By many standards, the events industry is back. In fact, analysts are estimating that total U.S. spending on corporate meetings and events is expected to rise by 20% over the next two years 1. Yet thanks to the corporate cutbacks of the 2008 recession, as well as pressure from shareholders and constituents for more responsible spending, organizations are expecting more from events than ever before. The ACTIVE Network, Inc. (NYSE: ACTV), the leader in Activity and Participant Management™ solutions, has identified five major trends for 2013 that it believes will increase the strategic ROI of events for companies on both sides of the registration desk: 1. Increasingly Smart Events In 2011, 205 million people attended 1.8 million meetings at a total cost of $263 billion in direct spending 2 in the United States alone, and yet analysts estimate that only 25% of organizations maintain real-time visibility into what they spend against corporate budgets 3. Event and engagement management technology is helping to change that by providing real-time data on event spend and increased engagement and exposure with attendees and exhibitors 24-7, 365 days a year. “In 2013, we expect to see more organizations choosing event technology that helps them increase efficiency, extend engagement and grow their business across various types of events in their portfolio,” said JR Sherman, Senior Vice President of Business Solutions at ACTIVE Network. “We anticipate there will be an increased demand for technology solutions that ensure ‘smart events’ from the top down and the bottom up.” 2.Strategic Meeting Management (SMM) Offers the Next Frontier in Business Automation Just as automation has improved the efficiency of marketing, sales, human resources and other key business functions across an organization, companies can expect SMM technology to uncover new ways to reduce and streamline event spend.