Whether you’re planning to host networking events, art exhibitions, conferences or even just a casual gathering, a suitable event space, one of the top concerns alongside getting lots of attendees is making a memorable and quality event. Nowadays, events are an integral part of marketing your brand, with 41% of marketers believing that they are the most effective channel in 2018 – showing a 32% increase over 2017. A large part of what helps you achieve this is getting an appropriate event space, while other factors can also help facilitate the kind of event you want. But of course, event planning changes year by year and in order to keep up with the game you have to understand what’s working right now. So, here’s 7 of the most important event space trends that you should know for any event you’re planning in 2020.
1. More face-to-face networking time
Networking events themselves have been popular for a while now and are nothing new. However, the trend heading into 2020 is that event marketers will incorporate more networking time into their events, even if they aren’t solely put together for networking purposes. In 2018, sitting at 82% the main reason for attendees coming to corporate events was the potential to network. This is something which shouldn’t be left to the wayside, and is fairly easy to arrange the flow and of your event to facilitate a some time for what people value the most. On top of this, it’s a great idea and becoming more common to integrate meeting spaces or “collision spaces” into your event spaces to foster spontaneous conversations.
2. No more typical, boring venues
Going into 2020, finding an appropriate event space isn’t such an easy task with so many options on the table. Among the many trends we’re seeing at the moment, 53% of event planners firmly believe that moving away from hotel venues to more unique spaces will be the biggest trend in 2020. This doesn’t come as a surprise to many, however, as hotels – the spaces historically booked the most often – are being viewed as the boring norm. In fact, 92% of planners believe that events are more likely to be booked outside of hotels than they were 5 years ago in 2015. So, forget the stuffy ballrooms and head straight to unique and interesting venues that make sense for your event. Places like co-working operators offer trendy, boutique spaces that are just as airy and offer plenty more benefits when it comes to networking, outdoor spaces and keeping your guests entertained.
It’s been reported that 80% of event planners believe that their jobs require more creativity than just 2-5 years ago. A trend expected to continue well into 2020, being creative is something which can make or break your event. Whether it be in terms of the event agenda or the location, the event should offer an experience to its attendees that they won’t find in countless other events. Get especially creative when it comes to the flow of the event: who says you must have a standard format? Transition your seminar into a networking event, for example, and find a space that can help you make this happen.
4. Embrace minimalism
Coupling with the shift away from hotel ballroom event spaces, there has been a noticeable shift in the number of events embracing minimalism as their design style. Wide, open spaces without bombastic décor are becoming more popular instead and enable events to focus your attention on what’s important without being held in a distracting environment. Minimalistic locations and event décor also allow you to be more creative in terms of your event agenda and are also far more pleasurable settings to host socials where productive networking can take place.
5. Engage your audience
Engaging your audience is getting easier and easier as more technology is being introduced. Heading into 2020, we expect this to be another trend which drives how event marketers plan their events. 84% of event organizers believe that audience engagement solutions are the biggest trend in maximizing audience engagement. Despite this, only 31% use it to drive engagement. The trend indicates that more and more planners are incorporating attendee engagement to drive their event success, whether it be live polls through an interactive app or allowing attendees to vote for the course of the event.
6. Embrace latecomers
The digital age has made spontaneous things both more possible and more common. 2020 will be no exception to this trend and we expect to see more event planners welcoming people that have signed up hours or even minutes before the start of the event. In the eyes of the event hosts, latecomers provide more logistical issues with regards to seating and availabilities of any event materials. But with a bit of foresight and planning, you can welcome far more attendees. And if your event stretches over several days, why not market for late sign ups that can join the next day?
7. Have a flexible mindset
Building upon the previous trend, another change we’ve noticed is that event marketers need to adopt a flexible mindset in order to continually run successful events. This doesn’t just revolve around the kind of event space, but more generally how the event itself is organized and ran. In the present economic situation of Hong Kong as it enters a new decade, planners will find it pays off to embrace flexibility in terms of late sign ups but also to be able to quickly adapt their event to political, cultural and economic changes to ensure it remains attractive and relevant for any potential attendees.
Heading into 2020, there will be many more trends than these 7. But it remains important to keep track of the rapidly changing industry in order to make events that have a lasting impact on its attendees and promote your brand like no other marketing channel can.
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