EVENT TRENDS 2020 - Staying ahead of the game in corporate events and launches.
Anyone who works/has worked in the events industry knows that it is an industry that does not stand still. It is constantly evolving and developing at a very fast rate, especially in the corporate world.
This is really exciting and personally one of the reasons I love the events industry. But, it also means that as events professionals, we need to stay one step ahead of the game.
So, in this blog, I am looking at the event trends that I predict for 2020 and some key points I feel should be focused on to keep up with this fast-paced industry. I am especially focusing on corporate events and brand/business launches.
I am sure we are all aware that more and more people are growing concerned about our impact on the environment and climate change. Therefore, being conscious of the environmental impact of your events is vital in keeping audiences on side (and of course, looking after our planet!).
When thinking about this previously, I have become concerned that focusing heavily on the environmental impact of events may have a negative impact on my creativity and budgeting so I did some research into this.
It seems that my concerns are shared amongst other event planners with 66% of planners admitting that “time and budget are barriers to them implementing sustainability” however 81% of planners also said that “sustainability is not a barrier to their creativity”.
With this in mind, I think that there are small steps we can all take when planning our events, which don’t heavily impact your budget or creativity and could potentially make a huge difference to the environmental impact of your event. Plus, it will reassure your attendees that it is something you have considered and are making a conscious effort to improve upon.
Some small things I try to do are:
Tackling audience transport - Encouraging audiences and attendees to use more sustainable methods of transport to get to your event can be done so easily. Simply by publishing a few posts or including in your event packs different ways your guests can get there (Public transport details, bike routes etc.) and providing a safe space for guests to store their bikes etc. If it is something you have control over, you could also encourage a discussion on your Facebook event page about lift sharing, who is coming from where etc.
Communicating to suppliers - Whether you work with the same suppliers for every event or choose different depending on the event, chat to them about what they do to reduce their environmental impact. For example, chat to caterers about providing wooden knives and forks instead of plastic, or your decoration designers about using more sustainable materials rather than plastic. More often than not, they will want to secure the job over other suppliers so will be happy to work with you on this.
Providing recycling bins - This may already be something that your chosen venue provides, however if not, it is a quick and simple addition that can really make an impact (or reduce it!) Most guests will visit a bin at least once during an event, so to have recycling as an option will make a huge impact on their mindsets and on your overall event.
IMPROVING GUEST CHECK-IN
First, we banished (pretty much!) physical tickets and the need for pre-printed badges and made it easier by scanning guests in from their phones. But in 2020, simply reducing queues and wait times is not good enough for our guests and they are still getting impatient and bored waiting to be checked in to events or to receive their delegate badges at corporate events etc. This will have a big impact on the guests experience at the event if their first impression is boredom and long queues.
I have been doing some research around ways the events industry can look to improve this experience for guests in 2020 and have found a couple of possible solutions:
Self service check-in - Much like we use at doctors surgeries or airports, this system will allow your guests to check in themselves by searching for their name or scanning a QR code. This will avoid any problems or delays such as late registrations or mis-spelt names etc and will still provide the organisers with all the information they need from their end.
According to “Eventsforce” blog “having a self-service check-in system that is integrated with your event’s registration solution ensures any changes to registration or attendance data is automatically updated in both systems” making it much easier to monitor data.
Create a smooth on-site check-in process for you guests (and brief all staff) -
Sometimes at certain events, using self check-in methods just isn’t on brand or practical for what you are trying to achieve. Personally, at my smaller events and when working with creative, small brands, especially at launches or networking events, I feel that the face to face interaction as soon as you step into the event is vital in communicating the brand effectively.
If this is the case, there are things we can think about to still ensure that the process of checking in isn’t a tedious one.
Creating a logical check-in process by thinking about things like where will come in, where will they look first, what will they be drawn to can all help to reduce wait times and confusion. It is also important to brief your staff on the fact that we want to keep the energy up and keep the check-in process an easy one.
Keeping the check - in process “on brand” - “From the moment attendees walk through the door, the event has begun” I find I slip into the habit of thinking of the check-in process as just a step that needs to be taken before people enter the event but I am quickly learning to make this process part of the event. Everything from the welcome drinks served, the staff, the wording on the tickets etc must represent the clients brand.
Including check-in details in your event packs and pre event emails - This is something that I’m sure many of us already think about but sending out some quick details to your attendees about the check-in details will help in reducing confusion and therefore waiting times and a bad experience at the check in point.
SURPRISES (THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX)
Every event planner knows that thinking outside the box is a very important part of the job. But this is even more important in 2020. Guests are getting bored of usual event formats and the “usual surprises”…..we need to give MORE!
However, it is important to remember that every addition to an event needs to be useful and serve a purpose. For example, there is not much point in surprising the guests with a famous DJ if it is at a launch for a new cosmetic dentists! Make sure everything is supporting the brief and the aim of the event.
EVENTS WITHIN EVENTS
In 2020, one whole event is just not going to cut it anymore. These session are also known as breakout sessions or workshop sessions. These could take the form of panel events, workshops, classes etc. (All on brand of course!)
There are many reasons why these are a fantastic addition to your events.
Firstly, they give your guests a chance to learn more about the specific subjects or aspects of the brand or business they are interested in.
This is great for business or brand launches as they allow your audience to really learn about the brand and get involved in your ethos or reason for creating. For example, the Album launch we planned a few weeks ago included a panel event about Women in the music industry as this was a big inspiration for the artist who was launching the album.
Secondly, it leaves your guests feeling that they have gained something more than just a good night out. They have experienced something deeper than at a generic launch party by delving into the reasons behind the brand or the problems surrounding that industry, meaning that they are more engaged with the product or business.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
One of the big topics and event themes that will, i’m sure continue to rise in 2020, is health and wellbeing.
We have realised and are focusing on the importance of looking after ourselves physically and mentally and the events that so many of us have been attending this year and will be next year reflect this.
Even if your brand or business does not directly involve this topic, it is important to tap into rising trends and important topics to gain interest and belief in your brand, so it may well be worth thinking about to include in your launch.
I hope you've enjoyed reading about my predictions for event trends in 2020 and can notice some of these in Rare events future events.
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