Corporate event attendees' high standards for dynamic and interactive experiences has translated into demand for crowd participation technology, displays to showcase live social media feeds, and virtual attendance options. AVIXA examines the opportunities and challenges for pro AV providers working in corporate events in the new Market Opportunity Analysis Report (MOAR) Corporate Events.
Of the $247 billion total pro AV market in 2019, the live events market represents $26.7 billion. "Live events" includes both live performance events (touring concerts primarily) and corporate events. Although the revenue breakdown is not precisely known, corporate events represent the bulk of the live events business served by most AV providers. This is thanks to the sheer number of events annually and the need for cutting-edge technology to deliver exceptional experiences.
AVIXA defines the corporate events market to include planned, temporary events, such as conferences and seminars, offsite sales and product training, shareholder events, B2B or B2C product release and branding events, banquets and award ceremonies, and large planned company celebrations with AV support.
"Corporate events are a large and growing portion of the live events space, thanks to a continuing need for companies to educate, promote, and celebrate their brands, products, and services," said Sean Wargo, senior director of market intelligence, AVIXA. "The experience economy has raised the bar for producers of these events, requiring the latest in technology to attract and engage audiences, particularly given the busy nature of trade shows and other large events where time is at a premium."
MOAR: Corporate Events reports on audiences' preferences when attending corporate events, including the role technology plays in creating exceptional experiences. The report also explores the viewpoint of purchasers of live events solutions or the influencers and decision-makers involved in selecting the bundle of hardware and services inherent in the event production. Lastly, the report studies feedback from live events providers for the corporate market.
During a corporate engagement like a convention or trade show, there are often concurrent and competing events, so attendees have choices about what to attend. In addition, survey respondents reported that they frequently attend events that are not directly required for their job. Since it's their decision to attend the events, their responses to AVIXA's survey questions reveal what providers can do to attract them.
Surprisingly, for corporate events, where most of the activity has been on a stage, interactive touch displays received the highest percentage of respondents who said the technology enhanced their experience at the event (83 percent) where it was present. Projection technology also rates highly at 77 percent. Taken together these suggest the importance of investing heavily in the visual components of the event, but with an interactive twist. Audio equipment on the main stage was rated as an event enhancement by 81 percent. Audio quality consistently rates high in surveys dealing with live event satisfaction, because as every AV industry professional knows, poor audio will ruin an event faster than any other element.
When survey respondents were asked what is on their technology wish lists for live events, they revealed a large demand for interactive technology, including audience interaction tools, virtual reality (VR) to enable attendees to explore content further, smartphone apps that include the events' presentations, displays that share social media feeds, virtual attendance, and more.
The end user—often the event producer or meeting planner—is responsible for arranging for the provision of AV technology and services for the corporate event. And they spend a significantly higher percentage of their total event budgets on AV than customers in AV integration projects or AV for the entertainment/performance events. Half of the event producers/meeting planners surveyed plan to increase the amount of owned gear in their inventory, an indication of an increased tendency to invest in some of their fixed event venues. Event producers and meeting planners see direct benefits from implementing AV at their events, specifically creating digital content archives of the events and reaching remote audiences through streaming.
The dynamics of AV providers are unique in corporate events: They are both the end user of AV gear and the service provider for a new kind of experiential demand. They buy AV equipment for their own inventory to use in their customers' events or they rent AV equipment for them. They balance the amount of renting and owning according to their own changing financial position, their pipeline of jobs, their customers' needs, and the evolving market, including the emergence of new technology products and solutions. The frequency of venues owning their own AV equipment factors into this balance as well. As AV providers, their most promising market is providing experiential technology and services, turning all the audience demand for interactivity away from mediocre phone apps and into stunning "collective VR" for an entire auditorium or even an entire city.
To learn more about MOAR: Corporate Events, visit avixa.org/MOARCorporateEvents. AVIXA members are eligible for discounts.