20 event industry microtrends for 2020

These 20 microtrends are set to shape the year ahead when planning an event with a creative twist, according to CWT M&E’s new 2020 Future Trends in meetings and events report….

Dating apps for networking
Tinder-style apps will help event attendees to break the ice and turbo boost their networking.

Content that travels outside the conference room
Be it a fireside chat, a poolside morning meeting, or sharing business plans during a hike, these bite-sized content sessions will engage and inspire attendees.

First is best in seating
Early arrivals can grab the plush, expansive armchairs close to the speakers, while space at the back is for highboy chairs and stools. Seating feels ultra-welcoming while encouraging attendees to arrive on time.

Wellness breaks
Energise attendees with a yoga or stretching session, or a walk in a green space – purposeful wellness breaks can give a boost to attention and memory.

Activities as entertainment
Immersing attendees in activities from visiting a Formula 1 racetrack to watching a celebrity chef prepare dinner is entertainment gold.

Staging in the round
Rome’s Colosseum amphitheatre and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London prove the value of surrounding the action. Staging that brings every attendee closer boosts participation.

Engagement and discovery
Shorter content is sandwiched with periods of engagement and discovery, like a tour of the unique venue hosting the event, to inspire attendees.

Farm to table eating
Locally-produced food that has not clocked up the air miles is a winner in sustainable eating, as well as building a connection with the destination for attendees.

Social media-inspired videos
Short, punchy and colourful videos inspired by social media are super engaging, while encrypted private networks and applications coming to the fore add an extra layer of security.

Grab and go food stations
Grab-and-go food mean attendees can try different flavours and cuisines when it suits them, and chefs can control waste.

Venues that tell a story
Unusual venues that reflect the aims of the event are booming – think spectacular views, historic spaces, or even an underwater event.

Crowd-shaping content
Attendees can take an active role in shaping the content through the pre-event communications, or on their phones during the meeting.

Artwork adds interactivity
Cultural artworks created by locals can tell an interactive story about the content of the event.

Out with plastic
Plastic packaging, drinks straws and bottles are a no-go, replaced with reusable and compostable alternatives that are kinder to the planet.

Geofencing
Want to encourage your attendees to head to a particular info booth, training workshop, or new experience? A geofence – or virtual boundary – can trigger an alert to their mobile phone when they step outside the meeting room.

Personal DJ
“Customisation is a must,” says Diego Blandizio, creative strategist for CWT Meetings & Events Italy. “We invited the local radio station to come to an event and have the attendees’ playlist on the radio for an hour.”

Diversity speaks
Greater diversity of presenters can bring an inspiring new slant to content, and connect with the full range of attendees.

Instagrammable cuisine
Food must be Instagram-worthy—shared in real time to an audience of hundreds and even thousands at once—to pass muster in 2020.

Mobile phone creche
For those times when 100% concentration is key, a physical phone creche for attendees to jettison their smartphones can keep distractions at bay.

Access all areas
The best creative ideas include everyone – accessibility to that incredible view, poolside party or spine-tingling experience is a given.

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