The New Normal in Events

Cybelle Clevenger Blog, Industry Trends

The event industry moves fast. But that’s what makes being an event professional so much fun, right? It’s a career that demands us to constantly embrace reinvention. It also demands us to get our priorities straight instead of trying to out-trend ourselves.
These are the trends we feel are now the new normal.

Make It an Experience, Not an Event

Eventbright’s nationwide research of millennials conducted by Harris, reveals this generation not only values experiences, but they’re increasingly spending time and money on them: from music festivals, to social good events, to art performances and sports events of all kinds. For this group, happiness isn’t about possessions or status. Creating, sharing and capturing memories earned through unique experiences is what it’s all about. The combination of this generation’s interest in events, and their increasing ability to spend, is driving the growth of the experience economy. In other words, it’s time to step away from the PowerPoint presentations and make business events a memorable experience to capture the attention and imagination of attendees. Want an example? When Jaguar Land Rover launched the Range Rover Sport, the company invited guests to watch a live film of the vehicle being driven to the venue. So? Wait for it …when it arrived, 007 actor Daniel Craig emerged from the driver’s seat. I think we can agree Daniel Craig is an experience, yes?

Entertain a Broader Spectrum of Learning Styles

Different people are more receptive to various learning styles, so keep that in mind when determining the best ways to deliver and immerse your attendees in content; be it gamification, a TED Talk-style keynote or projection mapping information in unexpected places within the venue.

Promote Chatter

Face-to-face is the best way to get the conversation going at an event, and there are a lot of different ways to get attendees chatting. Here are 4 out of the gate.
• Event design – this includes décor, lighting, A/V, and seating arrangements
• Networking mobile app
• Hands-on activities
• Shorter presentation time slots/different formats

Choose Your Venue Creatively

Since the venue is an integral part of the event experience – don’t be afraid to consider new and exciting locations to open another world of possibilities. A few crazy examples include: an amusement park, inside a truck, and a graveyard! Oh yeah, we went there.

Innovation is Great But…

If it’s not easy and convenient to use, it can swiftly become uninspiring, confusing and annoying. A good question to ask is, “Will this totally rad innovation make attendee’s lives easier?”

Go Beyond Four Walls

The ability to stream events in real time, and social media sharing are becoming vital parts of the event experience. The draws here are easy to see – extended outreach and higher levels of engagement.

Mobile, Of Course

When nearly 90% of Internet users access the web from a mobile device, it’s fair to say mobile is as normal as it gets. You need to make sure your registration process is fully accessible across multiple devices and that the brand experience is consistent on all. Mobile is also a great way to capture data at events thanks to mobile tracking technology.

Sustainability

Reducing waste, energy, and carbon footprint is not just good for your event’s bottom line; it’s good for the world. A few ideas to get you in a greener state of mind include:
• Donate left over F&B to local charities and food banks
• Keep your lanyards and use them again next year
• Rethink signage ala white boards
• Add a “compost” receptacle next to the traditional trash and recycling cans
• Offer tumblers and hydration stations instead of single-use water bottles

Lastly – ask yourself what Daniel Craig would do?