It's 2023 and the world of events is finally rising from the ashes and taking off again. This year will see some trends carry over from 2022, while new ones are emerging. We've pulled together the top five event trends to look out for and adopt in 2023
1. Going green isn’t just a trend: CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and sustainability
The past two years have proven that everyone has a role to play when it comes to environmental protection. Between energy crisis and ecological disaster, sustainability and social responsibility need to be at the core whether at events, commercial or administrative levels. When it comes to events, there are many solutions and ideas to help minimise your carbon footprint such as: choosing green event venues, sustainable vendors, considering accessible venues, encouraging public transportation, recycling, minimising single-use products, providing more vegan and vegetarian options, and capitalising on digital features/app instead of printed material.
According to AMEX 2023 Meetings and Events Forecast1(based on a survey of 580 meetings and events professionals from all around the world), four in five respondents say their organisation takes sustainability into account when planning meetings and events.
At Pluto, it is our duty to fight for a more sustainable business and to incentivise our clients to go green. We are proud to be part of the Ad Net Zero organisation (the advertising industry’s drive to reduce the carbon impact of developing, producing, and running advertising to real net zero) and to hold the ISO14001 certification.
2. Virtual is good, in-person is better
The COVID-19 pandemic taught the world that virtual meetings can be flexible, creative, and resourceful. The past two years and a global pandemic have increased and popularised remote work and digital meetings and events, but in-person events are making a big comeback in 2023.
According to the Amex forecast, internal meeting will continue to be the fastest-growing category in 2023 as employees need face-to-face meetings. Companies now recognise the vital role in-person events/meetings play in strengthening culture, onboarding staff, increasing employee engagement, and communicating corporate values and goals.
3. Hybrid is the new black
The current economical crisis and inflation have an impact on the trends for 2023 and even though in-person meetings will be emphasised by companies, hybrid events that allow the flexibility and reach of a virtual event and the engagement of in-person options will continue to grow this year.
According to Exploding Topics 8 Emerging Event Industry Trends (2023-2025)1, searches for “hybrid event” have increased by 190% in the past 5 years. Event management solution Bizzabo conducted a survey of industry professionals and found that 97% of respondents expect to see more hybrid events going forward2.
New technologies and the recent metaverse enthusiasm also reinforce this trend for hybrid events and lead us to the following trends.
4. Use technology
In its article, Exploding Trends noticed that 40% of event planners are unsatisfied with the tech options available to them, yet augmented and virtual reality technology solutions are becoming more commonplace and affordable. It’s been said that the pandemic condensed years’ worth of change into months. The result is that technology is lagging far behind the demand – but it’s going to catch up
1. According to Statista (The Statistics Portal for Market Data), there are an estimated 171 million VR users worldwide in 2023
2. And AR/VR startups are raising billion to improve their products and spread it all over the world. Those technologies will soon become the new normal. VR has the potential to change the way we can source venues, plan events, collaborate with people on-site/off-site and engage participants online.
Event tech will likely continue to thrive as the tech boom continues through 2023 and beyond.
5. Experience is the key
Whether it is a virtual or in-person event, all attendees need to feel engaged, no matter how they choose to participate. Facing the cost-of-living crisis, the big challenge for brands will be to create and maintain loyalty with their customers. To face this new challenge, marketers and event planners will have to consider, more than ever, experience first and be very attentive to data, which is the key to helping stay a step ahead of the customers' wants and needs. Knowing your audience is one of the important requirements to lead to success.
It is also important to bear in mind that experience starts before, continues during, and has to last after the event. Attendees want the ability to customise their experience and to share it afterward. And brands want great content that can be used post-event too.
According to Jonathan Barker, Senior Vice President, Global Event Production and Operation, NFL – “We are playing with fluidity as we see people not wanting to be static. The audience doesn’t want to sit in one seat for too long. They want to move and socialize. They want to be part of the experience but be able to dip in and dip out of it. We have to give them opportunities to move around the events to have different experiences in different places.“1
Monique Ruff-Bell, Head of Conferences, TED – “People used to say that content was the heart of the show, but I think experience is. People want to walk away feeling like all of their senses have been awakened by an experience, not just their ears."
In order to give their customers the best experience, event marketers have to join forces and create cross-functional committees to bring together different perspectives, ideas, and insights. At Pluto, we are lucky to have a multi-faceted team of artists, producers, storytellers, and technologists who will go above and beyond to create real connections for your brand.