With January fast approaching, it’s never too early to start preparing for next year’s events. If you find it difficult to keep up with technology or find yourself getting stressed through last-minute vent preparations, now is the perfect time to start looking ahead towards popular event trends. Knowing what’s popular with event attendees and what works for other events can help you make a splash in 2018.
Keeping your events relevant and profitable is a constant battle of finding out what your attendees crave (or what you can improve on) and adjusting your event experience accordingly. The following are just a few popular event trends you can use to make your events stand out.
- Social Media Trends
New social media trends seem to pop up like weeds, so it can be difficult to make sure you’re allocating enough resources to the right ones. Social media is vital to event marketing, so taking time to make sure your marketing strategy is in line with the latest social trends is an easy and relatively cost-effective way to boost event attendance. One of the fastest growing social trends is the rise of the Instagram Story. Instagram stories lets you share all of the moments over the course of your event. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format, which removes the risk of “overposting” and allows others to consume your event posts in a succinct and curated way. Over 200 million people already use Instagram Stories, so your event content has a great chance of reaching a wide audience and attracting new attendees.
- Add On’s and Upgrades, Oh My!
Personalized experiences are the wave of the future for event attendees. Consumers are used to having a windfall of options at their fingertips, and your event should follow suit. Gone are the days of just selling a simple admission ticket- it’s all about adding in paid experiences as options attendees can choose to add to their event experience. Try adding a “happy hour” or wine tasting for an extra price, a top package level that includes special access to VIP areas or viewing areas for a premium, or meet and greet sessions that can only be purchased at a specific ticket level. By offering additional options to add on to their admission or multiple levels of VIP upgrades, you give your attendees the power to cater your event to their needs.
- Discovery Sites
If you’ve spent a large portion of your marketing budget on search engine optimization, you understand the importance of getting your event out there and in front of as many people as possible. Nowadays, consumers are looking beyond a simple Google search to find events. Discovery sites such as Eventful, Bandsintown, Goldstar, Groupon, Facebook Events, and Songkick are powerful tools you can use to showcase events based on the location or interest of the consumer. You may find that one of these services works better for your events than others, but regardless of which one you choose you want to make sure that it includes a way for customers to purchase tickets directly through their system (or can easily hand off to whatever ticketing/registration platform you’ll be using).
Browsing events via smartphone is not a new trend for 2018, but consumers are becoming increasingly intolerant of any event website that isn’t completely mobile friendly. If you already have a website for your event or organization, make sure its 100% mobile friendly and works well across all mobile platforms (iOS, Android, iPads, tablets, etc.). An increasing number of consumers will abandon their orders completely if the mobile checkout experience isn’t user friendly, and many won’t come back to finish their order using a desktop or laptop. If you use an online registration or ticketing service for your events, you should also explore what mobile friendly options the offer such as mobile ticketing, PayPal or Venmo payments, etc.
By keeping an eye on these trends and trying to incorporate them into your event planning process, you may find an increase in attendee satisfaction and ROI, even on the most meagre of budgets.