5 event trends to look out for in 2021
Jan. 15, 2021
With 2020 finally in our rear-view mirror, it’s time to look ahead to what 2021 will have in store. Whatever phase of reopening your area is currently in, we know that vaccines are beginning to roll out. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, so it’s time to start preparing once again for in-person events.
COVID-19 has forever altered the landscape of events and have changed the priorities of planners and attendees alike. Here are five trends we predict will impact events in 2021.
Staying closer to home
For at least the first half of 2021, travel is going to be a challenge for events. Many countries are still discouraging non-essential travel, whether by air or by ground. Suffice to say, if you are planning an event that requires attendees or presenters to fly in or drive long distances, you may receive push-back. Hosting events in and for your own community is a way of avoiding extensive travel, while also injecting money into your local economy at a time when it needs it most.
Smaller events with larger impact
Regardless of Local gathering size restrictions, in 2021, attendees are going to want smaller events. Many haven’t been in a room with more than a few other people in months, and it’s going to take the average person time to readjust to the idea of large conferences or stadium events. However, these same people are craving novelty after being at home for so long. Our job as event professionals is to create meaningful, memorable experiences for these guests, without overwhelming them with crowds. This could be anything from intimate dining experiences at a small venue with live music, to a micro-wedding. Events don’t have to be large to make an impact on someone’s life.
A focus on health and hygiene
It shouldn’t be surprising that health and hygiene are going to be a front-and-centre issue for all event stakeholders. As a planner, consider air circulation as one of the newest items on your venue checklist. In some areas, attendees may feel more comfortable with outdoor events. See if this is feasible for your event. For both indoor and outdoor events, make sure there are plenty of places for hand-washing, and encouragement for attendees to do so often through use of ample signage. Health and hygiene considerations extend to your menu as well; both its content and its containers. Attendees will be looking for delicious yet healthy foods in individual containers so they can rest assured that other attendees have not touched it.
Sustainability and green events
Despite all we’ve been through in the past year, or maybe because of it, environmental sustainability at events is still very much in the spotlight. We just mentioned that attendees are going to want their food to be individually wrapped. How will you make that sustainable? Reusable or biodegradable containers may be good options in lieu of cellophane or Styrofoam. Other important factors to assess for sustainable events include electricity consumption, access to recycling, and going paperless. You can learn more about how to make your event environmentally conscious from our green events blog!
As we’ve mentioned before, hybrid events are the future in our industry. Hosting a hybrid event is how you can take the previous four tips and roll them all into one event. Hybrid events allow for content to be delivered both in person and remotely, meaning attendees can stay at home if they need to and gatherings can be kept to a smaller size without sacrificing the total audience numbers. Smaller groups are easier to manage for cleanliness and catering, and certainly reduce your event’s carbon footprint. All of these advantages and you still get to engage the same – if not more – attendees through live streaming, event social media and networking groups.
Our industry still has a long road ahead before we return to anything close to what we would consider “normal”. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try new things and plan some amazing events in the meantime. Wishing you a safe, healthy, and prosperous 2021 from our team at Georgian Conference and Event Services.