Event trends of 2020 that every marketing professional needs to know.

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Posted on November 25, 2019

What are the event trends changing and evolving the industry in 2020? A few days ago, we launched our much-awaited industry report Corporate Event Trends 2020. It’s a thorough research of event trends about attendee experience, technology, safety and best practices, based on the most respected publications by PwC, Deloitte and other top notch consulting firms.

Thousands of Event Profs downloaded the report and already know what are the recommendations for the upcoming months. Check out key trends that that al companies will need to focus on in the coming months, and hence professionals too.


Did you know that SXSX, the famous tech festival held in Austin, had a bit more of 150 guests in its first edition, in 1987? But now, after 30 years of constant innovations, they generate US$ 325 millions per year. Event attendee have access to a mix of lectures, performances, interactive attractions, concerts and everything else that an entertainment-driven strategy can offer.

The trend of meeting and event space can be taken over to provide an immersive and innovative experience, impacting consumers in several ways and leaving a mark of the brands in their brains. Therefore, actions and events in which the consumer has a positive experience becomes a great option to create value and, after all, the best advertiser in the world is the consumer.


or Exclusive Meetings?

But we know that in the corporate world, there will always be space to selected, unique experiences. Bringing together smaller groups can provide 1:1 extreme personalization and a sense of belonging to something privileged and special.

In smaller business events, there’s also room to better enjoy study the habits of high-income consumers and better organize a long-term experience strategy targeted for them.

Phygital: digital integrates with in-person experiences.

You’ve heard about virtual reality and augmented reality. But this is just the front end. If digital was a threat to events and physical experiences a few years ago, those are now complementary. In our recent article Future of Event Apps, we explain how smartphones and mobile devices are becoming THE  touch point between events and attendees.

This physical venues and digital interaction guided by mobiles is what defines phygital strategies. That’s because smartphone interactions provide a 360 degree customer-journey map. Besides, they have the power to guide customer experience. Entertaining attendees while passively collecting data is a new huge opportunity for betters understanding of the behavior of this new consumer that demands human connection and technology navigation in the same journey.


Deep fake is here and telling what’s real from what’s a lie it’s becoming harder every day. Thus, consumers are seeking for transparency. They want to know what the company’s purpose is, what, in fact, it came to solve, how it contributes to society and where it wants to go.

Brand vision authenticity and the chase of truth.

Consumers are also looking for brands and experiences that live up to their promises. For instance: does your client say they help surrounding communities? So it better be genuine, because 45% of consumers said that a brand would never be able to regain their trust after confidence has been broken. In addition, event attendees are looking at the human being too, not just escapism and unbridled consumption.

Customer Experience is the new branding

In 2020, experiences can be even a more decisive factor for the shopper than the product itself. (Source: Econsultancy Digital Trends)

What really goes deep in a customer’s mind and increase their engagement is not a thing, but the shopping experience. But getting the attention of this possible customer is getting harder and harder, as distractions keep hitting them from every angle. It is essential to be aware of the contact points and activities this consumer will go through, so that there is a greater interaction with this consumer and they get more attentive to what they buy.

In recent years, the idea of customer experience (CX) has been increasingly used in the event marketing and corporate worlds, as a substitute for branding. It is a complex process for understanding your organization’s relationship with its customers. It can be defined as every interaction a consumer has with your brand, such as: social media website, app, visual ad, etc. Eventually if this consumer becomes a customer, it will evolve to user experience (UX), which are the interactions a customer has with your product. Inside this inner space of UX, things like ease of use and level of support can be included, but it’s still branding.

The experience builds up a brand perception and overall idea in the consumer’s mind, even if it’s not on purpose. So, in a event, keeping the whole environment under control becomes a major chance of doing it, because everything that goes inside the audience’s mind is an experience.

It’s not exaggerated to say that Customer Experience is becoming a business model, as competition arises as never before and user-centric cultures are in the root of every organization that wants to survive. And now, these is more concrete than ever. Culture has to be something you have to not only show on the events you organize, but participants need to be able to experience it.

Circular Economy / Sustainability

Until 2022, this will be a US$ 41 billion market, according to thredUP, the largest online consignment and thrift store. (Source: thredUP)

In a linear economy such as ours, once the good is sold, the property goes on. In the circular economy, the company takes responsibility for the entire cycle. It may seem like a new name for recycling, but it has more to do with subscription economy.

For example, if an office rents the lamps instead of buying them, these lamps are still from the manufacturer. He is in charge of maintenance and maintains the property. This is where circular economics differs profoundly from linear economy: Manufacturers cannot neglect the fact that resources are finite. So there is a need to worry about the entire value chain and the durability of the end product.

Circular Economy is a concept that rethinks economic practices that aim to keep products, venues, components and materials in circulation by taking advantage of maximum value and utility between technical and biological cycles. It is similar to the proposed methodology known as “cradle to cradle”, translated as cradle to cradle.

To better visualize the Circular Economy proposal, it is enough to understand that it is inspired by the cyclical concepts of nature where all materials such as plants, water or food are totally reused by the environment. 

Circular economy also includes the creation of repair, reuse and re-manufacturing systems, as well as effective recycling, in which raw materials maintain or even increase their value.


67% of the baby boomer generation, which is now 55-75 y.o., make use of smartphones. (Source: Pew Research.)

A McKinsey’s global research survey conducted with 1,000 companies, released in 2018, found that gender-diverse companies average 21% more profits than the rest. Among those who value racial diversity, this difference rises to 33%.

Applying to events, diversity must be an integral part of your event marketing’s culture. People looking for places where they can have a purpose is gonna be a routine, as companies start to gather they’re human resources on vision-based values.

And it’s good not to forget the older people are being included in the digital world faster and faster. People don’t consider only the salary they earn anymore. So, promoting diversity in your events generates engagement and creates a unique culture your experiences. Participants see the value of things when they feel they’re part of this, while sponsors realize the benefits generated for every stakeholder.


There are over 61 million adults living with some kind of disability in the United States, which represent 26% of the population. (Source: CDC)

As we’ve seen in the previous chapter, diversity in events encompasses different histories, cultures, races, sexual orientations, ages, beliefs, regions, genders and people with special needs. And for these last group, diversity has a special place, which we call inclusivity.

There are over 61 million adults living with some kind of disability in the United States, which represent 26% of the population. Therefore, inclusivity being treated like a favor needs to eradicated from event venues and cultures. Make sure your event is not limited and welcome every person who wants to attend.

Corporate Event Trends 2020.

Besides offering a direct channel of relationship to consumers, brands will use experiences to collect and register first-party data. So these experiences have a high potential of transforming a business product or event the whole strategy.

Branding redefined

Non-authentic brand messages will be left behind. The new branding is brutally honest, inclusive and frank. So, while startups have a lot to learn from industry giants about scaling businesses, big brands will need to learn from startups about how to successfully connect with a consumer vision.

Digital becomes real

Increasingly, experiences will become a product that has to be able to generate revenue on it’s own, rather than adding value to a product or any other marketing component.

Understanding the expectations and objectives of a given experience is the big secret or an event to be successful. And the main new challenge is: how to apply these new direct-to-consumer trends to increase interactions in a natural way?

In-person experiences in cool venues will be directly related to use all of brand new tools and resources – some of them have not even been created yet. And they need to be totally integrated in the process of establishing a relationship with customers, rather than being just another some shiny distraction.

Also, under this digital transformation era we’re living, business cannot neglect the power of data anymore. Founders and Senior Managers often struggle to understand this is not a matter of “Why shall invest on digitizing my operations?”, but “When will I digitize my operations?”.

If that’s the case in your company and you don’t know how to get buy-in from your boss, you’re not alone. Read our article that shows you how to convince your company about your ideas. Or simply let us know how we can help you on this task.

The value of proximity is reshaping the live events industry. Therefore, in-person experiences are now central to marketing strategies in many sectors. In other words, it’s time for Event Planners and Agencies to shine bright.

In our comprehensive report, you’ll find data, insights, case studies and recommendations about these following 14 event trends for the upcoming months:

  1. Phygital strategies: venues meet AR
  2. What Personalization really is and how to do it at scale
  3. Live Streaming
  4. The end of possession
  5. Customer Experience is the new Branding
  6. Circular economy / Sustainability
  7. Increasing prices
  8. Safety and security
  9. Visiconomy: out with the economy of attention, in with the economy of vision
  10. Generation Z in need of humanity
  11. Festivalization
  12. Attendee content generation
  13. Diversity
  14. Inclusivity

You can download it through this link, or clicking on the image below:

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