The "Hype Cycle" model, that is commonly called "Gartner Curve" is a graphical representation of the life cycle stages a technology goes through from conception to maturity and widespread adoption. This theory has been proposed by the consulting firm Gartner for technologies, but nowadays it can be applied to the exhibition industry, especially to Virtual and Hybrid Events.

Specifically, this model is divided into 5 distinct phases that define a technology life cycle:
  • Technology Trigger;
  • Peak of Inflated Expectations;
  • Trough of Disillusionment;
  • Slope of Enlightenment;
  • Plateau of Productivity;

Here is the model from a graphic point of view:

No alt text provided for this image
Credits: By NeedCokeNow - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Technology Trigger
The first phase, called “Technology Trigger”, defines the launch of a new technological product, which promises to find the solution to a problem. Our industry has been talking about digital transformation for many years, but only because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become necessary to "trigger" the new technology of Virtual or Hybrid events.
As it happens for all new "triggered technologies", the new technology immediately gets great visibility and a great echo in the industry.
Peak of Inflated Expectations

The second phase of this graphic model is called “Peak of Inflated Expectations”, which shows how the newly launched technology gets the consensus and success deriving from its potential first application.
In this phase all of us have witnessed the excitement and high expectations for Virtual Events, in particular for the possibility of replacing the role of traditional shows. Expectations were very high because of the capacity of “engagement”, of the ability to dialogue with the Community, and above all of the support on revenues generation, as an alternative to cancelled shows.

Trough of Disillusionment
The third phase, called “Trough of Disillusionment”, is the depression phase. Interest in the technology wanes as experiments and implementation fail to produce the desired results (which were visibly inflated). Investments continue only for the companies still convinced to use the technology of Virtual/Hybrid events, which continues to be used by early adopter users. Personally I believe that we are in this phase. As Exhibition Industry, the number of Virtual and Hybrid Events that have been launched on the market in these last month had really too high expectations, but today our industry is in the "depression" phase, as we realize that our previous expectations, ideas and goals are simply not achievable so easily and quickly.

Slope of Enlightenment
The fourth phase of this graph shows the rise in the use of technology, which is called “Slope of Enlightenment”. It is obtained when the technology is improved in order to be more used, and developers create second and third generation products, thus meeting the market and its needs.

This is a central point, it is the ability of working on failure and adapting and changing the new products thanks to the lesson’s learned in the phase 1. In this phase resilience is the key.

Plateau of Productivity The adoption of technology becomes a trend that is increasingly gaining traction in customers, thanks to the resolution of errors, inaccuracies, and the improvement of product reliability.

The complete model is visible below:
No alt text provided for this image
Credits: By NeedCokeNow - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Why is it important to know this model for the exhibition industry?
Knowing the Gartner Hype Cycle model, and more generally, for our industry, having an approach based on models and skills consolidated in other industries, is useful to better understand the evolution of today's technologies as well as those in the process of development and experimentation. In fact, we are living in a new era compared to the one that we have known until February, and not only for our industry. This new era is made up of experimentation, continuous innovation and above all the ability to learn from previous mistakes. 

Mistakes are a fundamental element that must become a decisive way of working for the future of our industry, as indeed the “Trial & Error” method is the basis of every start-up….The central point of this situation is that our industry is back to the "ZERO" moment. Corporates and super-structured organizations, based on processes and procedures, have no sense in this historical moment. We do not know what will happen to the future of the world of Events, processes and procedures that we used to use in 2019 cannot be applied at this moment… so it is now the new startup phase for our industry.

For this reason, the only key to survive is the ability to adapt, which is based exclusively on: Vision, Flexibility, Resilience and Courage.
Knowing this model and studying and studying other models in a scientific way allows us to interpret the reality in which we find ourselves now and identify the trends of the moment.

Contributors: Jaruwan Suwannasat (ROSE) / Director – MICE Intelligence & Innovation Department
The business events industry, Thailand included, is likely working towards new norms and standards that will rely heavily on virtual engagement and event components. The virtual and hybrid events allow the event planners to continue to expand their reach even once larger gatherings are fair game and create the inclusivity environment. In essence, the reality is that there are number of people have never been able to attend the live events according to the logistical difficulty or financial limitations. However, by integrating a virtual element to the physical events, we can ensure that everyone interested in attending the event can join, regardless of whether they are able to travel. The hybrid events can bring the sustainability due to the expanding of event’s reach. Its offer a sustainable alternative to fully-live events by providing attendees with the option to engage remotely renders travel to the event’s physical location unnecessary. Overcoming virtual is the first step, and when we come back as normal, understanding how to continue to leverage online event strategies to create experiences and engaging hybrid practices will give each event a competitive edge.

In response to the pandemic outbreak of coronavirus disease, TCEB has launched the “Virtual Meeting Space” (VMS) project, providing support for MICE entrepreneurs to keep business in Thailand alive.  One of the service in our VMS project is O2O platform which we have supported for live streaming from either a studio or an exhibitor’s booth. The support has extended to manage sequencing, production, controlling, system monitoring during live streaming and preparation of technical co-ordination. 

The recent international trade exhibitions to open in Thailand was THAIFEX – Anuga Asia 2020 which had been hold during 22-26 September 2020 at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani. The tradeshow attracted more than 700 exhibitors and over 20,000 trade visitors in Food and Beverage Industry.  For THAIFEX – Anuga Asia 2020, TCEB had fully supported for 3 days on 22-24 September 2020 on video streaming on Facebook Live via THAIFEX-Anuga Facebook Fan Page. The live streaming attached 80,700 viewers watching 13 live sessions.  

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