Greek philosopher Heraclitus is thought to have said, “The only constant is change.” Sounds like he may have been an event planner at one point in his life!
It’s true – the meetings and event industry is constantly evolving, and event planners must stay three steps ahead to ensure the most wins. With that in mind, here are a few event trends we expect will impact the way planners conceptualize, organize, and launch events in 2024 and beyond.
2024 Trends in Corporate Events
Sustainability in Events Rules
There’s been a definite push for planners to go green with their events over the last few years. In one survey, 78% of respondents said their organization plans to have net zero goals by the end of 2024. This means 2024 is the year event planners will need to prioritize going green. You’ll be the odd one out if you don’t make some kind of real sustainable efforts in the coming year. From event badges and lanyards to signage and food preparation, reducing waste to hosting carbon-neutral events, environmental consciousness will no longer – can no longer – be an afterthought in 2024.
Event Gamification for Engagement
Gamification is another trend that will move from buzzword or interesting concept to a necessary and powerful tool for enhancing attendee engagement in 2024. Gone are the days when attendees were happy being passive spectators. Today’s attendees demand true, memorable engagement, and gamification is one effective way to deliver. Things like interactive quizzes and scavenger hunts help elevate passive watchers into contributors to the event narrative. That’s powerful!
Another way event planners will deliver memorable and engaging experiences is through immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Consider offering virtual venue tours or interactive AR presentations. These technologies can also be used to provide additional event information in a fun and engaging way (think 3D maps and more!)
And it’s not only your in-person audience that will benefit from these technologies; your remote attendees will love 360-degree streaming that helps put them right there in the venue, allowing them to experience your event as if they were right there in person!
AI-Powered Event Planning
If you’re like many event planners, you’ve wished for years you had some way of streamlining the entire event planning process, making it easier and more efficient. Well, 2024 is the year we believe more and more event planners will embrace artificial intelligence (AI) to help them organize (AKA stop the madness) and provide the best experience for attendees.
Think chatbots that help with attendee queries, automation tools that simplify logistics, and data-driven insights that allow planners to make the very best decisions. But that’s not all, event planners can use AI to offer attendees personalized event recommendations, leverage facial recognition to provide a smooth event check-in experience, and predictive analytics for logistics. 2024 will be the year when most event planners will ask themselves, “Why didn’t I embrace AI sooner?!”
Niche and Micro-Events
Niche-focused events will definitely gain momentum in 2024 and for good reason: they allow planners to create intimate gatherings tailored to attendees with very specific interests. For instance, artisanal food tasting events, boot camp retreats for fitness buffs, meditation retreats, and blockchain workshops to mention a few niche ideas.
Think about it… for years we have been breaking down our audiences to tailor our marketing messages, right? We segment our email subscribers list into smaller subgroups and create target ad campaign personas to deliver relevant messaging that makes a big impact. So why not do the same thing with the event itself? In 2024, niche planning will (and should) be a focus for many organizations.
High Costs Place a Premium on ROI
High costs will continue to challenge event teams in the coming year. In fact, according to the 2024 Amex Global Trends Forecast, 67% of organizations expect an overall increase in meeting spend in 2024.
Because of continued uncertainty around event costs, planners are building contingency into their budget for 2024 and looking for ways to increase efficiencies while reducing costs. Working with professional event planners can help in this arena. JShay Events, for instance, specializes in leveraging key data sets to ensure our clients get a healthy event ROI. We know planners are under massive ROI scrutiny, so we ensure you have the right KPIs in place and buy-in from stakeholders.
As the new year picks up steam, the event industry is embracing innovation in real-time. By focusing on these event trends, event planners can navigate the evolving landscape and deliver engaging experiences to attendees and financial wins to executives.
And if you could use some help with your events this year, give a holler. Helping you deliver wins is a win for us. Here’s to more win/wins in 2024!
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J.Shay Team is the generic alias for our event staff that want to submit work anonymously.