Like everything else in life, the event planning industry is rapidly changing. Events and conferences are foregoing the traditional Powerpoint presentation and classroom-like learning setting for an experience that’s geared more towards the attendee’s experience. There are a few standouts when it comes to changes in the industry but the main trend is the increased use of technology and mindfulness.
To attract attendees and create more memorable experiences, more planners are exploring unique venues and destinations. With the focus on creating memorable and interactive experiences, new venues opening all the time and budget restrictions, event planners go for quirky over extravagant to drive attendee engagement. Unconventional venues pique interest and create unforgettable memories, building your event’s story in an organic way
With live streaming, remote access, and international mindfulness, event planners are thinking bigger as far as their global reach. While previous livestreaming experiences were once treated as an afterthought, event planners now value the remote attendee’s engagement and feedback as much as those who attend in person.
Technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet are bringing a whole new level of experience to event attendees. VR technology helps bring the excitement of the event to the livestreaming experience, and chatbots ensure remote attendees remain engaged. These revolutionary technologies will help planners continue to meet attendee expectations and deliver more engaging meeting and event experiences.
Having a sustainability strategy is important. Being paper-free, recycling glass, having zero food waste and a low carbon footprint awareness, are all in the spotlight. A focus on sustainable practices isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Planners will be looking for venues with LEED certifications, energy efficiency, local food initiatives, and innovative answers to minimize their carbon footprints.
From smartphones to tiny homes, people are intent on getting the most out of everything these days, especially events! From rich content to lasting connections to stimulating activities, planners need to consider how every aspect of the event, even seemingly insignificant elements (such as cool swag and merchandise) can be enhanced to provide additional benefits.
Packing several sessions to attend, booths to visit, notes to take and people to meet into two or three days can be quite demanding for conference attendees. While the goal is ensuring attendee minds are full, don’t discount the benefits of attendees being mindful as well. Brain breaks are crucial to rejuvenating the mind and fostering creativity. Give attendees time and space to breathe, reflect, and regroup with a diverse selection of activities.
Diversity will take root not just in attendance and speakership but in all areas of the conference. Inclusivity in sponsors, speakers and panelists from across the spectrum of race and gender is becoming the norm. Diversity should not be an afterthought, but well-integrated into event planning from the outset.
Since everyone retains information differently, event professionals are differentiating for content delivery, focus, and scaffolding. The future of professional education and entertainment will rely on data to pinpoint the best way to reach each attendee, including what content will be in demand
Privacy and security are the top concerns for planners. Additionally, meetings and events are often impacted by safety and security threats. Cybersecurity has become an increasied concern, especially for attendees connecting to unsecured event Wi-Fi networks.
The best kind of events are focusing on the attendee’s experience. The value for attendees starts with unforgettable, enjoyable and mindful events. Planners should create original and unexpected on-site experiences to strengthen the individual’s return on investment in attending the event.