We recently hosted an event called “Event Trends Lookahead: Taking Your Events Team Into 2023,” and it was an absolute blast!

We celebrated all things events and took a deep dive into the top five trends that are shaping the industry in the coming year. From the continued growth of virtual events to the importance of personalized communication, we covered it all. We even shared real-life examples and best practices for delivering on these trends.

Let’s take a look at the five trends we covered and how you can use them in 2023 to level up your events program.

1. Registering is one thing, showing up is another 

One trend that is particularly top of mind for event planners is attendance. With the disruptions caused by the pandemic in recent years, getting people to register and show up at events has become a top priority.

To ensure the success of their events, event planners need to focus on defining a strong content strategy and promotion plan to attract registrants and get them to show up. This can be achieved by highlighting what makes the event unique and how it stands out from others in the industry, as well as understanding the needs and interests of the target audience.

By creating compelling calls to action and developing engaging content both pre- and post-event, event planners can increase engagement and loyalty among attendees, ultimately leading to higher attendance rates.

2. Attendees expect more out of event engagement 

In recent years, engagement has become a top buzzword and challenge for event planners. However, many struggle to engage with attendees and have a hard time encouraging attendees to engage with each other. This can impact attendees’ feelings toward the event and their likelihood of returning in the future.

To combat this, event planners should ask themselves how they want attendees to experience the event, and what they should get out of attending. It’s important to encourage audience participation as much as possible, whether that’s through Q&A sessions, interactive elements like games and photo booths, or collaboration tools like whiteboarding.

To create a sense of community, event planners should also think about how to bridge the gap between in-person and virtual attendees through engagement opportunities both pre- and during the event. Incorporating a social wall that serves as an in-event social media feed is a great way to get attendees interacting and networking throughout the event lifecycle.

3. Shorter, more niche events are driving better results 

With 45% of event organizers struggling to break through attendees’ virtual event fatigue, event planners are turning toward shorter sessions and curated events to provide attendees with a more immersive and intentional experience.

By creating a clear and focused event strategy that aligns with the needs of their organization, event planners can better serve the unique needs of their attendees. This includes considering the event format and mix, as well as designing the event from the perspective of the attendee to encourage engagement and connections with subject matter experts and peers.

With time being valuable and expectations high, event planners must focus on creating personalized and immersive experiences that provide attendees with a clear understanding of what they can expect to get out of attending.

4. Immersive and experiential events are “in”

Immersive and experiential events are gaining popularity as attendees crave unique and memorable experiences. To keep up with this trend, event planners are incorporating activations, interactive elements, and immersive experiences to engage attendees and create meaningful connections.

These experiences can be incorporated into both in-person and virtual events and can be tailored to fit any budget through sponsorships and trade-ins. Activations allow attendees to truly experience a brand, rather than just hear about it and can help drive organic buy-in and increase sponsorship ROI.

The trend toward immersive and experiential events is expected to continue into 2023, as attendees seek out events that are truly one-of-a-kind.

5. Digital-forward, in-person events are the new hybrid

Today’s in-person events are bringing technology and face-to-face interactions together to create a seamless and engaging experience.

In-person events often come with a mobile event app, which can make the event more accessible and interactive for attendees. An effective event management platform includes features like agendas, interactive maps, and one-to-one chat, allowing attendees to connect and engage with each other and the event.

To get the most out of using a mobile app at an in-person event, it is important to:

  1. Build a branded app
  2. Compile a robust agenda
  3. Use interactive maps
  4. Connect and engage with attendees
  5. Provide real-time updates

By integrating technology and in-person elements, event planners can create a truly immersive and memorable experience for attendees.

Up your event game in 2023!

As we move into 2023, it’s important for event planners to consider a range of factors in order to create successful and meaningful experiences for their attendees.

Whether you’re planning an in-person, hybrid, or virtual event, these trends will be crucial for ensuring that your event stands out and leaves a lasting impact.

So get ready to rock your events in 2023, and let’s make it a year to remember! And if you didn’t get a chance to join us at Event Trends Lookahead: Taking Your Events Team Into 2023, you can now watch the event on-demand or download our 2023 event trends guide below.