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5 Key Trends and Strategies to Make Your 2024 Events Better than Ever

Miranda Young
Monday, Jun 24, 2024
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Your last event was a huge success. Your audience members were entertained and educated, your team excelled in their roles, and everything went off without a hitch. Now how do you top it?

Event planning is continuously evolving, and the creativity, foresight, and adaptability that is required of you can seem daunting. Each year, new trends and technologies emerge in the industry, providing opportunities for event planners to elevate their events and create more memorable experiences for their organization and participants. Let us do some of the heavy lifting and share five essential strategies you need in 2024 to enhance your events, ranging from new wave trends like utilizing the power of AI, to the ever-present need for increased investment to meet growing goals. 

Embrace the Power of AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can truly be an event planner’s best friend. The technology coming out of the AI age is transforming the event planning landscape by offering innovative solutions to streamline processes, enhance attendee experiences, and provide valuable insights. Here are some ways you can incorporate  AI into your event planning strategy to help you create more efficient and personalized events.

Use chatbots or virtual assistants to field routine inquiries. The latest versions of these chatbots are surprisingly adept at providing real-time assistance to attendees and fielding all the questions you shouldn’t be bothered with, like “When is the main event?” and “Where do I go to see Magic Johnson’s keynote?”. This technology puts information at your guests’ fingertips and frees you up for more important logistics.

Use data analytics to plan for the future. AI can analyze large volumes of data to identify trends, preferences, and behaviors. This year, get more out of your event by using AI to leverage these insights and make data-driven decisions to tailor content, marketing strategies, and logistics for future events.

By embracing AI, you can create more efficient, engaging, and impactful events that are sure to resonate with attendees.

Boost Your Budget

While this may be the most obvious way to improve your event, creating a bigger budget isn’t always an event planner’s first move. But, investing more into your event budget isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must for a few reasons. 

In 2024, 69%, of event planners have claimed to be maintaining the same budget as 2023. This can become a major hindrance when trying to maintain the same level of event and speaker that your audiences are accustomed to. Since the pandemic, we have experienced severe inflation, supply chain disruption, and an uptick in demand for speakers with the move to a virtual setting. Not to mention speakers have begun using the developing technology to create more interactive experiences for their audience, in turn creating greater value within their keynotes. 

You will be keeping up with the highest-quality speakers. Since the pandemic, on average keynote speakers with fees on the lower end have increased about 25%, while celebrity speaker fees have sky-rocketed to 100% of their pre-pandemic rates. The demand for female motivational and women business speakers has more than doubled, driving their cost up to a comparable fee as their male counterparts — something we can all get behind. 

Focus on Sustainability

Sustainability is becoming a critical consideration in event planning. Incorporating eco-friendly practices not only benefits the environment but also enhances the reputation and overall appeal of your event.

Use sustainable materials and focus on waste reduction.  Get creative with your event materials for supplies, such as badges, signage, and promotional items. Reducing plastic usage, opting for sustainable alternatives, thinking about energy efficiency, and minimizing waste with digital implementation can make a significant difference.

Opt for local and ethical sourcing. Partner with vendors and suppliers who prioritize sustainability and ethical practices. Support local businesses and choose products that are environmentally friendly and ethically produced. This is not only good for the planet and your community, but it also adds a very personal, local touch to your event that welcomes guests in a meaningful way.

By focusing on sustainability, event planners can create responsible and eco-conscious events that resonate with attendees and reflect positively on the organization.

Enhance Attendee Engagement

The biggest sign of a job well done for event planners is a happy attendee. If you want people to leave feeling like they gained something for your event, then you need to think outside the box. Creating interactive and immersive experiences will leave a lasting impression, and ensure the memory and learnings stick with guests for years to come.

Create interactive sessions and gamifications. Incorporate interactive elements into sessions, such as live polls, Q&A segments, and breakout discussions. Bonus points if you integrate gamification elements into your event to create a fun and competitive atmosphere. Activities like scavenger hunts, challenges, and reward systems can motivate attendees to participate and engage more deeply.

Always leave time for networking opportunities. People often view events as a way to connect with like-minded individuals and teams. You want to be sure to give everyone the opportunity to meet a new member of their community and grow their network. Utilize technology, such as event apps, to help attendees find and engage with each other based on shared interests and goals.

By focusing on attendee engagement, event planners can create dynamic and impactful events that foster meaningful connections and lasting impressions.

Prioritize Health and Safety

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, health and safety have become paramount in event planning. While it feels as though COVID-19 has passed, there are still lingering fears and permanent life changes for some. Ensuring the well-being — mental and physical — of attendees is crucial for building trust and confidence.

Follow all health protocols. Stay up to date on your latest local health protocols and include things like sanitization stations and contactless check-ins. Clearly communicate these protocols to attendees before and during the event. Simple implementations like these can go a long way in making event-goers feel safe. 

Offer hybrid event options that combine in-person and virtual experiences. This approach accommodates attendees who may prefer to participate remotely, ensuring inclusivity and flexibility.

Giving your attention to these five areas is key to improving your events. Especially when throwing an annual or recurring gathering, improving year after year requires a strategic approach that embraces innovation, sustainability, engagement, and safety. To explore how top industry speakers can provide valuable insights and inspiration for your next event, reach out to Executive Speakers Bureau today. 

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