Whilst we love event tech in all its various forms and uses, there are many industry trends not fuelled by technology that are having a significant impact on the shaping and organisation of events.
Much like tech trends, some will fall into insignificance as quickly as they emerged, but there are a few that are stamping their influence firmly on the industry. Here are our top 4 non-tech event trends to keep in mind for 2018 and beyond.
1. The adoption of unusual venues
Whilst traditional conference spaces and hotels are still top of the list when it comes to venue selection, we are beginning to see an uptake in the adoption of unusual and alternative event venues.
The shift towards a much more informal business culture, largely led by the creative industries, combined with the ‘experience’ revolution, has had a huge impact on the expectations of event attendees. Subsequently, many planners are moving towards venues that offer a more open and relaxed environment and that deliver that all important ‘wow factor’.
Of course, some events are far better served by traditional venues, but for those that can afford to move towards alternative delivery, the unusual event space is a trend to consider. For some venue sourcing inspiration, have a browse through Eventbrite’s 21 Unique, Unusual, & Amazing Venues in the UK.
2. A focus on health and well-being
Our approach to health and well-being is constantly evolving and the current trends to take hold are inevitably making their mark on the event industry. From food offerings to allocated personal down time, health and well-being is an issue at the top of many an event planners priority list.
Nutrition and dietary requirements have certainly taken the spotlight, with vegan and gluten free options becoming a menu staple rather than a specific request. Event attendees are also becoming strong advocates of provisions with increased nutritional value – those that offer a boost in concentration levels and help fend off the post lunch slump.
The health and well-being trend has also extended as far as event content, with organisers placing emphasis on messages that not only support their objectives but that promote positivity and an optimistic outlook amongst attendees.
3. An attendee centred approach
Attendees have always been the focal point of any event – or at least they should be. But beyond the simple consideration of what an event can offer, the focus is now shifting towards a greater level of control for the attendees themselves.
We’re seeing new levels of involvement when it comes to agenda formation, with planners becoming increasingly aware that the best way to engage attendees is to give them a say in content. Pre event polls used in the planning stages are not only allowing attendees to influence the selection of content but also promote pre-event conversation amongst the delegates themselves.
The traditional presenter to audience format is also evolving, with sessions taking on a much more conversational style that facilitates knowledge sharing amongst attendees.
Lengthy presentations with standard Q&A sessions are no longer the norm. Events are becoming increasingly tailored towards attendees’ wants and needs and allowing a greater level of control for crafting their own experience.
4. A greater shift towards sustainable practice
Whilst sustainability is not a new trend in the events industry, it’s certainly one that is growing in significance as increased levels of social responsibility spread throughout the corporate world.
The after effects of an unsustainable past are becoming visible to a worrying degree and, as such, businesses in all areas of industry are rightly expected to demonstrate sustainable practice. When it comes to events, this is not only apparent in the approach to organisation – with more and more companies adopting a paperless policy and incorporating green methods of delivery – many events are now being used as a platform to promote sustainability or to launch CSR initiatives.
If you’re looking to move towards a greener approach in 2018, check out our post: 6 Focus Areas for Sustainable Events.
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