This past year has been a year of dramatic change. Who could have ever imagined this major shift at the start of 2020? From one day to the next, ‘offline’ events were no longer an option. In response, many event organisers started looking for online alternatives. What options are available to organise events in today’s word? How can you keep your target group connected to your brand or product? In this article we look at the biggest event trends to look out for in 2021.
From offline to online events
Due to the capacity restrictions and the ban on gatherings both large and small, many physical events opted for an online alternative. Virtual trade fairs, online open days, festivals, concerts and networking events all went digital. There are certain elements of an event that are actually ideally suited for an online environment, which even offers new opportunities. It means you are no longer limited to a venue’s maximum capacity. Everyone can ‘visit’ your online event from their own living room or office. Moreover, the participants have the opportunity to give direct feedback during the online event. The trend from offline to online events will continue for the foreseeable future and gives businesses the chance to use the benefits of the online channel to their advantage.
Tip: are you planning to organise an online event? Surprise your participants before or after the event with printed promotional items. It’s a great way to give your online event a personal touch and at the same time generate some extra branding!
Hybrid events: offline & online combined
The next event trend we want to share with you is combining the benefits of an online event with the personal approach of a live event. These events have be coined as ‘hybrid events’. Some participants may not be able to attend the physical event due to health or safety concerns, or because of the travel restrictions or limited venue capacity. Hybrid events give them, on top of physically attending, the added choice of taking part online. That way everyone can still be there!
The rise of smaller events
It currently still remains to be seen whether we will be able to hold large physical events this year. This is also one of the reasons why small-scale events are likely to really take off. Instead of one big annual event, you organise multiple smaller events. Imagine a road show concept that organises small events across the country. And these smaller events can also take place partly or entirely online. You can arrange a live stream, for example, so that anyone who is interested can watch. We’re also seeing a revival of craft beer festivals and food festivals. Local, small-scale events for real foodies and connoisseurs.
Tip: see how you can brand your smaller event with the right promotional items. Don your employees with printed caps and shirts. And take a look at the zero-waste cups & mugs to make your event plastic-free. That way you’re also putting the environment first.
Experience marketing gets even more focus
The focus this year is more on experience marketing, i.e. creating an immersive experience and giving a product or brand that wow effect. It’s all built around offering the public a real connection with a brand. But because it’s almost impossible for brands to physically promote themselves at larger events, they have to look for other ways to connect with the relevant target group. There are several ways you can do this through different online channels, or with small-scale, localised brand activations. The emergence of food trucks, festivals via live stream and local concerts with smaller audiences are just some examples.
Tip: try to think of other ways your audience can get connected with your brand. One idea is to promote your brand during a radio broadcast or podcast, perhaps by giving away merchandise with a nice imprint. It’s a great way to introduce people to your brand and ensure they have a lasting memory.
Virtual team outings: connecting employees
It’s incredibly important in this day and age to think about how to stay connected with your employees and how to motivate them. Many businesses have already found ways to adapt. It looks like team outings and social drinks with colleagues will be virtual affairs for the time being and companies are getting more and more creative in their approach. Here are a few ideas: a virtual pub quiz, karaoke or escape room. But another really popular choice is a business gift like the coronavirus gift package, containing personalised products like a printed mug or a warm jumper with logo to thank staff for their hard. It also ensures good internal branding.
If we look at the latest event trends in the field of giveaways, one of the fastest growing trends is personal protection equipment, or PPE. You have a wide choice of printed face masks, for example, or choose a hand gel printed with logo. But gadgets for decorating the home office, such as a mouse pad or a mug with logo are also popular promotional products. The personalised printed gift sets that you can deliver to staff and customers add yet another dimension. A truly personal gift, delivered to people’s homes. And then there is people’s health, which is an important theme this year for companies looking for giveaways. Think of a lunch pot with imprint to give your logo exposure on every journey and to stimulate people to eat a healthy lunch.
These are some of the key event trends you can capitalise on as a company. Learn how you can make use of the different opportunities to really make an impression on your target audience.