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8 Trends leading the future of in-person events

by Tixtree on Wed, 09 Aug 2023 in Trends & Insights

After experiencing the limitations of online meetings and remote work, the value of in-person events has become evident. They foster connections, facilitate learning, and promote personal and professional growth.

As event planners transition back to in-person experiences, they must prioritise responsible and impactful events to deliver unforgettable moments.

Let's explore these emerging trends that are set to shape the future of event planning.

1. Embracing sustainability: a vital focus for in-person events

In today's environmentally conscious world, event planners must prioritise sustainability as a fundamental aspect of their work. It is no longer optional but an essential element of event planning.

According to the '2023 Global Business Travel Forecast' report by CWT and the Global Business Travel Association, 71% of organisations prioritise sustainability when planning meetings or events. Among them, 70% have implemented a defined sustainable meeting strategy. Their key approaches to achieving sustainability goals include reducing paper usage, selecting eco-friendly suppliers, and adopting energy-saving and waste-reduction practices.

Fortunately, there are various options available to enhance sustainability in the event industry without compromising ROI (Return on Investment). Collaborating with select partners, for instance, can simplify the process:

Event Cycle is an initiative that helps event planners reduce waste and create a positive impact. Through them, event organisers can donate leftover materials contributing to a circular economy.

An example of successful collaboration is xyz, a tech-driven creative agency that partnered with Event Cycle to repurpose 40 galvanised metal wheelie bins after a fashion launch event. These bins were creatively used to benefit different communities. More inspiring success stories can be found on the Event Cycle platform.

Choosing the right ticketing platform can also make a significant difference and boost your brand. Tixtree, for instance, allocates 5 pence for each ticket sold to tree-planting projects. By using Tixtree for events and ticket sales, organisers can take a crucial step towards sustainability while being motivated to plan further sustainable measures. Tixtree's commitment to the environment and community empowerment makes it the top choice for event organisers striving to reverse ecological damage. Learn more.

2. Maximising value for money: innovative solutions for event organisers

Inflation is reshaping the budgeting landscape for event organisers. As event costs continue to rise, it becomes crucial to maximise value for money while upholding quality, attendee experience, and event objectives.

To tackle this trend, innovative solutions are emerging to help save on event costs, such as:

  1. Organic event promotion: reduce costs associated with paid digital advertising by leveraging organic promotion through various social and media channels. Integrate new channels, like TikTok, into your event promotion strategies to tap into extensive organic reach without the barrier of building a large following. Engaging content and targeting the right audience can boost awareness, ticket sales, and audience engagement.
  2. Flexible pricing models: event organisers can implement tiered pricing systems that offer a range of packages, from free to super-premium. This approach adds flexibility and enables the right balance between reach and engagement.

For more insights on determining the best event ticket price and driving sales through effective event pricing strategies, we wrote an article about the most effective event pricing strategy.

When it comes to minimising ticketing expenses, consider a budget-friendly solution like Tixtree that helps you maximise your event's budget. With its competitive pricing model, you can enjoy high-quality ticketing services at the lowest service fees in the market.

3. Equity, diversity, and inclusion: key considerations in event planning

In today's era, event planners must prioritise diversity and inclusion to create events where everyone feels a sense of belonging. According to the "2023 Global Meetings and Events Forecast," 87% of organisations actively strive to incorporate DE&I principles into their meetings and events. Strategies to achieve this include selecting destinations with multicultural outreach, hiring diverse speakers and suppliers, and ensuring venues are fully accessible.

To foster inclusivity, here are some practices that can be implemented:

  1. Avoid scheduling events on religious or faith-based holidays
  2. Request speakers to use inclusive languages, such as using phrases like "Hello Everybody" instead of "Hello Ladies and Gentlemen"
  3. Collaborate with venues to ensure the availability of gender-neutral restrooms
  4. Provide closed captioning for all presentations and ensure that presentations and signage are legible for people with colour blindness
  5. Offer pronoun ribbons for event badges to respect individuals' gender identities
  6. Designate quiet rooms to accommodate religious practices, breastfeeding needs, or mental health requirements
  7. Clearly label food and beverage options to ensure attendees are aware of what they are being offered
  8. Provide alcohol-free drink alternatives during conference networking events
  9. Configure conference room spaces to be ADA-accessible, including reserving seats up front for hearing-impaired individuals, allowing space for service animals, and providing ample room for individuals using wheelchairs or with other mobility impairments.
4. Well-being matters: prioritising attendee wellness at in-person events

Elevating the well-being of attendees has become a paramount consideration for event organisers in crafting exceptional in-person experiences.

Recognising the significance of holistic well-being, events now prioritise wellness initiatives to create an environment that nurtures the mental, emotional, and physical health of participants. Imbued with dedicated relaxation spaces, invigorating mindfulness sessions, and an array of wholesome food options, these events foster a sense of rejuvenation and balance. Moreover, organisers have shifted away from tightly packed schedules that can overwhelm attendees, acknowledging that not everyone can or wishes to sustain such a high level of activity.

By embracing wellness as a fundamental aspect of event design, planners demonstrate their commitment to attendee satisfaction and the creation of transformative experiences that leave a lasting positive impact.

5. Harnessing technology: integrating innovation into event experiences

As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, event planners are increasingly harnessing its potential to create unforgettable attendee experiences. The integration of innovative technologies has become a cornerstone of event planning, offering a range of exciting possibilities.

One way technology is revolutionising events is through the use of AI-powered chatbots. These virtual assistants can provide instant support and information to attendees, helping them navigate the event, answer questions, and provide personalised recommendations. By incorporating chatbots into event apps or websites, attendees can access real-time assistance and have a more streamlined and interactive experience.

Interactive displays and touchscreens are transforming event environments into immersive and engaging spaces. These displays can showcase dynamic content, interactive presentations, and even gamification elements to enhance attendee engagement. From interactive product demonstrations to collaborative workshops, these technology-driven displays captivate audiences and foster meaningful interactions. Gravit8 has been creating amazing experiential software for events that drives exhibition engagement, boosts interaction, and helps brands to stand out from the crowd. Check the powerful Gravit8 Tablet Walls to make a big visual impact.

Virtual reality (VR) experiences are also making a splash in the event industry. By donning a VR headset, attendees can be transported to virtual environments, allowing them to explore different scenarios, visit virtual exhibits, or even participate in virtual team-building activities.

6. Immersive experiences: creating memorable moments through unique event environments

Event planners are embracing the trend of immersive experiences to create unforgettable moments for attendees. Examples include:

  1. Interactive installations: organisers can integrate interactive installations throughout the event space to engage attendees and encourage active participation. For example, at a marketing summit, attendees might have the opportunity to step into an interactive brand experience where they can create personalised virtual advertisements.
  2. Sensory elements: this could involve incorporating unique scents, ambient sounds, and tactile elements that align with the event theme. Imagine attending a food and wine festival where each tasting station is accompanied by specific scents that enhance the flavours of the dishes.
  3. Captivating storytelling: event creators can weave storytelling throughout the event to create a cohesive and immersive narrative. They may use live performances, theatrical elements, or multimedia presentations to engage attendees emotionally and intellectually. For instance, a charity gala might feature a captivating storytelling session where individuals share their personal stories of transformation and the impact of the organisation's work.
  4. Themed environments: event organisers can create immersive environments that transport attendees into different worlds or eras. Guests at a corporate gala might find themselves stepping into a glamorous 1920s Great Gatsby-themed party, complete with period-appropriate decor, costumes, and live jazz music.

Immersive experiences can help to go beyond traditional event formats.

7. Creative networking for meaningful connections at in-person events

The future of events is poised for growth, with in-person gatherings taking centre stage. According to the "2023 Global Meetings and Events Forecast," all event types are projected to experience an uptick, but it is the resurgence of in-person meetings that shines the brightest.

Virtual fatigue has become a prevailing sentiment, highlighting the genuine desire for attendees to gather in person.

In-person events offer a unique opportunity for networking and forging authentic connections that transcend digital interactions. Event planners are keenly aware of this longing and are determined to create environments that foster meaningful exchanges. Innovative networking formats and purposeful spaces will take centre stage, ensuring that attendees have ample opportunities to connect. Curated matchmaking platforms, guided networking sessions, vibrant social events, and interactive workshops will all play a part in cultivating valuable relationships that extend far beyond the confines of the event itself.

With an unwavering focus on building genuine connections, event planners are poised to deliver unforgettable networking experiences that leave a lasting impact on attendees.

8. Enhancing the travel experience and destination appeal

The travel experience and destination selection are vital considerations for event planners aiming to create extraordinary events. To ensure attendee satisfaction, planners now prioritise destinations with seamless transportation options, minimising travel stress and enabling smooth arrivals. This includes improved connectivity through expanded flight routes, enhanced public transportation systems, and efficient ride-sharing services. Moreover, venues located in walkable neighbourhoods or with easy access to amenities are highly sought after, providing convenience and enjoyment for attendees.

Airport quality is also a key factor, as post-pandemic data reveals low ratings in terms of on-time performance, service quality, and passenger sentiment. By carefully choosing destinations with airports that contribute to memorable touchpoints, event organisers can leave attendees with a positive impression from the beginning to the end of their journey.

Beyond the venue, event organisers recognise the significance of the destination itself. Attendees now evaluate events based on the destination's appeal, seeking a blend of business and leisure opportunities. Organisers should curate experiences that leverage the destination's allure, incorporating off-site activities and excursions to enhance attendee satisfaction and create networking opportunities. When selecting attractive destinations that align with the event's purpose, organisers can inspire attendees to view the event as a must-attend experience.

In conclusion, as in-person events regain their prominence, event planners bear the responsibility of curating experiences that align with their values, exceed expectations, and foster positive change.

Embrace these trends to elevate your event to new heights!