Written by: Sinead Casey, VP of Client Solutions
Our time apart and the historic moments that have rocked our country have redefined what coming together really means. As our sense of community evolves, so will our definition of—and expectations for—gatherings, connectedness, experiences, and events. Here are three big trends we see for the future of events:
★★★ EVENTS THAT TACKLE PROBLEMS
Audiences may be convening less as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less engaged. In fact, individuals are increasingly seeking out forums that bring together a diverse group of leaders and problem solvers in an intimate environment to address systemic problems. Events geared toward attendee contribution and engagement, instead of consumption, will become more sought-after. Think: curated salon dinners with cross-industry influencers, hackathons, and other substantive engagements, rather than the cocktail parties, panel discussions, and conferences of the past.
★★★ EVENTS THAT EMPOWER STAKEHOLDERS
In the pandemic world, companies are expected to show leadership and share common cause with their communities. Activations — online and off — must speak to and demonstrate a company’s purpose and social impact rather than product sales. As businesses of all sizes attempt to connect to the communities around them, they’ll need to use events to convene people for good and elevate the voices that need to be heard. Companies and organizations can use events to go beyond the boardroom and “pass the mic” to the diverse set of internal and external partners who are the doers, creators, and game-changers.
★★★ EVENTS THAT DRIVE HYPER-TARGETED CONNECTION
As events move online, and as technology such as AR/AI becomes more accessible, our definition of “presence” and “connection” at events will change. While nothing can replace the human connection of a handshake or sharing a meal together, the digital experience can introduce people who might never have been in the same room and connect them faster than cocktail-hour conversations. Expect advancements in AI to help companies and organizations leverage data and interactive segmentation to change the face of networking, helping individuals forge new connections better optimized towards interests and goals.