Recently, we have been putting a lot of thought into the short term and long term future of the events industry. We have been considering the strategies, technologies, and methodologies the industry can adopt today to ensure that face-to-face events continue to thrive meaningfully long after robotics, artificial intelligence and augmented reality become fully integrated into the world we live in.
As a part of this initiative, we are also reaching out to our friends and partners in the industry to share their ideas on ‘Innovation and the Future of Events‘ in this forum. In this guest post, Ken Dec, EVP, Marketing and Client Strategy with The Expo Group shares his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities the next ten years will bring to General Service Contractors.
The Role of General Services Contractor, Ten Years Hence
By Ken Dec
As the industry continues to evolve, driven largely by technological innovation, the role of the traditional GC has changed and is poised to change even more radically in the years to come. Here’s how and why.
General Contracting isn’t what you are, it’s just one service you provide.
I’d argue the GC supplier ‘category’ is already an anachronism as most of the companies providing these services, at least any at scale, do far more than tactically manage the expo floor, wayfinding and other operational aspects of the event experience.
Their evolving role combines, or will combine (for those not already there), the following services:
Imagining, designing, developing, implementing, managing, measuring and optimizing the entire audience experience, from attendee to exhibitor to sponsor to speaker. This experience will extend far beyond the event venue, as streaming and virtual event location extensions will become the norm rather than the exception.
Delivering end-to-end multi-generation experience design will require a larger role in the development and curation of content types across the experience. Think of it as the Event Experience Editor, collaborating on and coordinating the content necessary to deliver the intended experience.
There is a veritable boom in engagement technologies – AR/VR/MR and more – ways to ‘transport’ audiences from the event location to wherever the most productive conversation between an audience and your brand can take place. No need to be limited by the physical location (venue or booth location) – we’ll be charged with helping show managers and exhibitors “transport” audiences to where they can best engage.
The ability to mass produce physical experiences via 3D printing and the continued evolution of modular booth designs (including automated deployment) means those suppliers who either invest in these evolving technologies or at least know how to manage them will be ahead of their competitive brethren in bringing greater experiential value to their audiences.
Entirely mixed-reality events (think Microsoft HoloLens) with people ‘attending’ in their homes and offices but still engaging and connecting through dimensional experiences.
Flat-pack homes are already here. On similar lines, automated fold-out and retractable booths that are easy to store and ship may well replace our conventional booths of today.
The term ‘GC’ is so 20th century. Time to move in sync with this one. Time to move onto what the real job is now – building unique, compelling, memorable and measurable experiences.
More to explore: