Event Trends to Watch

Got an event or conference on your horizon? Here’s your guide to what’s hot.

Versatile. Collaborative. Multidisciplinary. These are the watchwords you should be focusing on if you are planning an event during 2017. Why? Well the short answer is that you want people to pay attention to what is happening at your event. For the long answer, keep reading.

Why meetings?

Let’s be honest, few of us really enjoy attending any sort of meeting, and if we do leave our cubes or subterranean bunkers, we want it to be worth our while. When you are planning your next event, be sure to ask these questions in the very beginning:

  • Why should anyone attend your event?
  • Why would someone want to sponsor your event?
  • Why would an attendee engage with your content?

Nailing down honest answers to these questions can clarify the focus and mission of your event.

Bye-bye old trends

For some time now, events have been laser focused on two things—technology and millennials. But the bloom is off those roses. Technology is simply a part of everything we do now, so it’s no longer necessary to make it the center of attention. If you want people to attend your event/conference, there is simply a level of tech you have to adopt, but it won’t be the focus the way it has been.

Then there’s the obsession we’ve had with millennials. No offense peeps who are now in the age range of 18 and 35, but even us old folks have shorter attention spans than we used to, your time in the spotlight is dwindling. The intense focus that the media has placed on this generation is likely drawing to a close, and this will impact how events are planned in the future.

What to expect in 2017

Well, if we aren’t trying to impress each other with our tech savvy or woo millennials, what will the events of 2017 and beyond be centered on?

  • Convergence. As mentioned at the start of this post, the bringing together of different fields, ways of thinking and lifestyles—otherwise known as convergence—hits on the need for versatile, collaborative and multidisciplinary events. The goal is to drive and create conversations between different types of people to generate new innovations.
  • Festivals/Events. Building on the idea of bringing together different folk from different disciplines brings us to how many events are morphing into something more than a mere event, i.e. the “festivalization” of events. A conference is so 2016, today’s event is a hybrid affair that mixes creative and collaborative spaces with more typical “conference-style” training or speakers. The idea is to engage all the senses and keep attendees interested and absorbed.
  • Brand Messaging. The goal of this trend is to make every event/conference/meeting more than just an event—they should be an experience. Your event should be an opportunity to bring together the most creative problem solvers face-to-face in a way that helps promote your brand. This makes an event, when done correctly, just another weapon in your marketing arsenal.