As much as COVID-19 has changed the live events industry, there are some trends that are here to stay. With virtual and hybrid models continuing to gain momentum, the market will only continue to evolve with the help of technology.
So if you’re planning your next event—in person or virtual—here are five trends that will survive the pandemic.
1. Personalization is Everything
With the shift from large, in-person events to more virtual formats, companies have more opportunities to focus on each individual participant. This level of hyper-personalization offers guests a more enriching experience catered to their unique interests. For those guests that are in attendance, there are even more opportunities to connect with them in a 1-on-1 format.
2. Look, Don’t Touch
Especially in a post-COVID era, many attendees are searching for touchless ways to interact with the event, other guests, and even the venue itself. Integrating mobile devices like smartphones and smartwatches will be a key component when it comes to events in 2021 and beyond. From paying for meals to entering a building, attendees will use event-centered applications, wristbands, and cards.
3. Use Data to Cut Costs
With many companies and industries accessing more data than ever before, now’s the chance to cut down on unnecessary costs. Find the tools and resources that help drive the majority of your events or revenue and work on removing the rest. If you’re offering additional services or functionality that guests and attendees aren’t finding useful, consider focusing on other ways to generate value and engage your audience.
4. Find Ways to Connect Face to Face
The one thing guests miss most about in-person events? Face-to-face connection. As we transition back to live events, finding new and safe ways to meet in person will continue to be a necessity. From breakout chat rooms to video conferencing and spaced social networking, face-to-face meetings will continue to play a key role in professional events.
5. Variety Drives Engagement
By now, we can all agree that videoconference fatigue is really starting to make its impact. With event attendees spending hours at a time watching videos and presentations online, the content starts to blur together. Compacted even more by multi-day events and you might just find guests signing off early. Engagement and excitement levels start to wan as the hours go on.
Even as events slowly shift back to in-person, hosts need to be mindful of the amount of active versus passive participation. Organizing fun and engaging activities throughout an event will help stimulate guests, reduce boredom, and limit videoconference fatigue.