4 Trends that Could Leave Event Planners Behind

  1. Greater Personalization

An emphasis on personalization was key in 2019 and will likely only grow in importance in 2020 and beyond. According to Statista, the average email open rate for a personalized message was 19% versus 13% for one that was not personalized at all. But personalization is about more than just getting a client’s first name right. 

On the tech side, this includes things like presenting content based on attendees click-through on their sign up and email responses. You’ll also want to be personal with the number of emails you send, a different sequence based on interaction with your messages and brand.

Attendees are also increasingly interested in personalized event activities. This high level of personalization is usually achieved by offering the attendees many different ways to spend their hours. In Summer 2019, the NYC Writer’s Digest Conference offers attendees over 3 different activities to choose from every hour, and  2018’s C2 event in Montréal even offered 11 different ways to spend their hours. In the coming years, event planners will use attendee interest data to tailor the event experience, from personal targeted ads and notifications to building specialized attendee agendas for each attendee beforehand. Be sure to stress this customizable schedule to your attendees. Giving event goers greater options in how they spend their time will improve their experience and sense of personalization.

  1. More Non-traditional Venues

Hotel venues just aren’t as hot as they were. Last year, the Global Meetings Forecast predicted a 4% increase in the use of non-traditional venues. And according to a Social Table survey, 92% of event planners said they believe events are more likely to be booked outside of a hotel than they were five years ago.

Booking a non-traditional venue can push you outside your comfort zone and stretch your planning skills, but in our opinion, it’s well worth it. A unique venue will make your event experience more memorable, standing out from the crowd.

What does this mean for event planners? For starters, it means you’ll need to start earlier. Securing unique venues takes serious outreach, research, and money. Competing events may be trying to book more iconic or unique venues in your area as well, offering even more incentive to start early. Better safe than sorry!

  1. More Help and Smarter Chatbots

Believe it or not, artificial intelligence is normal now. According to a Nielsen study, about 24% of American Households own smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google’s home speaker. Many of your attendees will own voice assistants, and almost all of them have experience using them.

You can take advantage of this trend by using artificial intelligence chatbots to answer basic questions through an event app, or even before your event, through platforms like Facebook Messenger. It’s faster for attendees, less intimidating, and will give your staff more time and resources to tackle bigger and more questions. So rather than eliminating human help, artificial intelligence allows you to enhance your event’s human and artificial assistance by working smarter, not harder.

4. Last Minute Sign Ups and Personalized Ticketing

Over the last year, event planners have seen more and more late sign-ups, ticket sales going up until the last minute. Attendees are waiting longer and longer to register for events. People are waiting for last-minute travel bargains offset ticket prices, leaving their options open for better prices, deals, and event add-on choices.

You can take advantage of this trend with personalized targeting. Send out personalized emails to past attendees who have yet to register for this year’s event, explaining they’ll be missed if they don’t attend. You can also set a low early bird price, but without a definitive end date for the early bird sales. Customers will not know exactly how long they have to get the lower priced tickets, creating a sense of urgency.

You can also take advantage of this focus on attendee FOMO and ticket research by offering premium ticketing and pricing attendees are increasingly eager to eliminate event uncertainty, willing to pay extra to guarantee they’ll meet keynote speakers and talk to everyone on their VIP list.

For example, the Writer’s Digest Conference offers a $150 add-on for the “Pitch Slam,” assuring attendees with this ticket that they will get to pitch to agents. And motivational speaker Tony Robbins, known for his iconic Date With Destiny seminar, charges ticket price based seating much the same as a play or rock concert, the front rows more expensive than the far back.

Consider creating add ons for your ticket levels as well, perks like meet-and-greets, a networking breakfast, and premium seating. Getting creative with ticketing options will both make your event feel personalized, catered to attendee experience, and will generate more revenue for your event.

As an event planner, you’re busy with scheduling, your venue, clients, and managing your business. When it comes to ticketing software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. However, most ticket sales software take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets directly from your website with no redirects – all for free!

  • Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
  • aggregate all of your customer data in one place
  • Keep 100% of your ticket sales
  • White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand

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