9 Event Trends You Need to Know for 2020

Dec 23, 2019 3:15:00 AM Julia Sousa Tips for Event Planners, Strategy

What does 2020 hold for the events industry? A lot in fact! With rapid innovation and global sharing of ideas entrenched in technology – event managers are not any more afraid of applying new methods in order to find their perfect blueprint for an event. 

Below are the top 9 event trends that will shape 2020. 

Personalization

Personalization is the art of customizing each attendee’s experience so that it feels like the event and all the communication around it was tailored around them and their specific needs. That includes marketing communication prior to the event as well as interactions during and after the event is over. Personalization can increase attendee satisfaction and improve likelihood they would attend the event again in the future or that they would advocate for your event among their peers. There are many ways you can use personalization in events, here are some ideas you can try:

  • Data-Based Activity Suggestions: Use attendee data to suggest activities they may enjoy based on previous behaviour, such as sessions, keynotes, and networking activities.

  • Personal App Experience: Allow attendees to favourite and plan their agenda on their fingertips through the use of mobile apps with custom capabilities

  • Personalized Content: Send personalized email messages, including their name, company, or information about previous events they attended.

Social media advertising: If you have a large list of contacts, you can create custom social ads with messages specific to each segment you want to target. You can use your contacts’ email list as the target audience on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, to make sure the right people receive the right message. Create a customized experience for maximum results.

More intimate events

Networking, apart from content, is one of the highest motivators for event attendees. They crave spontaneous conversations and building connections, and in 2020 we will see this trend of serendipitous networking grow stronger.

Many organizations have already invested into the idea of having “networking hubs” at events, making sure attendees are able to intermingle. A simple trick is to provide fewer chairs than the number of attendees in order to encourage movement and communication. Choose venues where this networking angle can be explored. Here are ten tips to encourage networking at your next event.

Face-to-face time

In 2020, brands plan to invest launch events as marketing stations. Face-to-face time is a treasured commodity in our digital world. Brands are confident about face to face conversations being much more potent in persuading potential customers. In a recent event marketing survey published by Harvard Business review, it was stated that 52% of the brands participating in the survey found face to face event marketing more valuable to their business as opposed to other marketing channels.

Event Planners must create sufficient opportunities for attendees to network in face-to-face meetings.

Post-event parties

Parties are fun, and we can’t argue with that. And a fun wrap party is yet another reason to entice people to join your event. Some larger conferences like Dreamforce (by Salesforce), can pack a stadium with attendees to see big names of the pop music live, but you don’t need to host thousands of attendees in order to celebrate in style. Find a venue that can accommodate your event, find some attractions - such as a dj or a local band - and plan the bar and food options that will be available. Consider offering sponsorship packages to cover the cost of the party so you can provide the fun without spending extra.

 

Gamification

Use customized event apps to ‘gamify’ your event. Present attendees with points and bonuses as awards for visiting certain booths or accomplishing certain tasks. When attendees find that they can unlock extra bonuses or hidden offers, they automatically become more predisposed to engage.

For companies that already have branded apps, doing so is even easier. Just start with basic steps such as incorporating voting and implementing other self-governing tactics, which not only help attendees personalize their own experience, but also give the event planners a clear insight into what their attendees prefer. This data can then be used to further gamify your event and make it even more relatable for your attendees.

Appeal to Bleisure (business/travel leisure)

A recent study from the Experience Institute found that 71% of corporate event attendees consider the destination of the event to be a critical factor in their decision-making process on whether or not to attend an event. Regular attendees of events like to blend business and leisure. Attendees see these events as mini-vacations. Do everything possible to make each attendee’s stay as comfortable and luxurious as possible. 

Event coordinators must find a balance in providing attendees with reasonably priced destinations and fulfilling their wishes for vacation-like retreats.

In 2020, the role of high-end event planners is about to change radically. Apart from fulfilling the role of meeting coordinators, they will also be required to be make-shift travel agents. Cultural exchanges, local banqueting, exploratory travel, and team building exercises are all part of the ‘bleisure’ experience. Choosing the right destination may seem simple but it is the most important step. Select an unfavorable destination and ticket sales could majorly suffer. A great attendee experience is guaranteed to result in future business prospects.

Unique Venues

In 2020, expect major event planning firms to upgrade their venues. Choosing a visually attractive venue is more appealing for attendees and inspires them to share pictures of the venue on their social media profiles. Some unique venues that we have seen in the past few years are warehouses, vineyards, museums, gardens and shared working spaces.

Although this doesn’t put hotels completely out of contention as they still remain the go-to venue for most events planned in a small period of time, hotels too are falling in line with this trend. In 2020, more luxury hotels are expected to provide unique and non-traditional spaces (for example rooftops, poolside events, arenas, etc.).The advent of ridesharing apps has made it possible for event planners to host events in remote locations. More handy and reasonably priced transportation means that event management companies can also plan multi-venue events. 

Use of AI in Event Organization and Analysis

Another emerging trend that we’ll see more in 2020 is the use of artificial intelligence in event planning. Event planners can use AI in a number of different ways from event planning to during the event and post-event analysis. Here’s why AI will be a key pillar in event management –

  • AI based chatbots designed to suit any industry niche are easily available for $3,000-$5,000. These chatbots can then provide support for attendees, facilitating communication in group-chat sessions.
  • AI chatbots will be used to automate ticketing process and follow up on potential leads
  • AI can provide automatic recommendations for planners and attendees
  • 24/7 customer support is only possible by using AI technology
  • AI use means improved attendee data collection and post-event analysis

Just as e-commerce websites use AI to drive their recommendation algorithms, event planning apps can implement AI to help event planners find potential attendees, guests, market influencers, etc. Facial recognition software is another application of AI that will make events more secure. 

More Event Apps Wanted

While the emergence of apps has opened up a new and exciting world for event planners, it has also forced many organizers to use event apps that are not at all compatible with their event objectives. An event app is essentially the most vital tool serving as the main interface between you and your attendees - you should settle for nothing but the best. In 2020, event planners will only be able to maximize productivity through their apps by honing the ability to customize their own event apps.

 

Conclusion 

Need professional help with planning your 2020 events? Attendease is one of the leading names in the field of all-in-one event management software. Offering all the key features needed to stay relevant in 2020, Attendease provides event managers with an intuitive, seamlessly branded and a convenient digital experience that goes hand-in-hand with a live experience.