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The Future of Events in 2021

The roller-coaster ride that was 2020 is now coming to an end, and it’s time to look ahead into what 2021 has to offer the events industry. It’s uncertain whether Covid-19 will be a thing of the past next year, but it is likely that hybrid and safe physical events will continue to take reign for most of the coming year.

This is your whistle-stop tour on the key event trends to watch out and plan for throughout 2021:

Hybrid events will be sticking around

Blended virtual and in-person events are likely to be sticking around in 2021 and for the foreseeable future, with 76% of planners saying that they plan on going virtual (PCMA, 2020). As companies have had to rapidly adapt to ever-changing restrictions throughout 2020, the hybrid approach has allowed for great engaging events to be carried out safely. The ease of people being able to join from their own homes is one reason why this style of event is likely to remain. As people are able to attend events in a way that is most convenient for them, events no longer have limits on the number of attendees and reach an even wider audience.

Here at Associate Events, we’ve held many successful hybrid events and festivals throughout the year right from our brand new studio, and have received amazing feedback from businesses and attendees who took part.

From launch events to an awards ceremony, we have been busy introducing our new digital approach of event production to our current clients, and would love to extend this to you! If you’re looking for a new way to reach your audience using digital events, we’ve got you covered! Get in touch with us using the normal methods.

Outdoor and Socially Distanced Events

Assuming Covid-19 is still a factor that must be considered during 2021, it is likely that outdoor summer events and socially distanced trends will continue. Drive-in cinemas have already seen a huge rise in demand this past year, as well as more unique events such as socially distanced festivals and drive-in concerts gaining popularity. It is likely that firms will have to innovate and come up with new exciting ways to introduce social distancing whilst still having an engaging, exciting physical event.

Efficiency and sustainability are more important now than ever before

After a tough year for many businesses, cost efficiency will be on everyone’s minds going into 2021. This is another reason why it is likely that virtual events will continue to generate steam in the years ahead, as they carry very low costs yet they are so successful! It is important that events have minimum to no waste, in terms of costs as well as environmentally.

Sustainability is a continuous concern for many and can heavily impact the image of your business. The importance of sustainability as a factor of people’s decision-making process is continuing to rise, and if their expectations are not met, it is likely many will look elsewhere for somewhere with a lower carbon footprint. An interesting trend to prepare for is attendee incentives for sustainable actions, this can even start from basic rewards like a free coffee if you bring your own reusable mug! We have a blog post to help inspire you with ways to enforce sustainability into your business and events here.

Interactive features should allow for online networking

Online events have left many missing basic human interaction, and this has seen a rise in demand for interactive events and live engagement. Attendees must feel that there are still networking opportunities at your event, and that they are not simply a box on a screen.

Virtual events make the thought of networking seem like an uphill battle, however, as users gain experience and are more comfortable with the virtual environment it becomes less daunting. With features such as breakout rooms, polls, and Q&As available, it is possible for you to give the attendees of your event the most engaging virtual experience as possible, whilst being able to make new connections along the way.

Businesses will be expected to take creativity to a new level post Covid-19

People are growing more and more hungry for new innovative event ideas, the basic conference room meeting with few interactive activities and some tea and coffee isn’t enough to get people excited about your event anymore. Especially post-pandemic, businesses will be expected to and must be taking their events to a new level with innovative ideas that haven’t been done before. Attendees of events will be expecting a new wave of innovation post Covid-19 for example, as the world has continued to technologically develop throughout the pandemic, there is a high expectation for this to be incorporated into events once the world returns to normal.

As 2021 is beginning to look more and more positive, we believe that if you are mindful of these upcoming trends, then your event is on the path to success. Here at Associate Events we always strive to be innovative and take events to the next level. Please do get in touch if #AETeam can help bring new life to your company’s events by giving us a call on 0116 464 5995 or email and lets talk!

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