Predicting the Pulse: 2024 Event Trends and Beyond
Forecasting the changing landscape of events in the new year
The event industry has weathered a transformative storm post-pandemic, rebounding from a reported loss of $16.5 billion by March 2020, as indicated by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. However, according to Research Drive, the industry is now poised for a remarkable resurgence, projected to generate a staggering revenue of $2,972.4 billion, with an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.7% anticipated during the estimated time frame from 2022 to 2031.
This resurgence marks a pivotal turning point in the industry. As we step into 2024, we're experiencing a transformative era, shaped by resilience and adaptability. The challenges of the pandemic have fundamentally reshaped audience expectations, making attendee engagement integral to the industry's evolution.
A report by Skift reveals that 33% of event professionals plan to allocate extra funds to enhance on-site experiences, while 31% will invest in technology. These statistics highlight the industry's commitment to elevating attendee experiences through the fusion of in-person and digital elements, driving the evolution of events into dynamic, interactive experiences.
Join us in this article as we explore the enduring key trends and the emergence of some new ones in the future of events!
Trend 1: Live events, back to as it was
According to Bizzabo, most events have resumed in-person activities and have achieved around 65% of pre-pandemic event attendance levels, with some even exceeding their initial numbers, and that 72% of event organizers agree that live events are a crucial part of their event marketing strategy. This suggests as the events industry has been getting back on its feet the past few years, businesses are still seeing the value of in-person events, as they provide the opportunity for face-to-face interactions, fostering networking opportunities and strengthening bonds.
The past few years, the events industry was temporarily disrupted and there was a need to adjust and create major changes in order for the industry to survive, but with live events back in the game, it shows how irreplaceable they are in driving connections and business growth, and you can expect the impact of these in-person events to reach new heights.
Trend 2: Shifting from annual events to year-round engagement
In the past, companies typically held one major event annually, but the rise of regular smaller events year-round has transformed the event landscape. These bite-sized gatherings offer more frequent opportunities for engagement and interaction, fostering ongoing conversations and blurring the lines between events.
The new event lifecycle now sees in-person events needing to offer unique value to justify attendance. A year-round event strategy allows for more frequent audience engagement, fostering on-going conversations and building stronger relationships, keeping your event brand top-of-mind. These smaller but more focused events can cater to specific audience segments and their needs. Interactions can be personalized, and lead generation efforts and valuable feedback can be gathered year-round. This has proven successful for larger corporations such as Microsoft and Adobe who implement this type of strategy, hosting smaller events in addition to annual conferences like Microsoft Build and Adobe MAX.
To implement a year-round strategy effectively, organizational alignment is crucial. Early collaboration between event teams, marketing, sales, customer success, and content teams ensures a seamless and personalized attendee journey.
Trend 3: Shaping the Future of Attendee Experience with AI and Disruptive Technologies
As we step into 2024, the events industry is being reshaped by the ever-increasing presence of disruptive technologies, with AI at the forefront of this transformation.. The global event management software market, reported by Grand View Research, is to be valued at USD 6.97 billion in 2022. It is projected to maintain an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5% from 2023 to 2030, underlining the industry's reliance on technology for its resurgence.
Technology as the Linchpin of Live Events
Technology has transitioned from being a helpful addition to an absolute necessity. Event apps, lead scanners, AI tools, and various digital platforms have become the lifeblood of successful events. Attendees now expect a seamless experience, both in-person and online, and technology makes it possible. It streamlines registration, facilitates networking, and provides real-time information, elevating the overall event experience.
Supercharging Personalized Attendee Experiences with AI
Personalisation, customisation, and unique experiences remain high on planners’ must-have lists through 2024, and likely for the foreseeable future – and AI stands as the harbinger of these personalized experiences. It's no longer confined to the backend but actively reshaping how attendees experience events. Especially since, according to a global survey, 80% of business leaders have acknowledged that personalized experiences led to increased consumer spending, while 62% highlighted the positive impact on customer retention.
In this tech-driven era, AI-driven algorithms analyze attendee preferences, behaviors, and engagement patterns to curate highly personalized experiences. From tailored content recommendations to meaningful connections with like-minded participants, AI ensures that each attendee's journey is distinctive, engaging, and memorable.
Content is King, Always Has and Always Will Be
Visual and interactive content remains a cornerstone of events, with 46% of event planners acknowledging the pivotal role of images and videos as among the three most influential features during sourcing according to the 2023 Cvent Planner Sourcing Survey for Europe. In the same survey, 37% of planners find floor plans and diagrams essential. Yet, it's the technology-driven content matchmaking that stands as the linchpin for elevating the event experience to new heights.
By delving into the preferences and behaviors of attendees, technology crafts a tailored content journey that resonates with each individual. This level of personalization transcends mere satisfaction; it forges authentic connections, transforming events into profound, enduring memories.
Ensuring Accessibility for All with Technological Advancements
An increasing focus on improving digital and physical accessibility, backed by technological advancements, is driving pivotal changes in event planning. Prioritizing inclusivity and accessibility not only enhances an event's reputation but also boosts attendee satisfaction and participation across all abilities. In this tech-infused landscape, AI and technology play a crucial role in making events more inclusive and accessible.
Trend 4: Creating memorable experiences and meaningful connections
Previously focusing on ROI, event planners are now prioritizing ROX (return on experience) – a part of their Return on Events metrics - in addition to ROI, recognizing the importance of creating memorable and impactful experiences for participants. This paradigm shift has propelled the business events industry into an era of innovation and experimentation.
Event tech plays a crucial role in shaping these experiences. Participants value connections, stimulating discussions, and learning from experts. These interactions, coupled with immersive experiences, foster lasting memories and a sense of community, this impacting your event attendee experience and engagement and event satisfaction levels. Understanding the value proposition of events requires empathy and a deep understanding of the audience's needs. Continuously engaging with participants, listening to their feedback, and adapting to their evolving expectations are crucial steps in delivering ROX, enriching the lives of participants, and driving organizational success. Event tech serves as the catalyst for creating and enhancing these meaningful connections and experiences.
Trend 5: Embracing Sustainability in the Events Industry
Amid a growing global awareness of environmental challenges, the events industry is undergoing a profound shift towards sustainability. Today, it's no longer sufficient to consider positive impact and green credentials as an afterthought; they are now fundamental to achieving success. For instance, a survey by Eventbrite found that 59% of respondents felt environmental responsibility significantly impacted their events in 2020, compared to just 6% in 2019.
Over the coming years, we can expect a significant shift in the events landscape. Growing global demands for carbon reduction will result in an increase in local and regional meetings and a reduction in international trips. However, these shorter journeys will be accompanied by a desire for longer-lasting impact. Attendees are now looking for events that can demonstrate their sustainability credentials, and they're moving away from those that fall short.
Sustainability commitment extends to a network of partners. When selecting venues and collaborating with companies, prioritize those that embrace eco-friendly practices. Some tech partners, such as Jublia, actively reduce their carbon footprint. Explore our collaboration with MICEcarbon to discover how we're shaping eco-friendly event solutions.
Partner with Jublia!
As the event industry continues to evolve in the face of changing preferences and technological advancements, it is clear that event organizers must embrace events that connect attendees and drive meaningful results.
Jublia stands at the forefront of this, providing a comprehensive platform that empowers event planners and organizers to effortlessly create and manage all types of events. With its robust and intuitive features, Jublia Engagement Hub equips organizers with the tools they need to craft engaging event experiences, and leave lasting impressions. Find out more about how Jublia’s solutions can boost your event planning for the new year to the next level by speaking to our Solution Specialists and don’t forget to follow for more updates!