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2021 Trends in Events

With so many events out there, it’s important to stay on top of emerging trends and ensure that your event presents the value that attendees are looking for. Here’s a list of trends for event planning that you’ll want to know.

Hybrid Events

Hybrid events are a mix of live and virtual events. You take your live event, complete with an audience, content, and more, and BOOM you add a virtual component to it so your audience can participate and engage with your event.

They’re also easier to host than you might think. You can make a quality hybrid event with accessible technology that doesn't require years of experience and expertise. While face-to-face events are still important, going hybrid is a great way to accommodate attendees who might not feel comfortable with travel.

Micro Events

This has been a growing trend for years now. Micro events are short activities that take place online and last for about an hour. Webinars, social media events, challenges, podcasts, teleclasses, and live video broadcasts are all examples of micro-events. There’s also tremendous power that comes from hosting quality micro-events. The connections of having a smaller group make them much more intimate. Think about the rise of Clubhouse. These sessions are basically micro-events.

Increase in Virtual Events

Before the pandemic, in-person events were the go-to for business owners. The pandemic forced businesses to switch to a virtual event model. The boost in virtual events is mindblowing. By 2030, the global virtual events industry will grow nearly tenfold, from $78 billion in 2019 to $774 billion, according to Grand View Research estimates.

Event Technology Innovations

Studies show that using event technology (think interactive apps, social media share walls, etc.) can increase attendance by 20 percent and increase productivity by 27 percent. Event technologies can add value to events by providing attendees with more opportunities for networking, interaction, and engagement with peers, speakers, and exhibitors. Push notifications in the apps help keep attendees informed and on schedule. Wearable technology such as wristbands can be used for attendees to exchange contact information with one another as well as vendors.

Entertainment to Combat Fatigue

Event attendees don’t just expect to learn. They want to have an incredible experience on every level. For that reason, entertainment has become a key part of event planning. Incorporate music into every aspect of your event. Hire an Emcee to keep engagement up (Check out our Blog Post: Why An Emcee is a MUST HAVE & How To Hire One) Have an exercise instructor lead the group in stretches in between breaks. Bring in a professional dancer or comedian to break up the sessions. Play a game that gets attendees involved. These things give attendees a mental break. It helps them feel more focused and refreshed when you rejoin the learning.


Since the pandemic, safety has been a top priority. Event organizers are responsible for monitoring and enforcing safety and health measures for events. Make sure to communicate with attendees ahead of time about what you are doing to ensure safety. Will you have sanitizers around the room? Are you wiping down microphones after shares, and tables in between sessions? Will you be taking temperatures upon arrival? It is also a great idea to provide a waiver for the attendees to confirm that they are not experiencing any symptoms and indemnifying the host from any liabilities should they get ill. And make sure to respect everyone’s preferences. Contact bands in various colors signifying “hugs”, “hand-shakes”, or “distance” can also be helpful

Community Building

Networking is often listed as the number one reason people attend conferences and events. Attendees look forward to making connections with like-minded people. In fact, 95% of people say that face-to-face meetings are a key factor in successfully building and maintaining long-term business relationships. There are ways to facilitate this at your event. You can create break-out sessions. You can have an evening cocktail mixer. You can create a private Facebook group just for event attendees. You can ask attendees to choose an accountability partner for after the event. Have a chat feature going during the event. Again, this is a great time to integrate event technologies and apps.

Diversity and Inclusion

When it comes to diversity—both of gender and otherwise—it’s a hot topic in the event industry. Diversity is much more than just race and ethnicity. It includes people of different ages, physical abilities, genders, education levels, and more. Encourage the event team to support diversity and inclusion. Include a diverse array of speakers. Create inclusive event swag. Consider hiring ASL interpreters. Ensure that the event environment is comfortable for everyone.

Implementing the latest trends for your event provides the "wow" factor that many attendees are looking for. It can also enhance and streamline guest experiences and keep people talking about your event long after it is over.

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