The world is rapidly changing. Each and every day there are new trends being set and expectations to meet. Due to the global interconnectivity that social media brings, individuals are constantly sharing their experiences and setting standards for the next best thing challenging industries around the world to keep up.
The special events industry is just one industry affected by this change. This year in the United States alone, 18 million events will take place, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the event industry is likely to grow 44% by 2020.1 Therefore, if an event is stagnant with inefficient processes and technology and is not working to heighten the participant experience, it will become even more difficult to grow in popularity and remain competitive.
More than ever, it is necessary for those in the event realm to keep up with industry standards and the expectations of participants who are sharing and comparing with the rest of the online world.
Below are five event trends to follow in 2019:
(1) Build an Engaging Social Media Influence
Online engagement isn’t just about coming up with great content or planning for good photo opportunities. The best engagement can come from the customer service offered such as quick and simple answers to questions or requests. More and more, event attendees not only appreciate responsiveness on social media, but they expect it; it has been found that sixty-seven percent of consumers have engaged with a brand’s social media for customer service needs.3 Since the number of people who are turning to social media for customer support is rapidly increasing, it is extremely important to respond to each and every individual who reaches out. Since Americans are more likely to post about good experiences (53%) than poor experiences (35%)2, a lack of responsiveness can seriously damage a brand’s reputation. However, with a strong commitment to customer service, enhanced brand awareness, customer retention and heightened popularity are all possible outcomes.
(2) Foster Sustainability
For many years now, going green and building sustainability practices within personal life and the workplace have become a common practice—people are always looking for new and innovative ways to push the boundaries to heighten resourcefulness. Therefore, a great way to gain positive recognition and stay competitive in the event arena is to align your event to common sustainability practices to showcase your commitment to protecting the future of our world; luckily, there are several easy ways to initiate this. Begin by eliminating all print materials and committing to going digital. However, if that’s not possible to do right away, start by ensuring all printed items are recyclable and/or made from recyclable materials. Other ideas include selling only biodegradable products or offering sustainable, fair-trade food options to your patrons. If your event is taking place in a large conference center, perhaps encourage the venue to also practice sustainability procedures during your events duration to heighten the impact created.
(3) Enhance Attendee Experience
Creating a memorable attendee experience should be the top priority of any event. An unforgettable event increases credibility, boosts future growth, and expands influence in the event industry. An easy way to do this, is by creating a unique VIP package to offer to event participants; according to Eventbrite, people are willing to pay more than double the price for VIP-only areas that offer exclusive area for them to enjoy5. When creating an upgraded package for attendees, there are two questions to consider. First, “How can sources of frustration for an event participant be eliminated?” and second, “How can an event attendee’s experience be enhanced?” From there, the ideas should start to come easily. Some popular concepts that are guaranteed to be a success include upgraded transportation, premium seating, unique food experiences, and heightened programming such as meet and greets. Not only will this trend allow for more creativity, but it also has the ability to bring in more profit.
(4) Amplify Security and Well-being
People often attend events to escape the responsibilities of their daily lives and to simply have a good time. Assuring an event is as safe and secure as possible without calling attention or alarm is an important skill to master; if event goers happen to notice a heightened number of uniformed police and security, it will most likely make them question their safety and cause discomfort. While events present a variety of unique challenges for security, there are many growing trends that will bring comfort to attendees. Strict security procedures to enter the event venue is an easy way to bring assurance from the very start. Remote security has become more popular with growing technology; remote security solutions can provide a 360-degree view of events of all sizes and provide real-time alerts for potential problems.4 Peer security, often found on airlines or in major department or commercial stores, is also a common practice that allows the security team to blend in with the attendees resulting in less of a distraction from the event. Lastly, on-site medical support is a growing must-have in the event industry; it is crucial for your attendees to be able to receive the care they need, when they need it; it is also an investment in the future of your event.
(5) Go Local
More than ever, event organizers are creating their events to support and showcase the community’s local businesses and talent. Again, individuals are always looking for ways to discover new experiences — from traveling to food to shopping — to share with friends, family and online followers so going local is an easy way to gain extra attention. Encompass this trend by providing off-site excursions or tourism options within the event’s program. Feature local speakers, performers, or musicians, and instead of holding your event in a typical event conference center, choose a famous venue unique to the host city—perhaps a famous museum, cultural institution, or zoo. Finally, one of the easiest ways to incorporate local flair is by contacting and partnering with local food and drink vendors including food trucks, containerized restaurants, breweries and distilleries as well as with local merchandise and goods providers. By injecting local treasures into an event, attendees will travel home feeling like they gained an original, one of a kind experiences while also supporting the community.
Setting Event Standards
To keep up with the rapid growth rate of large-sale events, Deployed Resources continually innovates to provide exceptional turnkey logistics support to the special events industry through a wide-range of evolutionary services and products. In 2019, find Deployed Resources at Bonnaroo, Firefly Festival, and many more. These events will provide event attendees with our custom-tailored services and industry-leading products enhancing their event experience while ensuring safe, sustainable and eco-friendly solutions.
1 Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/blog/academy/future-proof-tech-for-events/)