Conference Event Trends in 2019 That You Need to Know About

In the world of event management, every new year brings exciting advancements and innovations. This makes knowing what the future trends are going to be a vital part of your success in hosting an excellent conference.

The challenge is real when it comes to conferences, as you aspire/strive to provide the best experience possible whilst simultaneously offering attendee immersion. One way to achieve this is to incorporate the current trends in the industry, but there will always remain an air of uncertainty around which ones will last.

Today, I’ll guide you through learning about using the budget of your conference efficiently, to effectively maximise attendance, and success. At the same time, I’ll help you understand the influence of technology, and how it will change the entire dynamic of hosting events hereafter.

Here are nine event trends for conferences that will play a crucial role in shaping the industry in 2019:

AR and VR will take centre stage

Since the introduction of AR and VR to the public, several event management professionals stated that it would play a pivotal role in conferences in the future. However, at the time it was believed these technologies would take several years before they could be available and affordable enough to be a viable option for the general population.

Fortunately, 2019 is set to be the year where this changes, as AR and VR become ready for mass adoption, especially in regional events. Due to the significant growth in these technologies, they have become more affordable, and therefore more accessible. For example, Google Cardboard is one of the cheapest options available to provide a virtual experience for attendees.

Event managers are now able to utilise these technologies, creating a cutting-edge level of immersive experiences for their guests. Virtual reality also opens an entirely new avenue for brand exposure; attracting sponsorship, as brands can now use AR and VR to gain exposure for their products and services in ways never before thought feasible/possible.

Decrease in carbon impact

Due to global warming being such a prevalent/prominent issue, the event management industry is finding innovative ways to reduce their carbon impact during conferences. As the world becomes more conscious of its impact, it’s increasingly common to stumble upon news articles regarding conventional practices, and their impact on the environment in everyday life.

To emulate this world view, it will become a necessity for organisers of regional events to switch to sustainable methodologies, or risk being forsaken and becoming a mere relic of a bygone time. Although sustainability is by no means a new concept, it is gaining significant importance and traction in 2019. Gone are the days of event management companies dealing with the aftermath of single-use plastics.

A new era is dawning; reusable and biodegradable products are now essential to attracting the younger demographic to conferences. Corporate organisers will also need to start researching and choosing venues with green certificates, meeting their company’s Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) policies.
Demand for experiential meetings will rise

In the event management industry, organisers want to ensure that the conferences they host stand out and are memorable. Gone are the days of regional events having one speaker after another appearing on the stage – the new norm is to create experiential conferences, ensuring the complete engagement of the attendees through the delivery of an enthralling experience.

2019 will be an exciting year in this aspect, as organisers will have to think about using different techniques, rather than sticking to standard things such as outstanding physical design. The aim is to provide immersive and memorable experiences for the attendees; which will draw focus to implementing a plethora of themes, in which food, music, and ambience will play a vital role.

As a result of this rapidly increasing demand for depth and enchantment, event management companies will need to think outside of the box and come up with innovative ways to entertain attendees.

Increase in use of chatbots

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be storming its way onto the conference scene in 2019, bringing with it an array of uses and benefits. One way to use AI technology is to establish new ways to interact with attendees, through the incorporation of chatbots. 

For example, the social media page of the conference can easily, and effectively deploy this technology. Chat bots come with numerous advantages, which will aid event management companies significantly. These bots can answer queries the attendees have much faster than a person, via Facebook Messenger or other popular messaging platforms.

Similarly, conferences can utilise chatbots for their exit surveys, to obtain feedback from the guests. With proper programming, they can ask the right questions and ensure organisers get the right information; all the while ensuring the entire experience is fun and streamline for the attendees.

Innovative social media marketing

It is a well-known fact that social media is an excellent platform, especially when it comes to promoting regional events, such as conferences. As the target audience on these sites is immense, it makes sense why organisers opt to use them.

There is a myriad of strategies available to event management companies, so deciding which ones to use can be tricky. Out of all the techniques there are two that are among the most effective; running advertisements and holding social media contests. These techniques help in increasing the number of registrations, which is greatly beneficial for the exposure and success of conferences.

Contests work so well on social media platforms because they provide incentives for potential guests to engage with the content. Organisers can offer things like VIP upgrades, products from sponsors, and free registration, to attract more people to their regional events.

At the same time, they will be able to take a more humanistic and relatable approach to the advertisements they run on social media sites. Organisers will be able to target these advertisements specifically to the people who are most likely to attend their conferences, by making use of the granular control these platforms provide over marketing.

Live data will improve the effectiveness

Due to the increase in technology, organisers now have the opportunity to use a wide variety of applications and devices to access large volumes of information that will maximise the efficiency of event management.

There are several real elements which take place during conferences that can utilise this collection of data. For instance, when organisers provide beverages for their events, there tends to be a massive queue. With the help of live data, they can inform attendees when it is an excellent time to visit the stalls and avoid the crowd. Similarly, the same information is applicable to avoid long queues to the toilets. This means that organisers will be paying close attention to live data and using it to vastly improve their effectiveness.

Preference for outdoor events

Hosting conferences in popular venues such as centres and halls is a norm of the past. As health and wellbeing are continually growing in importance, organisers have to consider new techniques to keep their attendees active and attentive.

As a result, various activities such as tai-chi and yoga sessions are hosted during conferences. Not only do these activities improve mental and physical health, but they also make it more comfortable for the attendees to pay attention to the speakers.

Another benefit of outdoor events is the increased ability to provide unique experiences. Attendees have a higher chance of an excellent time with the stimulation of fresh air and good weather.

Remote participation in conferences

With the constant evolution of technology, it’s becoming easier than ever for organisers to share the content of their events to a wider audience, and by giving people a taste of what they can expect from your content in the future, the number of registrations when you host a conferences increases significantly. These days, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram offer live-streaming, providing new experiences to various audiences; which increases engagement, exposure and interest.

With the use of webinars and other video/media tools, guest who are unable to make it to the event now have the ability to view the conference from the comfort of their own home. This also benefits the environment, as delegates won’t have to travel to participate in conferences. Organisers can also charge a fee to provide these services, which will increase the revenue from their events.

Specialised catering

Once upon a time people weren’t as concerned with their health and enjoyed having a wide variety of fatty foods available at events. However, times are changing, and guests no longer prefer eating junk foods at events, and would rather opt for a healthier range of food choices instead – so they can enjoy an event without having to worry about their wellbeing.

At the same time, there are a wider range of diets and food preferences becoming increasingly popular among the larger population; this leads to a demand for a greater number of options when it comes to the availability of dishes. For instance, appealing to the dairy and gluten free, and vegan communities is becoming an expected norm at events these days; and with more eating trends on the rise, it’s up to organisers to keep up and cater for everyone’s needs. As a result, organisers will have to turn towards specialised catering options, to provide nourishing and delicious alternative meals for all attendees.

Due to the constant evolution of event trends for conferences, it is essential for organisers to follow them and incorporate them accordingly. As the demands of guests will continue to rise, it is up to the event management planners to deliver. Future-proofing your conferences is a must so that the future doesn’t catch you blindsided.

David Yakas
Managing Director
Wrapped Creations

Event Management

When it comes to corporate events and functions, we’ve perfected the art of mixing business with pleasure. Whether it’s for five or 5000 guests, Wrapped Creations provides personalised and results-oriented service.