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3 event trends to watch in 2021

Ashley Neal
February 3, 2021
3 event trends to watch in 2021

With the first month of the new year completed, planning the year’s events has become top priority for many organizations. With COVID-19, political uncertainty, social tensions and budgets impacting every decision, it can be hard for organizations to keep an eye on up and coming trends to implement. That’s why I did it for you!

Here are three event trends to watch for as you plan your 2021 calendar:

Hybrid events

As vaccination efforts continue for the COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunities to attend events in person are increasing. It’s doubtful that exclusively in-person events will return to the spotlight, though, as many business professionals have become accustomed to attending functions from the comfort of their home or office. In fact, hybrid events will likely reduce business travels for the foreseeable future. 

“The effective use of technology during the pandemic—and the economic constraints that many companies will face for years after it—could augur the beginning of a long-term structural change in business travel,” shares McKinsey & Co. 

Those business professionals who are comfortable, and prefer, to be in attendance in person will likely have the opportunity by year’s end to do so — but the majority of event attendance will continue on virtual platforms this year.

Virtual reality

With the increase in hybrid events comes an influx of technological innovations and upgrades. One such upgrade is the recent popularity of virtual reality in education spaces. Organizations can utilize virtual reality to give a more hands on feel to virtual attendees.

“The Consumer Technology Association ... predicts that in 2021 AR/VR technology will dominate in various industries as people continue to explore different means of engaging with others and the world while maintaining socially distant and remote lifestyles,” shared the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Virtual reality brings a competitive edge to the organizations that utilize it, so it’s no wonder that this year’s events will take advantage of the tool. Want to learn more about how to use virtual reality in your organization? Use the discount code SIDECAR to attend our upcoming workshop!

Efficiency

When the COVID-19 pandemic first began to change our lives, it was completely understandable for your organization to have fumbles and mistakes when producing content. But over a year later, this is no longer the case. 

“Preparing your attendees ahead of time with everything they need, from important information to key health and safety gear, makes sure that everyone is on the same page when the event begins. Communicating upfront creates a smooth attendee experience, no matter if they’re in person or online,” shared Freeman.

Sponsors and attendees alike are expecting events to be produced with the utmost accuracy. Technical difficulties, streaming delays or bad housekeeping is something that will not be overlooked. As professional organizations, your audience expects the best, and you should be prepared to give it to them.

Managing your events has become easier than ever thanks to the myriad helpful sources online, and with their assistance, you can produce an amazing event to impress even the most scrutinizing eye.

By keeping these three trends in mind when planning your own events this year, your organization has the opportunity to stay fresh, produce more and continue to blow the minds of your audience. As we move on from the uncertainty that plagued the past year, it will only become easier to produce helpful, relevant and — most importantly — accessible content.

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Ashley Neal

Ashley joined the Sidecar team as Community Coordinator in 2020 and spends her working hours focused on providing value to our members. In her free time, Ashley enjoys DIY crafts and playing with her puppy, Scooby.

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