The past year and a half has caused us all to question our presuppositions about how things must be done and to get creative about how things can be done. There is no doubt that the events of the last year have led to the evolution of event management. Along with concerts and sporting events there were few things more impacted by the pandemic than seminars, conferences and conventions. All of this has culminated in a tremendous need for event management solutions. As things slowly return to normal here is a look at the top ten latest trends in event management.
Attendees and planners are excited to get back to in person events as ways to connect, learn and grow. Yet there are still a lot of people who have safety concerns and will prefer to attend virtual events. With all the advancements in technology hybrid events are our number one trend because almost all experts are predicting they will flourish in the coming years. Finding ways for people to attend and participate in your events from wherever they are in the world, while also holding large gatherings will be one of your top event management solutions.
A similar solution for the dichotomy of in person vs. virtual event management is to host Micro-Events. These can be offered as break out events within a larger hybrid event or marketed on their own. Events like these can also invite potentially global participation while also being hosted in multiple smaller local events.
Micro-Events can be flexible in the ways they use virtual event participation in coordination with in person attendance at events that are closer to home for attendees. They also have the benefit of personalizing the event for the needs of attendees from specific locales while also sharing a focus on the big picture ideas and information.
3-High Quality Broadcast Production
If the pandemic has changed anything in the evolution of event management it has changed our expectations for our virtual experiences and the technology behind these experiences. Investing in the highest quality broadcast production hardware and software is going to be a “must do” in the coming years and even months. This will be particularly important for enhancing the interactive elements for virtual participants at all events.
4-Health Safety Issues
People attending your event will want to know that you have proactive health safety procedures in place. These procedures will include things like pre-session digital screenings, on-site rapid testing procedures (that we have all become familiar with) and digital tracking and notification systems.
Another aspect of these health safety procedures is the expanded use of another in the latest trends in event management, Event Smart Badges/Wristbands that are equipped with RFID technology. These allow the wearers contactless entry to events and payments, traceability for health concerns, crowd management and even contactless exchange of contact information between attenders. That’s pretty cool!
When it comes to the latest trends in event management we cannot deny the fact that virtual conferences are here to stay. Yes, people will want to get together for conferences and connection but virtual conferences have made a huge leap forward and will continue to be excellent opportunities for events long into the future.
There will continue to be growth curves, advancements and adaptations for the virtual event management industry so don’t underestimate the possibilities and opportunities in virtual events.
When planning these virtual events it will be vitally important to maximize the interactive elements for the attendees. Expectations have skyrocketed and will continue to be raised for virtual experiences and those who keep riding this wave will do very well in the coming years.
One of the keys will be interactivity; increasing the ability for virtual attendees to interact with and have input in everything. Getting participants to tell stories of previous event experiences ahead of time, having them ask questions and respond in real time, encouraging the entertainers to find ways to involve participants and their experiences. This even includes event entertainment; finding ways to increase virtual involvement in entertainment choices, methods and material will be an exciting new way to increase virtual interactivity.
7-Virtual Community Building
Perhaps the greatest challenge for virtual event management is how to build better relationships and connections during virtual events. A company called Bizzabo has come up with a creative solution for this. They have developed software that grows a networking community by integrating with Linkedin that offers the ability for one-on-one messaging before, during and after an event. Adding a path to help build connections and community through your events.
With virtual events everything is able to be tracked. You can discover who attends what sessions, how long people stay with sessions, how many leave, in fact almost any KPI can be tracked. This means that you can use actual relevant data to make real time decisions as well as future recommendations for your event. These evaluations will be invaluable for your team as you seek event management solutions for future events.
The reality of this data driven foundation undergirding virtual events also highlights the issue of cyber security and the need for extraordinary precautions in this area.
Because the evolution of event management is going to involve a larger role for virtual events, it is important to know that “zoom fatigue” is a real thing. According to the data, only 53% of virtual sessions are actually engaged in by attendees. In order to improve engagement, event management must find ways to make these sessions more personal to the needs and interests of attendees. This may involve offering a greater number of choices when it comes to session tracks so that people can better tailor their experiences to their own needs.
A final important aspect for the future of event management is the impact these events have on our environment. More and more people see the need to lessen the footprint of their activities on our environment. Large events create a lot of paper and food waste and require lots of travel and hotel stays which are big energy consumers. Sustainability practices at big events will be vital.
This is another reason why micro-events as well as virtual events will continue to flourish and grow is this growing demand for sustainability. Offering events at more sites means shorter travel to events. Focusing on lowering food waste and the use of sustainable products will help people feel better about attending your event.
Seminars, Conferences, Corporate Meetings and Conventions are all vital aspects of a healthy economy and marketplace and help attendees to connect and grow in their professions, interests and hobbies. Hopefully as you wade back into these new waters of event management these top 10 trends will help to guide your success and create even more opportunities for community building and personal growth.