The Future of Events: What's Next for the Industry in the UK

January 2, 2024

Over the last few years, the event industry in the UK has changed dramatically. The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic and AI-driven technology has changed how businesses approach the event scene. We're seeing more developments in personalisation, sustainability, and shifting in hiring. Even though the pandemic is behind us, those changes have led to significant adjustments to the event planning process.

The event industry has also faced several roadblocks. Everything from staff shortages and inflation to the rising cost of living. Nevertheless, events continue to play a vital role in our daily lives. They unlock opportunities for networking, learning, and development.

Here's a list of seven trends that will shape the future of events in 2024 and beyond.

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1. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

The rise of artificial intelligence and AI-driven software has helped streamline mundane tasks and improve the workplace experience for event industry professionals. These tools have made data and insights more accessible, making it easier for event planners and coordinators to make data-driven decisions. It’s also helped improve security measures, protect attendee data, prevent workplace risks, and minimise human error.

Whether you use AI to streamline productivity or to get more strategic with your approach to event planning. AI is continuing to be an invaluable workplace tool. It’s shaping the world of events and dramatically changing how we approach everyday tasks. If you aren’t open to inviting AI-powered tools and software to help you plan your events in 2024, you risk falling behind your competitors.

 

2. Quality Over Quantity

Another trend that will continue to shape the event industry as we know it is less is more. Event planners are spending more time focusing on events of value rather than planning as many events as possible. Doing this helps add more value to the experience, giving event planners a chance to increase the cost of tickets.

Many event planners planning more than one event in 2024 are doing a mix of virtual, hybrid, and in-person. This ensures they can connect to the largest audience possible while cutting costs and improving their ROI.

 

3. The Continued Need For Cost Savings

The economy has seen its highs and lows. This means event planners will continue to look for cost-saving opportunities in 2024 and beyond. Whether it’s adjusting the dates, catering, or switching up the speakers. Every small change can lead to a big cost-saving advantage. The continued need to save money may also lead to an increase in demand for more event sponsors.

To prepare for these trends, event planners must be flexible and vigilant. Understand your budget and know what they can cut to save costs and what they won't sacrifice. This will ensure you make the most out of your budget while still providing a next-level experience for event attendees.

 

4. The Need for a More Personalised Attendee Experience

Personalisation is no longer a like-to-have - it’s a must-have. Attendees want an experience tailored to their likes and interests. Whether you're adjusting your eventgoer communication, content, or networking opportunities. These adjustments can increase attendee satisfaction and improve brand loyalty.

There are many popular ways to use personalisation for your next event. This includes:

  • Add personalisation to your marketing communication
  • Personalised event schedule features
  • Personalised push notifications
  • In-App Q&As
  • Personalised content and recommendations

 

These personalised adjustments can enhance the attendee experience and help you build your reputation in the event industry.

 

5. The Need For Sustainability

Many event planners are also actively committing to sustainable initiatives. Highlighting your corporate responsibility and approach to sustainability is a great way to build rapport and credibility with your event attendees. There are many ways to make sustainable adjustments to your approach to event planning. This includes:

  • Reduce the use of single-use paper and plastic
  • Buy food and produce from local sellers
  • Host your event at a walkable location that minimises the need for auto travelling
  • Hand out reusable water bottles to limit the need for plastic water bottles

 

These are sustainable adjustments that are starting to be more popularised. We're sure to see these sustainable initiatives continue to be a priority for many events in 2024 and beyond.

 

6. Interactive Experiences

Interactive experiences are designed to keep event attendees entertained and engaged at your event. These types of experiences can help make your event more memorable and add a nice balance between networking and keynote speakers. There are many ways to incorporate interactive experiences. Some popular ways include:

  • Virtual or augmented reality
  • Scavenger hunts, games, or trivia
  • Live tweeting
  • Social media contest with a real-time social wall
  • Giveaways or contests

 

Adding interactive components can help create a more memorable experience and ensure eventgoers retain information. This trend will continue to grow in popularity in 2024 and beyond as AI, VR, and AR become more popularised.

 

7. Hybrid and Virtual Events

Even though we live in a post-pandemic world, many businesses will continue to switch to hybrid and virtual event structures permanently to cut costs and appeal to a larger audience. Virtual events will be popular and have a 40-60% attendance rate. Even though in-person experiences are still preferred, we'll see more event planners switch to a hybrid model and lean on the help of event apps and tools to keep attendees engaged.

 

The Future of Events: How to Prepare

The changes we're experiencing in the event industry now are paving the way for future events. While planning for your 2024 events, you'll want to use these trends as inspiration. Consider how you can harness the power of personalisation, interactive content, and artificial intelligence to improve the attendee experience.

These trends are only the beginning. In 2024 and beyond, the event industry will continue to grow and change. As an event planner, you'll want to ensure you're at the forefront of innovation every step of the way.

 

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