We didn’t use Tarot cards nor fancy crystal balls to tell you what’s going to happen this year. We know that the last few years have been turbulent to say the least, but we as event managers are well aware that you should expect the unexpected. So here are some “gentle” reminders combined with event trend predictions for 2020 (sh*t, we mean 2023).
Event trend reminder #1 - Don’t force it!
Balance between active participation or on their own terms.
It’s a fine art trying to balance between letting the participant decide how much, when and where they attend the event versus pushing them to get the valued engagement.
On-demand content is more popular after the pandemic. Thus, the participant knows how and when they want to consume media. Be it during their regular meetings, coffee breaks or procrastination time. So it’s important to capture the participant in the right moment, while allowing freedom to choose content topics, schedules, speakers, exhibitions or who to network with.
At the same time, you can use pre-planned pop-up notifications for answering quizzes, feedback questions or simply announcing keynote speakers. This will ensure the attention in the right moment and align with the regular work mode with receiving notifications as reminders.
Event trend reminder #2 - Don’t make wrong decisions!
Morality and sustainability
People are more aware of sustainable and moral factors. Consumption of events and parts of it is highly conscious, giving more attention to worldwide important issues.
People want to attend events that align with their values and beliefs. This is why more event organizers need to focus on making sustainable choices. Whether related to food, materials, workforce or content. Meanwhile they need to keep in mind socio- and political issues around the region the event takes place or to whom it is targeted for.
Event organizing teams in 2023 will decide on protocols and responsible team members who make sure these practices are accounted for. Furthermore, they will keep an eye on the alignment between values provided and the audience, resulting with the best possible brand image to the event.
Event trend reminder #3 - Don’t be a dinosaur!
Intuitive and personalized event tech and tools
Event tech should complement the event regardless of its context or format. The best event platform should support as an all-in-one solution and be flexible to switch around formats. Especially in all aspects of the event organizing: registration, communication, ticketing, exhibitors, lead generation, networking, interaction and analytics.
As one of the few first-hand data collection possibilities left in the marketing industry, the participant data has wide potential to be used in improving the event experience. This allows the audience to feel special with personalized suggestions based on their interests for networking or content consumption.
Usage of apps and softwares is a part of our daily work life, meaning the UX (user experience) of the whole event experience is more important than ever. Best tools are intuitive and similar to those that are already widely used by the audience in their everyday work life. These are the two of the most common dinosaurs:
- Old and retro looking invitations, websites and event design (unless that’s the theme you are going for). Make it comfortably viewable, interactable on mobile devices!
- Hand-held microphones in the audience: people want to react LIVE using emojis, throw a heart on a good idea or simply upvote in approval.
Event trend reminder #4 - Don’t procrastinate!
Time and budget management
Electricity, logistics, supply chains, food, materials – everything is more expensive and participants want to pay less. At the same time also your partners and sponsors want to contribute with less money. So how to manage all of it together without canceling the event? The trend in 2023 is making smaller, more intimate events on-site and adding virtual elements to broaden the audience (including paid customers). Hiding parts of the content behind pay-walls, allowing the participant to make their own budget choices with different pricing packages, communicating the opportunities and values for exhibitors earlier rather than later.
And all in all – time is money. Consider the timing for participants, speakers and partners. Think about it in terms of work time for all parties:
- This event = entertainment during my boring meetings
- This event = worth my most efficient and motivated working hours, providing equally satisfying results, ideas or motivation.
Event trend reminder #5 - Don’t be boring!
Content and education
As per our previous point, event content needs have an equal quality rate for efficient work time + effort. Thus content needs to be justified for the attendee.
The key in 2023 is to get an idea what you are missing. Depending whether you are organizing an internal event or a larger conference for customers, find the missing elements in case studies, lessons learned or inspiring speakers. Sometimes teams are just missing the feeling of discussing important topics together, while sometimes the content is too vague and lacks realistic points or tips. The best and most authentic suggestions come from the roots, not from the top of the tree.
Motto for 2023
Ask your audience for feedback
One of the most important event trends for 2023 is to trust the participant and let them guide you where the event goes. Then sprinkle a bit of your event manager magic and structure it with time and budget management.