In today's dynamic world, event managers have transformed into visionary architects of event experiences, seamlessly blending human interaction with digital innovation. In a recent article, we explored the evolution of event management from the 1990s to the present. Now, let’s focus on current trends and the skills needed to excel in the transformative environment of event management.

The Return to Tangible Connection

While some people anticipated the end of in-person events, the reality predicts something different. As we move on from recent global challenges, there is a renewed desire for real-life interactions in the warmth of a handshake, of spontaneous laughter, and of the collective response of an engaged audience. This revival of live events is marked by a strategic use of technology, enhancing rather than replacing the essence of human connection. For instance, interactive apps are used to facilitate networking and engagement during live events.

The Hybrid Event: A Dichotomy Resolved

The hybrid event — a concept born of necessity rather than desire — has presented a dichotomous challenge. Catering simultaneously to virtual and physical attendees has proven to be a Sisyphean task. As a result, the event manager's role has become one of astute specialisation, to choose with precision and finesse the medium that best serves the needs of their entire audience.

The Power of Intimacy: Smaller Gatherings

In a shift towards intimacy, today's events are becoming smaller and more focused. This paradigm shift paves the way for deeper connections and more fruitful networking opportunities. Companies like BDB Pitmans or United Nation's Global Compact are already harnessing this trend, curating smaller, specialised events that meld networking with intellectual leadership.

A Commitment to Diversity and Sustainability

The new era of event management is underpinned by an unwavering commitment to diversity and environmental responsibility. Events are expected to show sustainability at their core, as demonstrated by Bidwells' support for carbon-neutral events. They are expected to reflect gender balance to guarantee fair representation and participation opportunities.

Gender inclusivity at events is crucial for fostering a balanced representation of perspectives, which enhances innovation and decision-making. For instance, according to Bizzabo’s world wide report on gender diversity in the events industry, 70% of speakers at events are typically male. Gender diversity leads to enhanced client satisfaction, as evidenced by a McKinsey study, which revealed that management teams with a gender ratio between 40% and 60% achieve more sustained and predictable results, including better consumer satisfaction and operating profits.​

The Technology Advantage

The advent of AI and advanced tech tools like CRM systems enables event managers to have a sharper and more precise approach to event planning. These technologies empower planners to:

⚪️ Craft engaging content and leverage AI for video production.

⚪️ Utilise predictive analytics to tailor budgets and enhance attendee experiences.

⚪️ Develop contingency plans and optimise budget allocation to mitigate risks.

⚪️ Analyse satisfaction surveys for continuous improvement.

Guardians of Data: A New Frontier

In our digital age, event security is paramount. The events industry has had to confront the spectres of data breaches and cyber-attacks head-on, ensuring that attendee information is safeguarded with the utmost encryption and privacy measures. It is a lesson that got reiterated through instances of significant data breaches in political and healthcare domains.

Immersive Technologies: The Future is Now

Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) are revolutionizing the event industry. They are creating unparalleled experiences, from virtual venue tours to interactive product demos, that resonate long after the event concludes. Consequently, projections estimate the market value of the events industry will soar to $4.3 billion by the end of 2023. Read more about Meetingbox's advanced branding options here.

Adapting to Financial Prudence

Tighter travel and event attendance budgets, efficiency and cost-effectiveness have become crucial. Event planners are exploring second-tier cities and smaller, localised satellite events to maintain financial sustainability. To know more on how to achieve efficacy with Meetingbox PWM, please refer to this article.

As an event manager in this era of change, you embody multiple roles: a curator of intimate experiences, a technologist, a data security expert, a strategic economist, and an advocate for diversity and sustainability. By embracing these facets, you will not only adapt, but also excel. Your events will be memorable, inspirational, and transformative, signifying your rise as a renaissance figure in the evolving landscape of event management.