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Event Industry Trends
27 May 2024 

The Future of Events: Hear From Experts on Sustainability, AI, and Event Data

Bizzabo Blog Staff
Bizzabo Blog Staff
The Future of Events: Hear From Experts on Sustainability, AI, and Event Data

To help event professionals like you get a better idea of what the future of events looks like, we recently hosted a webinar, Back to the future: The status of 2024 event industry trends, that featured four expert event professionals:

Not only did this webinar feature a look at current trends, but it also revisited the trends identified by our December 2023 webinar to reveal how things are shaping up based on predictions from six months ago. Plus, we threw in some key insights on trends identified by Gartner® in its inaugural Magic Quadrant™ for Event Technology Platforms

Keep reading to learn some of the insights our star-studded panel shared about event industry trends and to access a link to the webinar that you can watch on-demand at any time.

The Rise of Conscious Conferencing

According to Bizzabo’s The State of In-Person B2B Conferences report, 26.8% of event attendees agree that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) and sustainability are their top priorities when deciding where to spend and travel for events. 

Despite this, less than 10% of event organizers prioritize DE&I and sustainability initiatives. Something’s got to give.

“I think attendees should definitely hold organizers accountable,” Gotsis said. “They should hold organizers to a higher level of expertise and attention to those topics.” 

Personally, Gotsis hopes to see more event organizers embrace the idea of conscious conferencing and do everything they can to make events more sustainable.

“One of my biggest initiatives that I wish people would pay more attention to is food waste,” he added. “As event professionals, there is just so much waste that happens. I wish someone could crack the code on that one.”

Prioritize Diversity and Add Micro-events to Your Event Strategy

According to Drake, diversity and equity are part of the community’s “entire mantra” at Apollo.

Inclusion and representation are everything. We can no longer afford to be tone-deaf as an industry. Baking diversity and inclusion into your event strategy isn’t a major lift, either. By talking about it and normalizing it, diversity and inclusion become second nature.
Kayla Drake
Director of Field Marketing

As you begin prioritizing DE&I as part of your event strategy, Drake suggests following these simple tips:

  • Be mindful of the gender balance at events; don’t treat it as an afterthought.
  • Partner with local organizations to ensure you meet your goals for inclusion and representation.
  • Consider micro-events, which are more cost-effective and enable event organizers to be “very calculated” about the mix of folks in the room.

Use AI To Accelerate Event Ideation

Every day, event professionals are pulled in a zillion different directions. Unfortunately, despite all the technological advancements in recent years, no one’s figured out how to cram more hours into a day.

Enter artificial intelligence, which continues to penetrate all corners of the professional world, including event planning and organizing.

Instead of viewing AI as a threat to your livelihood, you need to start viewing it as a copilot that can help you cover more ground in less time. According to Vismale, one of the best AI use cases for event planners is leveraging the technology to speed up workflows, quickly creating drafts of messaging and landing pages, and then adjusting them from there.

“It’s the mindset of getting the thoughts out to create, and you go back as a human and create and design the way you want to,” Vismale said. “It’s getting it out and helping you iterate much faster.”

Although you’ve likely thought about using AI to write event marketing emails, here are some ways you can use AI that you might not have thought about:

  • Design planning
  • Logistics 
  • Session descriptions
  • Stock photography suggestions
ultimate guide to AI chatbot prompts for event professionals

Do More Than Just Collect Event Data — Analyze It!

In our increasingly data-driven age, it comes as no surprise that leading events teams are using data to figure out the best way forward. 

Gutzmann runs DPW Amsterdam — an event that aims to become the world’s most data-driven supply chain conference — and is laser-focused on data. Even so, collecting data is only half the battle.

“They said in the past, data is the new oil — not really anymore, in my opinion, because we have so much of it,” Gutzmann said. 

It’s not about the data. It’s about the insights you get out of the data and how you use those insights to inform the next event or improve the event experience.
Matthias Gutzmann
CEO and Founder

When Gutzmann launched his event in 2019, he cobbled together an event tech stack using several point solutions. He quickly realized that to extract insights from the reams of data he was collecting, he needed an all-in-one event management solution that would store all event data in one place.

As he began searching for a solution that would unify his event tech stack, Gutzmann ultimately discovered Bizzabo. This platform covered “the end-to-end value chain of the event experience,” with data flowing seamlessly across the platform. Recently, he expanded his relationship with Bizzabo by deploying Klik’s wearable tech to capture even more data, with the added benefits of improving lead generation for sponsors and making his event more sustainable. 

Uplevel Your Event Strategy To Finish the Year Strong

As the events industry continues its transformation, keep a close eye on how leading events teams are rethinking the event experience.

While these takeaways should give you a good idea of some of the topics our panel of experts discussed, they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

To learn more about what the future of events looks like and discover more insights you can apply to your own event strategy, check out the full webinar.

the future of events trends and insights

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