Short lead times. A 2023 trend we hope will not be a lasting one. The condensed time to produce and execute events is the most glaring observation of the last months as we've been out on the road for in-person events, and producing virtual events. This is a trend we sincerely hope will end soon - signed the entire event industry!
Below are top observations on further event industry trends:
The number one current trend we are seeing in the event landscape is that everything old is . . . well old. Call it a re-set or re-thinking but companies are looking at new approaches to their legacy, large scale events.
Why? The short answer is: Costs are so high companies are struggling to find the ROI on large event program spends. While we've all been faced with increases everywhere we turn - at the grocery store, dining out, travel and accommodation - corporations are saying we can control our marketing spend, and guess what? We choose not to pay the current prices.
You'll find more on the latest in event planning industry trends in MPI's meetings outlook.
It's worth noting that while on the surface prices have increased, there is still a lot of negotiating power within the industry with venues, and volume-based pricing.
Enter, the re-thinking approach. This is a golden opportunity for event professionals to shape new event experiences and programs. Think less people, more networking, more meaningful connections, more knowledge sharing. More exclusive experiences.
Personalization: Customizing the Event Experience for Attendees
Consumers have become selective about how and where to spend their time and money. This has influenced event industry trends.
Most of all, your event is the opportunity to capitalize on the craving for human connection. Events provide that face-to-face sales opportunity every company searches for. In a recent study on millennials noted in an eventbrite post, the desire for "genuine connection with others" is driving event attendance. Moreover, value is placed on "experiences over things."
What this means for event organizers: Your event needs to BE the experience. Destination is key. Your format will attract or discourage registrants. Networking opportunities, customized immersive experiences, a focus on well-being, and the destination as the main attraction to be explored and experienced, are all top event trends. Leave time in your event agenda for all these event industry trends to turn into reality.
Inclusive, family focused events are high on our clients' wish lists. For two years we've invited a client's customers and their families to a 'Winter Wonderland' event that has over-exceeded attendance targets. Pop up activations, entertainment, curated food and beverage are all part of the event experience.
While many events are over-exceeding registration targets, an unfortunate trend is that the registrations are coming in very late, as in within 2 weeks of the event date. This is wreaking havoc on room block commitments, F&B commitments, causing a complete re-think in room assignments and set-up to accommodate numbers that weren't planned for. It means event organizers are re-designing an entire event with only days to do so. A logistics nightmare! Much of this is a result of the selective decision making noted above. It's more important than ever to make your event stand out from the clutter so the decision to register becomes an easy one.
Increasing investments in event technology
Attendee expectations mirror their personal lives and technology is a driver for experiences. Everything is at our fingertips via our device - make it be so at your next event. At TK Events we implement a full technology stack and integrate it into the event experience with engagement opportunities built into the event. Interconnectivity of solutions and ease of use are drivers to how we implement event tech.Your event technology IS the event experience, it's no longer a 'nice to have' but a 'must have'. Read our tips on how to make event tech easy here.
Event Gamification and Interactive Elements
The event data is in and we've analyzed results! Event ROI is proven when an event experience includes gamification and interactive elements. We've seen the results in our data analysis and insights into attendee behavior enabled by event tech. From event apps, digital leaderboards, to virtual and hybrid event activations. Our in-house developers work in a number of event apps to create gamification that promotes attendee engagement. A recent event app with our custom developed gamification and leaderboard saw a 90% download rate and the sponsor scans were 5x the typical scan rate. Attendee engagement and sponsor satisfaction were at an all-time high.
Event Data: Leveraging Insights to Improve Event Planning and ROI
Using your event technology to its fullest potential delivers results to your sponsors. While an interesting, event industry trend this past year was the decline in sponsor participation, much of it was due to a 'wait and see' how well the event performs in attracting target customers. We are seeing a return of sponsorships and deliver valuable insights that keep them coming back!.
It's not just about measuring attendance, it's about measuring engagement too. We put in the time and apply our knowledge to analyzing data specific to sponsor participation and attendee engagement. Our final data analytics report assists event marketers with insights for planning the next event or marketing initiative.
Hybrid events continue to grow
Many event organizers and marketers have discovered the value of virtual events to reach more customers and create community. Not only does it allow your content to be consumed year round; a hybrid event strategy takes advantage of the recent industry trend we're seeing in fluctating registrations - targeting customers who can't attend the in person event and offering a compelling virtual event experience. An engaging virtual event platform allows for on demand content to be shared and your event to be more than just a moment in time. It allows event attendees and leads to be nurtured through the sales cycle, and a means to provide targeted marketing program updates.
This is a hot topic in our recent conversations at the boardroom table with event marketers and executives. A recent client event saw more than 1200 attend an event in our virtual platform, with high attendee engagement through gamification, resulting in an increase in sales leads.
It's time to think about how to monetize your event. This is a great post that explores how event marketers need to embrace new models around virtual and hybrid events.
Sustainability as a New Events Trend Rule
We can wrap this trend up by saying if you care about people, the economy, climate, the planet and healthy living, then sustainability efforts must be part of your event experience.
Technology is a great way to promote events and adopt sustainable practices (aka no paper). Engaging suppliers who have sustainability policies and approaches in all areas - from the materials they use, combating waste, venues with clean energy solutions, and providing alternate environmentally friendly transportation approaches. These are all part of the sustainability trend that should no longer be just a trend, but an event need.
2023 Event Trends That Will Make Your Next Event a Huge Success
The destination is the experience. Plan your event with an immersive experience in mind.
Combat late registrations - Make it easy to register. Why is your event THE ONE to attend. Community + Experience creates value so your event stands out.
Event tech enables event success.
Personalized event experiences that allow your company to create an emotional connection with event attendees.
Hybrid and virtual events lead to increased customer reach, builds community and valuable customer relationships.
Sustainability should be intrinsic to your event experiences.
Another great summary of 2023 event trends can be found here from leading industry event planner and marketer Julius Solaris
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