2020 event trends – How will the industry evolve? by admin on January 4, 2020

The Shout About London blog is a place where we bring you the lowdown on current trends in the event industry and how it will evolve over time.

The world we live in is fast-paced and constantly changing and people are hungry for experiences like never before. We’re constantly looking for bigger and better to help shift us away into the unexpected.

People are expecting more from brands and what they represent. Filling a room full of instagrammable balloons no longer cuts it. More brands are realising that in this day and age, in-person contact is invaluable. This has led to increased investments in physical events and the integration of tech and data collection to collect insights from them in 2020.

As event planning and strategy becomes a discipline on the rise that brands are eager to commit to, here are 4 key insights on how things might change for the event industry, and how them to your advantage to bring your event to life.

Be seamless

A group of people solving a puzzle at a Punchdrunk event

Pioneered by acclaimed companies such as Punchdrunk and Secret Cinema, London is boasting with plays and experiences which throw you into real life adventure.

Whilst not been a passive watcher, people looking for a mix of immersive storytelling, game-playing content and social interaction so that they can be heroes in their own story, not passive witnesses. This means making sure the experiences evolve around the customers seamlessly, which means juggling a lot of different disciplines like dance, acting and audience interactivity.

No matter how many disciplines you’ve put out there on the table, people always respond well to simplicity and convenience, but in a way so that all things the person may want to experience is available via one small but easily navigated step. It’s definitely something that companies putting on these types of events need to make sure they have mastered, as without a seamless narrative, theatrical productions can easily fall flat.

Sustainability speaks

Now onto the word on everyone’s lips… sustainability. Its undeniable that the event industry has added to the negative footprint in the ecosystem over the past year, we’ve all been to an event that ends with piles of plastic cups stuffed into bin bags. It’s therefore crucial for event planners to think about the impact their events are having on the environment.

There’s still a common fear around making an event sustainable will add additional expenses and time to the companies. Mary, our in-house event manager at Shout About, said that many brands believe that incorporating sustainability into their event can be ineffective when making sure an event runs smoothly and quickly, but added it’s a growing concern for many brands when representing their company.

As sustainability continues to be central, brands should continue to make a conscious effort to explore reusable materials and other methods which can be deemed better for our environment.

Stay Human

people dining at a Gingerline event

Seems obvious, right? How can we be anything but human? Because we spend more and more time in front of a screen each year, face-to-face interaction has become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. The event industry is a key area where brands can create this connection.

The idea is to try not to think of a marketing opportunity and consider them more as a chance to engage better with your audience and build trust. Running a huge corporate event may seem like a key of success but many companies are focusing on running simpler, more intimate events with more authentic opportunities to meet each other. This is because consumers are increasingly demanding authenticity from brands and becoming distrustful of big business. Smaller, more intimate events feel less like a faceless corporation.

Making your event more “human” means making sure that the event is structured around a value exchange – is the experience built what the customer wants or needs form the event or is it aimed at what you want them to do or how you want them to react? Make sure your event speaks to your customers in a personal and authentic way and not just to “immerse” your guests.

Adopt technology

Another key area of growth and investment in the event industry is technology. Event professionals will invest more in event technology in 2020, in fact, 52% of companies will spend more of their budget on making their events tech-friendly. Traditional functions will slowly be upgraded through the use of apps, VR, incredible light shows and multi-sensory experiences, such as Gingerline and DNA VR.

Experiences will also continue to become more hyper-personalised through tech. Customers will expect more of a personal journey to bring them closer to that brand or experience through the use of technology to create a more meaningful, connected experience.

Understandably, companies can sometimes feel disconnected with the complexity technology that’s required to pull off this strategy, but it’s important organisers begin to take advantage of innovation to introduce exciting contributions to their events and keep ahead of the game.

Next steps

Like most industries, the event industry is constantly changing as shifting expectations of customers redefine current trends.

These are only just a few ways that the industry will begin to change in 2020, with each presenting their own unique opportunities to maximise revenue and engagement in the year ahead.

want to read more? have a look at the experiences were most excited for in 2020 here

We also host a podcast where we speak the brains behind some of the most immersive experiences in london, you can have a listen here

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