Event Planning Trends to Watch for in 2020

January 17, 2020 Susan Serena

Today, exhibition industry revenue continues to grow at an exceptional rate. No matter what the world throws at it, it seems as though demand remains high. 

But what is shaping the events industry and are there trends that planners should look out for in 2020?

Read on to find out more about event trends that could shape the sector this year.  

Event Tech Trends in 2020

Twenty-first-century gadgets now come with fingerprint and facial recognition. They also come with voice search and various other forms of exciting tech which made the check-in and registration process at events more seamless in 2019. Now in 2020, we can expect to see event tech take further strides with:

Event Management in Real Time: Integrating social media in everything we do is not a new concept and now it has a platform at events. Communicating your event experience live as it’s happening is something that attendees can look forward to more and more.

Constant data retrieval and management will also help event planners analyze where adjustments may be needed. The traffic patterns will help customize experiences and implement plans that will improve corporate events and conferences.

Digital Swag Bags: A new cost effective and waste reducing version of swag bags are on the horizon! 2020 may be the beginning of the end of traditional swag bags as event professionals begin introducing digital swag bags to events. Attendees will love not having to carry around those tote bags full of items they may never use as they begin appreciating the tangible value offered in digital swag bags.

Digital Payment Systems: No more carrying around cash and credit cards everywhere you go as payment systems such as Samsung Pay, Visa Checkout, and ApplePay push their presence into our daily lives. Now the events industry is getting on board the cashless payments train and begin using wearable items that can be used to complete payments.

Live Streaming: Sharing each moment live on streaming apps was seen at events big and small in 2019 and will expand further this year as event planning firms increase their audiences at events. Live streaming has not only shown to enhance engagement but also open up the revenue doors as more quality content is generated and shared out on social media.

Watching live streams entices people to want to attend events they never though of attending before because it boosts their FOMO, so if you shared out live event streams last year, you can expect your attendee list for the same event to be much larger this year!

Social Experience Development

Surveys! Surveys! Surveys! A good percentage of event professionals sent out surveys at the end of each event last year. Not because they’re nosy but because this year they want to impress attendees with customized experiences! Entertainment, food menu choices, and ambiance will seem improved at the very same event that guests attended last year because of the personalized touch that will be added to them. So if you didn’t send out surveys after the completion of your events last year, you may be missing out on adding value for your returning attendees in 2020.

Virtual Assistants at Events

Amazon has now sold more than 100 million devices with the Alexa assistant installation on them. This is proof that virtual assistants like chatbots are becoming your audience's norm. 

With the above in mind, we can expect to see more virtual assistants helping visitors at events. This will include answering FAQs about the event. They will also help planners by streamlining exit surveys. 

Attendee Satisfaction Will Come from VIP Experiences

Event visitors want to feel like more than a number. They want a personalized experience that offers them the WOW factor. This may be difficult for planners with an event attracting thousands of people.

However, there are a few small touches you can add to make your attendees feel special. For example, you could offer special rewards to visitors who attended your event in the past.

Corporate Social Responsibility Will Be More Important for Attendees

Last but not least, concepts like corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and even mindfulness are becoming extremely important to audiences.

It's, therefore, essential that you incorporate this type of content and activity into your event to better connect with your audience. You can do this by:

  • Dedicating a zone of your event to wellness 
  • Offering chair massages
  • Encouraging simple physical activities throughout the day
  • Starting your event with a mindful minute or two
  • Telling people about the positive impact your event is having

You may also want to incorporate seminars about health, especially mental health as this is a popular topic at the moment. 

Learn More About 2020's Event Trends from The Event Planner Expo

All in all, technology is the most important factor affecting the events industry. However, health, travel, sustainability, and various other factors are affecting event trends of 2020. With this in mind, it's essential that you keep up to date with global trends in order to incorporate them into your next event.

In the meantime, if you'd like to find out more about The Event Planner Expo in 2020, visit our website today. By doing so, you'll learn more about the event and how to book your tickets. 


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