What are the trends that are going to affect the events industry this year?
We took a look around the industry and came up with some predictions.
This is an issue that is set to become increasingly important, affecting every aspect of the event sector from transport and venues to greater use of plant based menus and utilising recyclable plastic. 59% of respondents to the annual ICE report indicated that they regard sustainability as being a key challenge, while most businesses felt they needed greater guidance on coping with sustainable issues.
Experience based events
There is now much more attention being paid to creating a great experience in every way, whatever the type of event. People want to be involved, they want stand out, memorable events. As a result, immersive and experiental events, pop-ups and creating unusual touches are increasingly being sought. Companies are seeking to hold events in unusual locations such as the Cutty Sark or Arcelomittal Orbit, rather than just a hotel or conference centre.
Hybrid events involving both physical and virtual participants are becoming more common. This reflects the impact of Covid, the cost of living as well as sustainable, environmental issues regarding access and transport. There have been forecasts that the AR and VR industries are set to grow by more than 25% over the next two years due to this increasing demand.
Data collection through the use of greater technology will make event planning and evaluation much easier and more comprehensive.
Accessibility & inclusivity
Greater priority is being placed on ways of ensuring events are much more accessible and inclusive. Event planners have to take this into account, and ensure that everyone has the same opportunities, no matter what their specific requirements.
Demand for in person events is again increasing. People want to get out and about, they want to meet up with others and to physically attend conferences, exhibitions and other activities. The 2023 AMEX Global Event Trends Forecast pointed out that there is ‘booming optimism and focus on in-person meetings and events’ while a LinkedIn marketeers survey indicated that 78% of those questioned were keen on a return to in-person events.
Health & Wellness
Whatever the type of event, health and wellness of delegates and employees is becoming of greater concern. Programmes are increasingly being amended to allow more breaks, and the provision of healthy menus to maintain energy levels. Attention is being paid to eam building activities designed to motivate and inspire employees as well as better employee benefits such as counselling, flexible working and provision of wellbeing experiences.
Budgets are getting tighter, and it means that event organisers have to be more strategic when it comes to programming. Events will have to be very closely linked to business objectives, and meet targets.