ACTIVE Network Study Reveals Shift in Meeting Trends

In a way, the Great Recession of 2008 was like a big storm that whipped through the meetings and events industry.

It left a lot of changes in its wake – many of them permanent.

Now, a new ACTIVE Network study of eRFP activity from 2008 to 2012 reveals how the recession changed the way organizations source and plan events.

To learn more about the study, visit our Business Solutions Group blog, here.

5 MOB EVENT TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2013

If you think Mob events, like zombie chases, mud runs, paint races, and tomato fights were big in 2012, just wait until 2013. ACTIVE’s Mob customers, including The Color Run™ and Spartan Races, saw more than one million participants in 2012 and the numbers are continuing to surge into 2013.

As the New Year approaches, below are 5 important trends to watch:

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Access Activities Anywhere with ACTIVE’s APIs

There’s growing evidence that online activities strongly influence offline actions, and marketers are increasingly looking for ways to bridge those two worlds.

Apps designed to support the active part of our lives – whether it’s running a race, achieving a goal or participating in a business event– are providing that bridge.

To that end, we just announced our new developer center and APIs that give developers access to its robust, global inventory of events and activities. This offering provides developers with a centralized hub where they can create custom apps drawing on the global inventory of events and activities listed on ACTIVE’s online media property, ACTIVE.com.

ACTIVE Network has steadily grown its affiliate program with over 200 distribution partners to date including well-known brands such as espnW, Eventful, Fitness Magazine, PGA.com, and Prevention.

By bringing all of its resources into this comprehensive, user friendly site, ACTIVE is making it easier for developers to design apps for activities, and also for organizations to obtain these kinds of insights.

Check it out, here.

Activity Matters: Mom Fuels Fortune 500 Company and ACTIVE Family

It’s interesting that yesterday’s news about Marissa Mayer and her appointment as Yahoo’s new chief executive has almost been eclipsed by the news of her pregnancy.

I find it refreshing to see an increasing number of tech companies startups co-founded or run by women, and many of these women also expertly balance busy families, volunteer their time, sit on executive boards and maintain a healthy lifestyle through sport or yoga on top of their already demanding, high profile booming careers. For instance, Mayer is on the board at Walmart and other various nonprofits, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Ballet and the New York City Ballet. People nowadays do it all. Mayer is quoted to have said, “”You can be good at technology and like fashion and art. You can be good at technology and be a jock. You can be good at technology and be a mom. You can do it your way, on your terms.” Source: CNN.

I’m inspired by someone like Marissa who does seem to do it all. But, take pause, she works hard. Her work ethic is legendary. As I reflect on being a businesswoman and a mom, I have to work hard every day to find both energy and balance. I find energy in our work at ACTIVE and I find energy in being active. I chase my girls to ballet class. I am joining ACTIVE to raise money for Challenged Athletes Foundation. I’ve committed to a distance swim challenge with my husband, brother, sister and co-workers. Uh, oh. The one thing I’ve realized is that I only have time for things I love.

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Activity Matters: Jump in! The water’s fine!

On July 27, the 2012 Summer Olympics will kick off in London. Families everywhere will take this opportunity to watch some amazing sports performances – especially from swimmers like Michael Phelps who competed in the Olympic trials last week in Omaha.

The excitement of the Olympics is a great opportunity to get your kids excited about trying new sports – and it’s the best time to get them excited about swimming. In fact, over 75% of all “active” families will watch the Olympics as a family.1

Now is the time to inspire future swimmers…
As our family watched the USA Olympic Swimming Trials last week and followed along daily with our Mobile Meet App, we were thrilled to see our own Aquamonster Swim Club coach, Scott Weltz, place first in the 200M Breaststroke and win his spot to the Olympics.  Both of my children could not believe that their goofy coach, who by the way is not the biggest, richest or tallest swimmer out there, made the team through hard work, perseverance and passion. They now believe they can get to the Olympics too, if they work hard enough. And they are even bigger fans of the sport after watching the amazing performances at the trials. I guarantee your kids will feel the same by watching the games this summer!

Ok, so now that your kids are inspired, what will motivate them to start and continue in the sport of swimming?

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What’s The #1 Activity For Families This Summer? Hint: It’s Not Video Games

As schools come to a close this month, families all across America are looking forward to slowing down, and spending time together.  A great way to collect memories and experiences is by spending time as a family enjoying outdoor activities.

Active Network, the leaders in activity and participant management™, surveyed over 2,300 active consumers1 to better understand their love of outdoor activities. 85% of our respondents said they camped in the summer, and almost 70% camp more than three times a year indicating that outdoor activities and camping are one of the most popular ways for families to spend time and stay active in the summer.

And it’s the number one activity Americans plan on spending more on in 2012.

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It takes a village

As we wind down softball and baseball season here in Davis, Calif., I can’t help but think about all the amazing parents I saw supporting my child’s sports and activities. For example, without volunteers (both official and unofficial), I know I wouldn’t have seen the amazing progress my daughter’s 8U Softball team made this season. Three parent volunteer coaches, three volunteer parent scorekeepers (yours truly here!), volunteer umpires, volunteer field prep and clean up, snacks, photography…well, you get the picture. These dedicated volunteers showed me that it really does take a village to support a child’s sports and activities.

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Access to Activities… Anywhere

It’s no surprise that smartphone usage has been on the rise over the past few years and that the trend is expected to continue. According to eMarketer, “Nearly 116 million Americans will use a smartphone at least monthly by the end of this year, up from 93.1 million in 2011.”

People use their phones for everything from email to social media to e-commerce. It’s about convenience, immediacy, and increasingly, how we organize and manage our lives wherever we are. With a view to making activities accessible anywhere, Active has been steadily driving innovation in mobile to make it easier for consumers to search and register for the thousands of activities we power through our ActiveWorks cloud technology and our consumer site, www.active.com.

Today, just in time for the peak camping season, we announced two new mobile apps for outdoors enthusiasts. Both available on iTunes, our ReserveAmerica and Recreation.gov apps allow campers to book campgrounds across the nation right from their phones. Campers should also take note of our cool camping trip planning tool on Active.com which allows users to look up campgrounds and plan out their itineraries, driving distances and more.

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Activity Matters

Active Network exists in part because people need Activity – our customers need us to help them manage activities and the general public needs an easy way to discover and sign up for those activities. By meeting those needs, we are fueling Activity Everywhere and enabling millions of people to live healthier, more enriched lives. That fuels our company mission and the reason why we do what we do every day.

We are here to make the world a more Active place.

How are we doing this? We work hand in hand with our customers to bring our mission to life and we help support government legislation that promotes health and Activity. We have also developed our Employee Wellness program, ActiveX, to help redefine the way Active Network, as well as other corporations, attract and retain talent. We are now igniting a movement to inspire Activity in local communities and to redefine the way the world gets Active…….join us! Take a read through our Always Active blog to learn how our customers, partners, employees and people all over the world are finding their Active.

Ever Active,
Dave Alberga, CEO
Follow me on Twitter, @dalberga