It feels like only a week ago that we were discussing event trends of 2019, and now, here is 2020 in all its glory. 2019 was eventful, to say the least, ushering in new and unique trends as people shifted more towards technology and diversification.
2020 improved upon the preceding year’s trends spectacularly, making event management much more demanding and, dare we say, fun.
We put January 2020 under a microscope, analysing upcoming trends for event managers around the globe. Following are our observations on how managers can incorporate new ideas into their events to make them much more appealing and fun for audiences in 2020.
2020 Event Management Trends
With Global Warming becoming a major issue, environment sustainability has also found roots in event management in 2020. The year started off with a shockingly devastating wildfire in Australia which has burned more than 12.4 million acres.
As planners, we should do whatever we can to sustain the environment including banning single-use plastics, educating out attendees, or offering plant-based catering. Introducing recycling options in events and a tree-planting drive during the event is not just trendy; it’s the right thing to do.
Collaboration & Sponsorship
Speaking of environment sustainability, it is a good idea to collaborate with sponsors dedicated to a greener Earth, intriguing tech, or other trendy topics. This will help your event stand out among the crowd and be more attractive.
Following are some trendy topics of 2020;
- Technological advancements. New phones, consoles, VR or augmented reality product display/testing.
- Diversity. Let attendees explore and express their cultures
- Sustainability. For example a tree-planting drive.
- Space exploration. For example, you can host a talk about the recent photo of the sun, the first image ever taken of a black hole, etc.
Personalized Events & Content
Most people are subjected to 4,000 to 10,000 ads every day. Similarly, an average Australian citizen is exposed to 600 messages daily, each aimed at the masses. One essential event marketing tip and event management strategy in 2020 that you should adopt is to create personalized content and events.
Personalized content is much more effective than that aimed at the masses, with a study showing that 80% people were more inclined towards content that was ‘written for them’ and not for everyone.
Personalized content doesn’t just mean including attendees’ names within emails but can also take other forms such as
- A personalized email that discusses why that attendee in particular must attend your event
- Personalized content recommendations related to previously viewed pieces
- Listing entertainment options specific to their needs that you’ll address in the event, etc.
A Blend of Different Themes
Not too long ago, it was normal to host just one theme when planning an event. This has changed over the years, 2020 seeing heightened demand for a ‘diverse’ themed event.
By diverse, we don’t just mean political correctness but also in terms of themes. The idea is to collect people with different tastes and habits at your event and let them join heads with each other, promoting acceptance and remaining memorable.
A survey published in 2019 showed that 43% people suggested that one of the most important aspects of an event is to have access to different types of entertainment.
Following are some examples that might help you understand our point better;
- “Dream” themes
- Meta themes
- Gaming (PC and Console)
- Tech (Medical, Astrological, and Engineering all under one roof)
- Political (this might require a more delicate event management plan from your end)
- Escape rooms for a wide range of people, where they have to work together. Puzzles may require historical, mathematical, and literature knowledge, all of which are hard to come by in just one person)
- Superheroes (where Marvel and DC lobbies discuss alternate universes), etc.
Internet Access to All
Bad WiFi in an event can really dampen spirits. Event trends in 2020 dictate that a good internet connection is vital to help people share you event’s highlights to their friends. Also, more than 30% internet users share memes with each other, which can be a great icebreaker at events such as yours.
Diversity & Inclusion
By diversity and inclusion, here we mean it in the political sense. It should an important aspect to consider when planning an event.
Diversity and inclusion aren’t just limited to race and ethnicity, though. It also includes age, genders, physical ability, religion, language, allergies and more.
This has remained one of the most important event trends for over a decade. As an event manager, you should have a backup plan in place for everything, especially security, be it communicational, cyber, or onsite security.
The number one priority of any event manager should be the safety of every attendee, and not just the chief guests. Devise an in-depth plan for emergencies such as evacuation and share it with the whole staff.
This is where technology comes into play. Event applications, WhatsApp groups, and other platforms can be used to share information before an event starts to help your attendees prepare for any crisis. You should share the following with your attendees;
- Map (especially fire exits and lost and found stations)
- Guidelines in case of an emergency
- Rules and regulations
- Staff contact information
The amount of information stored with event managers, planners, and marketers can be a goldmine for cybercriminals. First and last names, titles, email and house addresses, personal cell phone numbers, travel itineraries, hotel reservations, etc. can all be devastating in the wrong hands.
Cyber security measures are the perfect resolution to this problem. Not only will a core firewall or encryption help you ensure data privacy, it will also ensure that your attendees trust you. The more they trust you, the more they’ll attend, enjoy and recommend your event to others.
A proper communication infrastructure ensures your event goes as per schedule. Coordination becomes much easier, increasing the likelihood of your event becoming a major success.
Communication systems also help prevent or manage crisis properly.
Let’s say; there’s an unexpected problem before your event begins, forcing you to postpone of delay your event. How will you communicate this to guests? Handling crisis the right way can help you make a good impression on your guests as well as your superiors.
2020 sees another tech-related event trend; immersive experiences.
Virtual and augmented reality has found roots in many houses and social media events, with the AR/VR market expected to grow up to 18.8 billion US dollars (27.9 billion AUD). Immersion can also come in the form of human interaction and activities that help attendees take in the general theme of your event better.
Every year, event trends change, presenting newer challenges that make event management much more challenging and exciting. We recommend you take 2020 head-on with some of the trends we’ve mentioned above and new ideas. Whenever someone says, “you remember the year 2020?” let the answer be your event’s name!