5 APRIL, 2024

The 5 most important event trends to know about

Things move fast, and so does it in the world of events. With rapid technological advancements, increasingly stringent security requirements, and more demanding participants, organizers need to adapt to keep up with the pace. In this article, we'll outline the five most important event trends you should be aware of and implement in your future events.

Why should you listen to us?

Before we delve into listing the event trends, we first want to build trust with you as a reader. You may have heard of us at Trippus, or perhaps we're entirely new to you. The fact is, Trippus is one of Sweden's most popular event systems for creating smooth and successful events, and there's a good chance you've actually participated in one of our events. With over 20 years in the events industry, we've gathered knowledge and experiences that few can match. Moreover, an incredibly large number of events are organized annually in the Trippus platform. In 2023 alone, over 7,000 events were created with more than 1 million participants.

1. Shorter, more specialized events

Today's events are becoming shorter, with many organizers opting to switch from multi-day events to dedicated full-day events. Participants' time is very limited, and unfortunately, they can't attend various events all day long, even though that would be really nice. Additionally, the number of events has increased, resulting in more choices for visitors but a tougher landscape for organizers to stand out in the noise. Nowadays, visitors are more informed than ever before, and with more options, they can easily find an event they find interesting to attend.

So, how should organizers respond to these conditions to get participants to actually book and show up at their events? According to us, the answer revolves around the following areas: (1) targeted content and value, (2) efficient scheduling of programs, and (3) standing out from the crowd.

Targeted content with real value

Many attendees participate in events to gain new knowledge in relevant topics that affect them. Event that are to broad are no longer attractive; instead, the content needs to be sharp and specialized to make people feel that their participation adds significant value. We've all probably attended an event where the lectures and workshops are at such a basic level that we don't get anything out of being there. Nowadays, organizers need to offer real value, and we see that more and more are choosing to narrow down events to a specific subject area instead of taking a helicopter perspective.

The organizer of the popular event "The Sales Conference" has really embraced this trend exceptionally well. Despite the conference being held annually, they always find highly relevant topics to focus on to make it relevant and educational for their on-site and digital participants. For the 2024 edition of the conference, the theme was solely about AI and how sales organizations can embrace the tools available to streamline their sales processes. If they instead were to organize an event covering everything in sales, no one (okay, maybe someone) would attend. The reason is that such a broad topic would never be able to go into detail and actually provide new insights for those who participate.

Efficient scheduling

It may be a bit repetitive by now, but time is a limited resource. For that reason, organizers need to create an engaging program that is also time-efficient for participants. A progra, with a lot of time to kill without networking opportunities is a clear example of how organizers should not proceed when planning an efficient program.

Standing out from the crowd

Participants have more choices when it comes to choosing events to attend. This means that organizers must make themselves visible and attract participants by standing out from the crowd. There are several strategies to achieve this, such as creating an engaging promotional video for the event like Women in Tech, offering a varied and interesting program with speakers, workshops, and entertainment, and enabling participation both physically and digitally. To ensure that digital participants feel included and engaged, it is crucial to create an interactive and participant-friendly environment online. Read more about this in event trend number four about remote participation.

2. The importance of networking

Participants really want to network at events, and event experts agree. According to Spotme, a whopping 88% (!) of event experts consider networking to be the primary reason for attending events. Therefore, incorporating networking opportunities into the program has become of utmost importance for organizers. As hybrid events become more popular, it is also important to offer networking opportunities for digital participants. Features like breakout rooms play a crucial role in allowing them to interact with each other, read more about this later in the article.

Another clever solution is to include a matchmaking function for events. Matches can be based on areas of interest, what they are looking for (such as innovations in medicine), and whether they are exhibitors or visitors. The solution can be offered to participants who can meet on-site. Organizers can create pre-determined meeting rooms in the digital platform that digital participants can join to discuss the chosen topic.

3. It's time to start using AI

AI is on everyone's lips right now, and the development has undoubtedly been unprecedented. Some have watched far too many Sci-Fi movies and are afraid that AI and robots will take over the world. For the rest of us, AI tools like ChatGPT, MidJourney, and Microsoft Designer are excellent tools to streamline our work and give us unique ideas. Event organizers who embrace AI and its power will sprint ahead of the rest who do not utilize these. With ChatGPT, you can get help creating texts for invitations and developing what an entire event should be about. We used the technology for our lecture on event trends where we wanted help identifying the most important trends to present. See the outcome below (sorry, the video is in Swedish).

Even though most people use ChatGPT, there are many more great tools out there to use. For example, we can use Microsoft's own design tool "Microsoft Designer" to generate various images. These images not only become unique but also aesthetically pleasing if used correctly. We conducted a test for a fictional event called "Save the Climate."

We used the image that Microsoft Designer gave us and then used it for the event's website, social media, and in a personal invitation.

4. Increased opportunities for digital participation

In the modern digital era, accessibility and interactivity are crucial for creating meaningful and engaging events. By providing various digital tools and features for participants, we not only increase engagement but also opportunities for interaction and knowledge exchange. Despite the increase in popularity of hybrid events, many organizers face challenges related to digital participants.

Of course, we believe that these challenges can be solved with the right tools. For example, breakout rooms are a platform for small groups to collaborate, discuss, and explore topics in more depth. This feature promotes participant engagement and gives them the opportunity to actively participate in discussions, which in turn creates a more dynamic and rewarding event experience. Having the ability to ask questions during the event gives digital participants a voice and the opportunity to receive real-time answers from speakers or presenters. This not only promotes interaction but also knowledge sharing and open dialogue. In addition to being able to answer questions, it is also important to allow digital guests to participate in polls. This gives participants the opportunity to express their opinions in a simple and effective way. It also promotes interactivity and can be used to gather feedback and measure participants' perceptions of different topics or presentations.

During parallel broadcasts, digital participants can easily choose the broadcast they find most interesting.

5. Increased security requirements

In light of the increasing risk of data breaches and cyberattacks, it is now more important than ever to prioritize security at events. The ever-growing digital presence has created a platform for cyberattacks and data breaches to become an increasingly worrying reality. To ensure the integrity and protection of participants' data and information, event organizers must ensure that their event systems take measures to protect all data. In addition to these attacks, GDPR has also been on the agenda for some time. A study by Eventforce (2019) shows that the majority of event organizers find it problematic to meet GDPR requirements. Storing all data, including participant information, should be done within EU borders to comply with legal requirements. Read more about GDPR and data security in events >

In addition to digital threats, physical security is also of utmost importance. By implementing security measures such as banning bags at certain events and keeping track of who is in the venue at any given time, organizers can minimize the risk of physical threats and create a safer environment for everyone present. Knowing which participants have checked in and out, and having a log of their activities can be crucial in the event of any incidents or security issues.

Are you ready to create better events?