Future Trends in Event Planning: 6 Top Picks for You
The event planning industry is one of the several industries that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the future trends in event planning look quite promising.
Going by Statista forecast, the global events industry is expected to generate a revenue of more than 2 trillion by 2028, which is more than double of what it generated in 2020.
Within a quick period of time, the industry has grown heavily dependent on technology. The way the event planning industry has handled the challenges, leveraged virtual event platforms, and adapted to the changing situations in the last couple of years is remarkable.
If you are an event planner, you would have experienced this paradigm shift firsthand.
The future trends in event planning are all about how the industry will continue to evolve and adapt to the “new normal.”
Here are the top 6 future trends in event planning that you need to watch out for and optimistically plan for in the days and years ahead.
Let’s get the ball rolling.
Top 6 Future Trends in Event Planning Right Now
At present, the event planning industry is in a fluid state. The mix of optimism and uncertainty may end up overwhelming any event planner.
To give you a sense of direction as to where the industry is headed, I have shortlisted these future trends in event planning. Let’s discuss them one by one.
1. In-Person Events are Back
Let’s face it, everyone’s tired of connecting with their coworkers, friends, and family members virtually. Businesses and professionals are eager to get back to in-person meetings, conferences, and events.
In fact, 67% of the professionals surveyed for the 2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast believe that in-person meetings and events will return to their pre-pandemic numbers within the next couple of years.
That’s why one of the biggest future trends in event planning is the return of in-person events. As an event planner, you can expect businesses to update their budgets to include in-person events.
Outdoor venues in particular are going to be in great demand keeping in mind the new health and safety norms. The emphasis will be on delivering a more immersive experience rather than merely participating in a video conference.
2. Greater Focus on Health and Safety
Another top trend that goes hand in hand with in-person events is the enhanced emphasis on health, hygiene, and safety.
Along with social distancing and sanitization, event planners will be seen focusing on several other elements to ensure the absolute safety of attendees.
Technology will be heavily involved in making both in-person and hybrid events contactless.
Right from registering to attending the event, every phase of an event can be made contactless with the help of apps and QR codes. You can sell tickets via event landing pages and promote the event through email marketing.
You may even see event organizers conducting health screening and checking travel history before allowing attendees to register for an event.
Check out this example where PCMA said that all participants attending the Convening Leaders 2022 event are required to submit their vaccine verification card like this one.
3. AR and VR for a More Immersive Experience
Augmented reality and virtual reality are changing the world as we know it and the event planning industry is not untouched. As these technologies become more affordable and accessible, you can expect to see them dominating the event planning industry.
One of the top future trends in event planning is the use of AR and VR to deliver more immersive experiences to the attendees.
Where can you apply AR and VR tech in the event planning industry?
Well, almost everywhere. Right from product demos to virtual site visits, venue tours, and entertainment, you can come up with creative ways to elevate the quality of your event to the next level.
Many event planners are now using software as a service (SaaS) platforms to manage various aspects of the events, such as registration, ticketing, and scheduling.
Marketers make event management software integration with sales CRM tools to manage their leads generated at different online events. This will also lead to an increased need for SaaS SEO agencies that specialize in these platforms and can help events to be found.
4. Hybrid Events are Here to Stay
That is one of the future trends in event planning that could become a norm in the years to come.
When event organizers were forced to rethink how to organize effective events during the pandemic, they turned to virtual event platforms, webinar software platforms, and other related technology.
Post pandemic when in-person events would be back in vogue, there is no reason for event planners to do away with virtual events. I believe that hybrid events are here to stay and they will continue to evolve as we go forward.
The hybrid model usually refers to making the event content available either as documents, presentations, or recordings.
The organizers can even use stop motion software solutions to tell a visual story of the entire event. Attendees can either access this content live during the event or once it’s over to understand the concepts better.
5. More Preference for Micro Events
Pre-pandemic, the trend was that the bigger the event the better it is for the company’s reputation. But one of the most popular future trends in event planning that I have spotted recently is the rising popularity of micro-events.
Smaller and more close-knit events are growing in popularity as more and more small businesses are now hosting events. Attendees also prefer micro-events as they offer better opportunities to meet peers and experts than the larger events.
Smaller events are not only light on the pocket but also serve as an effective way to build trust and brand identity rather than being a faceless corporation. Even with limited attendees, micro-events can yield great ROI.
For example, HCP engagement platforms help pharma companies to organize and manage online micro-events with doctors to generate good relationships.
This is one of the top future trends in event planning and if you are an event planner, you should start thinking about how you can make micro events unique and successful.
6. Use of AI to Better Organize Events
Most future trends in event planning hint upon the enhanced use of technology and so does the last one on my list.
You may wonder how artificial intelligence and machine learning can play a part in event planning. There are 2 ways in which you can use AI in event planning.
While you are planning an event, AI tools can help you find the right venue and the best vendors, and can also help you automate ticket sales. You can integrate an AI chatbot into the event landing page of your website to handle most of the queries regarding the events while you take care of the more urgent tasks.
What’s more, AI in events can also be used to deliver a personalized experience to the attendees.
Post-event, AI tools can be used to analyze data and gather insights to stay ahead of the competition. Given the enormous potential of AI, you can expect more and more event planners to rely on AI to organize successful events.
Get Ready for the Future of Event Planning
The future trends in event planning discussed above would have given you a fair idea of what to expect and how to prepare yourself.
Whether you are a business owner or an event planner, it is clear that events of the future are going to heavily rely on technology. The aim will be to deliver unique experiences to attendees.
Keeping these future trends in event planning in mind, start planning your strategy for the rest of 2022 and beyond. Go ahead and plan events that simply amaze everyone.
The author Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more.