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Top 10 International Event Planning Trends for 2024: Insights from Global event experts
Author Aoife O'Donnell
Date July 1, 2024
Category Event Communications, Event Management

The event industry is crammed with amazing entrepreneurial, innovative, and creative talent. When it comes to something shiny and new we are a vulnerable bunch. The challenge the industry faces is separating temporary fads from tools and trends that will add value in the long term. As seasoned event experts, we’re excited to share with you the top 10 international event planning trends for 2024. 

 

Sustainable Practices Take Centre Stage:

Sustainability has long been a term that is thrown about the events industry, but 2024 seems to be the year of action. Beyond the surface-level efforts, such as recycling bins and reusable water bottles, event planners are digging deeper into sustainable practices. They’re exploring innovative ways to reduce carbon footprints and minimise environmental impact throughout every stage of event planning. An example of this is the Eventcomms Agency team we have teamed up with a local garden centre to provide centrepieces for an event and afterward, we then return them to the soil so they can continue to grow. This minimises waste and we know that they have returned to flourish.

Brands and organisations are also coming together with sustainability goals and using events as platforms to advocate for environmental causes. Featuring keynote speakers and workshops focused on environmental topics, further emphasising the importance of sustainability in business practices.

By prioritising sustainability, event planners are not only reducing their ecological footprint but are also driving positive change and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.

Hybrid Events Find Their Feet:

Virtual and hybrid events became a dirty word as the world rushed back to live events post-pandemic. But as the dust has settled and the burnout of hyper socialisation and global travel sets in, the benefits of hybrid events have begun to shine once again.   The realisation is that hybrid is a strategic way to embrace the benefits of virtual connectivity alongside in-person experiences, helping businesses to reach wider audiences, increase accessibility, and engage audiences in ways that traditional in-person or virtual-only events couldn’t achieve on their own.

Event planners are investing in the very best digital platforms that offer immersive and interactive experiences for remote attendees, linking the gap between physical and virtual worlds. Hybrid-friendly venues are emerging as a game-changer in the world of event planning. These venues are equipped with advanced audiovisual infrastructure, high-speed internet connectivity, and flexible seating arrangements to accommodate all attendees.  Event planners can utilise these venues to create hybrid experiences that seamlessly integrate live presentations, virtual exhibits, and interactive workshops, offering attendees the flexibility to participate in the way that best suits their preferences and circumstances.

By embracing the best of both worlds, event planners can create dynamic, engaging, and inclusive experiences that resonate with attendees across the globe, setting a new standard for the future of event planning.

Personalisation Elevates Attendee Experiences:  

Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all events; instead, organisers are using the power of attendee data and cutting-edge technology to create tailor-made experiences that resonate on a deeper personal level.

Through data analytics, event planners can gain invaluable insights into attendee preferences, behaviours, and interests. Armed with this information, they can curate content, sessions, and activities that cater to the specific needs and requirements of each participant.

Personalisation is revolutionising the way events are planned and executed, placing the attendee firmly at the centre of the experience. By harnessing the power of data-driven insights and innovative technology, event planners can create truly unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impression and drive meaningful outcomes. From curated educational experiences to personalised attendee journeys and partnership solutions that support attendees to improve their event experience.

Augmented Reality Transforms Event Experiences:

Augmented reality (AR) is reshaping how attendees engage with event environments and content. With AR, event planners are unlocking a whole new realm of possibilities, transforming traditional events into immersive and interactive experiences.

One of the most exciting uses for AR in events is its ability to bring products and concepts to life. Attendees can now visualize products in 3D, interact with virtual prototypes, and even simulate real-world scenarios, enhancing their understanding and appreciation of showcased offerings.

Event planners can also add AR to add gamification into the event experience, turning mundane activities into challenges and competitions. Adding an element of fun and excitement that ensures to keep attendees entertained throughout the event. Top Tip – do not shoehorn AR into an event because it is the latest trend. Instead, use it to enhance your messaging and showcase products and solutions. If it is not relevant do not use it.

Inclusive Design Promotes Accessibility:

Whilst inclusivity is not a trend, it is certainly something that is far more front of mind and is something that we should all be reminded of when organising an event. So here it is. Inclusivity has evolved from a mere consideration to an essential foundation shaping the design and execution of events. One of the key factors of inclusive event design is accessibility. Venues are now carefully selected or modified to ensure they are wheelchair-accessible, with ramps, elevators, and accessible restrooms readily available. But often in a bid to get more bums on seats we may forget to leave enough space between table for those with accessibility issues to navigate. There is more to think about than a ramp and a lift.

But inclusivity goes beyond physical accessibility—it also includes creating environments that accommodate diverse sensory needs. Quiet zones and designated relaxation areas provide attendees with the opportunity to recharge, ensuring that everyone can fully enjoy the event without feeling overwhelmed.

For attendees with different communication and cognitive abilities. Sign language interpreters, captioning services, and braille materials are just some of the ways event planners are ensuring that information and communication are accessible to all attendees.

Inclusive events send a powerful message of acceptance and respect, demonstrating that diversity is not only welcomed but celebrated.

Cultural Sensitivity Guides International Events:

Again, not a trend but something that should 100% be considered when organising events particularly those that are international, understanding and respecting the cultural nuances and customs of attendees, as well as the communities in which events take place. The Eventcomms Agency team recently studied The Culture Map book, which benefited the team’s communication within different cultures. Check out Brian’s short book review

One of the primary ways event planners demonstrate cultural sensitivity is by acknowledging and respecting local customs and traditions. Whether it’s observing religious holidays, honouring cultural taboos, or following etiquette guidelines, event planners are taking proactive steps to ensure that their events align with the cultural expectations of their clients and attendees. This may include providing prayer rooms, recognising dietary requirements, scheduling events around important cultural celebrations, or incorporating traditional rituals and ceremonies into the program.

By embracing cultural diversity and fostering cross-cultural understanding, we can create events that transcend borders and leave a lasting impact on attendees from around the world.

Wellness Takes Centre Stage:

With a heightened highlighting of mental and physical well-being, event planners are focused on integrating wellness components into their events.

The team recently spoke with Helen Moon from Event Well, who spoke about the staggering benefits of having a wellness component at your event.

Some of the ways event planners are prioritising wellness are through the inclusion of mindfulness and meditation sessions. Whether it’s guided meditation sessions, yoga classes, morning runs, or relaxation techniques, these activities provide attendees with opportunities to unwind and de-stress.

Additionally, wellness lounges are becoming increasingly popular at events, offering attendees a tranquil space where they can escape the sensory overload of the event environment. Beyond physical relaxation, event planners are also prioritising mental wellness by incorporating educational sessions and workshops focused on topics such as stress management, resilience, and work-life balance.

Incorporating these wellness elements into events creates an environment that not only inspires and educates but also supports the happiness of attendees.

Artificial Intelligence Streamlines Event Planning:  

Event planners are increasingly turning to AI-powered tools and algorithms to update processes, enhance efficiency, and deliver personalised experiences that ring with attendees on a whole new level.

One of the most impactful ways AI is reshaping event planning is through automation. Tasks that were once time-consuming and labour-intensive, such as email communications, data entry, and scheduling, can now be automated with AI-powered systems.

AI-driven data analytics are allowing event planners to gain helpful insights into attendee behaviour, preferences, and engagement patterns. As previously mentioned, this helps event planners to personalise events for their attendees.

AI is empowering event planners to work smarter, not harder, by automating repetitive tasks, analysing data, and personalising experiences in ways that were once unimaginable on such a scale.

Immersive Experiences Spark Creativity:  

Adopting a new era of creativity by pushing the margins of traditional event design and embracing immersive experiences that engage the senses.

One of the most exciting trends in immersive event design is the rise of interactive art installations. These larger-than-life creations invite attendees to step into a world of creativity and exploration, where they can interact with art in ways that have never been done before.

Immersive experiences do not just mean in the realm of visual art— they also come under sensory dining experiences where attendees can be transported through culinary experiences into a different realm.  From themed pop-up restaurants to culinary adventures that incorporate live interactive performances and immersive theatre productions.

By adding immersive experiences, they can transform your event into an experience like no other.

Agile Strategies Adapt to Uncertainty:   

Event planners need to be quick, adaptable, and responsive to thrive in this dynamic world of events. Ensuring a smooth process whatever curveball is thrown at them.

Designing events with built-in adaptability, ensures event planners are better equipped to respond to unforeseen challenges and capitalise on emerging opportunities. Flexible formats and contingency planning to mitigate risks and uncertainties should all take priority.

At an event we supported in Spain, a rogue wave crashed into the restaurant bay window just a couple of hours before the attendees were supposed to sit down for dinner. The quick actions of the hotel and the team had the issue resolved without anyone realising there was any issue.

From developing backup plans for inclement weather to establishing protocols for emergencies, event planners are taking proactive steps to ensure the smooth execution of their events, ensuring whatever comes their way, they can tackle with finesse.

The international events world is evolving at a rapid pace in 2024, driven by a diverse array of trends that are reshaping the way events are planned, executed, and experienced across the globe. From sustainability and hybridisation to personalisation and immersive experiences, these trends reflect a dynamic and ever-changing industry that thrives on fresh ideas and creativity. By staying attuned to these trends and embracing new technologies and methods, event planners can navigate the complexities of the global events world with confidence and create truly unforgettable experiences for attendees worldwide.

 

If you would like Eventcomms Agency to help with your next event, contact us via our website.

 

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