It is difficult to predict the exact future expectations of event attendees, as they can vary depending on factors such as demographics, event type, and location. Are you also wondering what will be important in 2023?
We want to reveal ten things you should prepare for right now in order to emerge stronger from 2022 as an event organizer.
10 Things Event Attendees Will Expect in the Future
1. We can finally focus on sustainability again
We are globally seeing a continued focus on sustainability. As awareness grows about the impact of events on the environment, attendees may expect planners to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint and minimize waste. This may include choosing eco-friendly venues, offering sustainable transportation options, and using compostable or biodegradable products at events.
2. The use of technology to enhance the attendee experience
Attendees may expect events to incorporate technology in ways that make the event more engaging, interactive, and accessible. This may include the use of virtual and augmented reality, social media integration, and assistive technologies for attendees with disabilities.
3. An emphasis on experiential events
Attendees may expect events to go beyond simply providing information or entertainment, and instead offer fully-realized experiences that immerse them in a different world or culture. This may include themed events, pop-up experiences, and interactive exhibits and activities.
4. A focus on health and wellness
As more people prioritize their physical and mental health, attendees may expect events to offer healthy food and beverage options, as well as opportunities for physical activity and relaxation. This may include fitness classes, meditation sessions, and healthy catering options.
5. A demand for personalized experiences
With the rise of personalized marketing and technology, attendees may expect events to offer personalized experiences that cater to their individual interests and preferences. This may include personalized itineraries, personalized communication, and customized activities and entertainment options.
6. People will attend more live events
It has become very clear in the past that the focus of events will be on personal interactions and on-site events in the future. This has become more and more important to many participants due to the face-to-face interaction and the resulting personal connection. This became particularly clear with regard to business relationships. The event serves not only for the pure information forwarding.
Through "live" events, the brand can be humanized and the relationship to potential buyers or new partners can be established.
7. Hybrid events will continue increasing
During the previous years, many people have developed new digital skills and habits that will persist. Many are no longer willing to travel a full day for an event, conference, or meeting. Especially if only parts of the content are interesting to them, they will think three times whether it is worth traveling for.
In the future, people will continue to look for personal contact, human interaction and real emotions. Bringing both together, that is, planning on-site events but also incorporating the new digital possibilities, be it through a digital event platform, livestreams, the inclusion of speakers who could not be there in person and would otherwise not have been able to speak, etc. The "new normal" offers the opportunity to take your event to a new level and create very special experiences for your participants. Here, the smart integration of new technologies will be essential especially for collaborative approaches, networking and building relationships between participants to strengthen the personal interaction even more in the virtual space.
8. Events become more time and location-independent
Live, on-site events will not be completely eliminated, but they will become rarer, of higher quality, and more strongly influenced by digital content. This digital content ensures a high degree of independence from time and location-based factors.
Digital event platforms allow you as an event organizer to provide content for your target audience over long periods of time, extending your event experience with keynotes, webinars, videos-on-demand, podcasts, and so on. In doing so, you build a digital community that meets live at regular intervals and is otherwise primarily digitally connected. The advantage: This massively expands your target audience because it can potentially reach people who would otherwise not attend the event due to time or space factors and would therefore engage less or not at all with your message and content.
9. Interaction with the customer has changed
Building a community gives you the opportunity to talk to (potential) participants even more easily and to consciously involve them in decision-making and planning processes. By talking to them about the specific changes they would like to see or the challenges they are currently facing, you will generate new ideas on how to support them - which brings us back to the topic of relevant content.
By showing transparency in the development of new event concepts and involving participants in the planning early on, you have the chance to develop event formats that really add value for your target group.
10. Actions become more important than words
In the future, companies will have to demonstrate even greater responsibility in dealing with our planet and its resources, as well as in social issues, in order to prove their future viability. How sustainable is a company? How does it treat its employees? What values does it stand for? How is it committed to social and ecological issues? Companies will be judged on this even more in the future, and events should also be used to show that they have addressed these issues, e.g. by avoiding unnecessary plastic, a sustainable buffet, CO2 offsets, the choice of speakers, etc.
What does that mean for you as an organizer?
The entire event industry has become increasingly flexible and adaptable to prepare for the future. The most important keywords here are digitalization, content and purpose. Ask yourself what added value you can really offer your participants and to what extent you can help shape society from your position.
Therein lies the opportunity to implement new values in your company and your events and to build real, deep and long-term relationships with your customers. Because that is what will make the difference in the future.