had the honor of being a technical partner at a historic security-driven event, the Trump–Kim summit in Singapore. You can discover more about a security system that was built specially for the summit here.
The way people interact with an event determines the value they are going to derive from it. Strong engagement tactics for an event include a mix of technology, advanced venue capabilities, and attendees’ interests. Summing up the meetings and events trends in Asia we’ve discussed before, the Asia-Pacific region has everything it needs to generate extraordinary event engagement:
- Content sharing: The crucial part of engagement is the exchange of valuable content. With powerful mobile apps, sharing all types of content, from live streams to payment information, is simple.
- Venue perks: Interaction with a venue also adds up to event engagement. You’ll be hard-pressed to find such a stunning collection of venues anywhere else in the world. Whether it’s Marina Bay Sands in Singapore or Convention and Exhibition Center in Hong Kong, your audience will be fascinated by perfect views and top-notch services.
- Immersive experiences: According to the 2017 Freeman Global Brand Experience Study, Asia takes the lead in the adoption of immersive technologies, with 42% of companies using sensory interaction and 22% using gamification in marketing. This makes Asia Pacific into a progressive space for the growth of VR/AR activities at events.
If you check the websites of popular venues in Singapore or Hong Kong, you’ll most likely find a large section called “Events” on many of them. With a vibrant system of travel companies, Singapore as the top aviation hub, and many other perks, Asia-Pacific destinations are all the rage these days.
We hope that these event trends in the Asia-Pacific region will help you find the perfect destination for your next meeting where you can align smart technology with a secure IT ecosystem and advanced engagement capabilities.