Last year, the pandemic changed radically the way we host events. While most events were canceled, others quickly shifted from in-person to virtual venues or incorporated hybrid events. Now that we know what event trends work in the new normal, many event planners are looking for ways to establishing these solutions in their event strategies this 2021.
Here at EventX, we’ve rounded up the latest event trends and technologies that will help your events pivot this year.
Physical Events Will Make A Comeback With Hybrid Events
With the Covid19 vaccine in production, the event trend will slowly shift back to in-person events with a mix of virtual event formats. According to a Bizzabo survey, 97 percent of global event marketers believe that hybrid events will gain popularity. In hybrid events, event marketers and organizers can vastly expand audiences and transform their in-person events into a formidable integrated engagement vehicle. This is possible through event technology adoption, either when streamlining the pre-event processes or hosting different types of events.
In 2020, software solutions that streamline business workflows skyrocketed, mostly video-conferencing platforms like Zoom and Skype. While this trend will continue to rise, the demand for an all-in-one event solution will likely increase this year. We’ll see most event-driven businesses use an all-in-one event solutions that can facilitate online registration, attendee management with integrated virtual event hosting, and post-event analytics.
Hybrid Events As A Marketing Platform
With integrated event solutions, we’ll see more frequent event experiences that cater to “niche” interests and personal living online other than business events. Live and on-demand events will also become more popular this year, given the available features in most event platforms like recording and live streaming.
There will be an increase in pre-recorded sessions in hybrid events to build preview teasers or “anticipation” to audiences attending either in-person or virtually. This way, event organizers can also minimize the technical pitfalls that may happen during a live-session. As virtual events reach more audiences, more and more businesses outside the events industry will incorporate virtual events in their marketing strategy, especially hosting personalized events that build communities and online following.
Personalized Events Will Help Build Communities
Building community is one of the most crucial success factors when hosting virtual and hybrid events. In the past, this was quickly done as event-goers can simply rely on physical interaction and networking opportunities at physical events. However, in the new normal, building a genuine connection is challenging to be done digitally. Thus, personalization in virtual and hybrid events is critical.
Personalized events will help build niche communities with more “intimate” and shareable experiences. Businesses and event organizers must ensure that their virtual and hybrid events are interactive, valuable to attendees, and not just a “one-time event.” To do this right, prepare by finding ways to build extended experiences like online networking and learning opportunities that cater to different community interests. Develop avenues for attendees, speakers, and exhibitors to interact through live-streaming sessions, online apps, or social media groups.
How Should You Host Physical Events Today?
When hosting physical events today, consider hosting your event in multiple venues to attract more attendees and ensure that your event follows social distancing measures in your country. Prepare to layout your event space and make sure your entrance can accommodate health screening areas equipped with thermal scanners. This will ensure that no attendee is unwell when they arrive at your event. It’s also essential that your event provide masks, sanitizers, and testing options to all your staff and attendees.
Designing A Safe Event Space Using Event Tech Tools
Most “pre-event” processes, along with registration and ticketing, will take place digitally to practice safety measures. Based on Juniper Research, contactless ticketing users will leapfrog to 468 million by 2023, a 160% increase from last year. This means that there would be an emphasis on completely touchless interaction in pre-event management this year. If you’re an event organizer, prepare by finding ways to integrate online registration, online payment, and self-check-in in your event management process using tech tools.
- Online Registration with Integrated Payment Transactions
Explore event management software that can streamline or integrate lead capture and payment transactions so you can easily control the limit of your attendees. There are touchless event registration tools can that can generate timed entry slots like Eventbrite.
- Self Check-in
Explore RFID wristbands or badges and mobile ticketing applications that enable “tap and go” experiences through scanning QR-codes like EventX; NFC technologies like SafeTix and Pouchnation, or facial recognition tools.
- Contact Tracing
When hosting in-person events today, designing contact tracing guidelines for your attendees is essential. It’s a best practice always to request your attendees’ information after the event to establish your contract tracing. Before doing so, ensure that you gather the right attendee information aligned with your country’s data protection laws.