In today’s digitally disrupted world, the need for live events has become essential to fortify the connect in business relationships.
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics 2018, the projected growth for the meeting, convention and event planners is forecasted to grow by 11% in the USA alone between 2016-2026.
With the event industry growing by leaps and bounds, it is critical to stay attentive towards the latest event trends.
This will ensure that the most memorable experience is delivered to the attendees. This will also help the event organisers survive in the saturated market of the event planning industry.
Without further ado, let us find out the four most popular global event planning trends:
1] Attendee Assistance Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI continues to dominate major industries this year as well. That is why it is on top of the list for future trends in the event industry. AI can be used effectively from small as well as big events.
While virtual assistants and chatbots can help the attendees of a bigger event by tending to their commonly asked questions, small events can use Facebook messenger for the same.
An event’s success or failure depends on the overall experience of each attendee. Even small situations like being unable to find a bathroom during the event can have a considerable impact on your event’s reputation.
The attendees can end up getting frustrated if they do not get the required assistance in time. Keeping a staff assistant would further add to your cost.
AI can facilitate a plethora of functions ranging from aiding in registration procedure, sending off session reminders, giving personalised suggestions for activities by syncing with attendees social media profiles, recommending a business connection attending the event, creating shareable event banners that can reach a wider audience etc. Performing so many functions using a single app would cut down your expenses as well.
2] Using Big Data and Crowdshaping
Data is and will always continue to be the most critical aspect of enhancing customer experience. Attendees are the direct word of mouth reference for your event.
According to a report by Cvent, despite gathering so much event data, only 20% of the event organisersare able to use this data effectively.
The key to using this data is through the process of crowdshaping. First, the data is collected at the events using sophisticated techniques like QR code scanning, beacons, live surveys and polling, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) wearables and heat mapping.
Then this data is fed into the big data algorithms that convert it into insights. These insights then allow event planners to do crowdshaping which is channelising the crowd of attendees to activities that will refine and accentuate their event experience.
Additionally gathering big data can also be utilised to determine the dwelling time of the attendees at the event. This can then be used to send them personalised messages and get valuable insights through a poll on what went wrong.
Another way of using this data is by calling the most popular guests and speakers to draw more attendees the next time you host an event.
3] Riding the Sustainability Wave
Sustainability is currently the most hyped and trending topic that an event organiser can tap into. The ideation of the three Rs of environment that is reusing, recycling and repurposing can help you demonstrate your commitment towards saving the planet.
With a growing number of individuals becoming sensitive towards environmental degradation, attendees will appreciate and notice your contribution.
Using biodegradable products or products made from recycled materials such as paper plates, name tags, cloth registration bags, recyclable food cartons etc. can set a new trend and example in the event planning industry.
Other innovative trends in this space include donating the leftover food, water or other useful articles to the needy. Another way is to go paperless completely. This can be achieved using digital media such as e-brochures, e-pamphlets and applications for registration.
Additionally, you can think outside the box and see the bigger picture by using local businesses suppliers thereby generating employment. Event organisers can also host charitable activities during the event to further help the local communities.
4] Create De-Stressing Zones at the Event
Several back to back sessions, multiple ongoing activities, attendees rushing from one session to another taking notes and networking does drain out a lot of energy. Giving some room to breathe at the event is the next popular trend making the list.
Give attendees a setup where they can de-stress and get re-energised for the rest of the event. We are looking at WiFi free zones that allow them to detach for a while and also encourage them to interact with fellow attendees face to face, calming ambience with mood lighting and relaxing music, comfortable sitting arrangements like sofas, bean bags etc.
Organise the session in such a way that there are regular intervals of breaks between two sessions. The breaks can be planned strategically and can incorporate activities like ice breaking sessions among the attendees, team building activities, networking spaces, light discussions etc.
Event Planning is one of the most creative industries. Keeping abreast with the latest trends and understanding the audience better is the key to a compelling event.
Following the above trends can give your event the boost that it needs and help drive numbers to the event, ultimately fetching a substantial ROI.