Top trends that have shaped corporate events in 2015

Trends have a way of transforming any industry – one day you’re the hottest thing on the red carpet, and the next, you find yourself in the number one spot of the worst dressed list. But in corporate events, trends are a little less subjective and are determined more by the technology and lifestyle changes of their particular audience. Check out our top five.

1. The audience has more power.

Having hundreds of attendees can be quite hectic – most have questions they want voiced. What’s the best way of giving them this power while keeping everything in control? Although having an event hashtag in which attendees can ask their questions and thoughts on social media is the obvious answer, event planners can now collate this information so that it is asked and managed by the social journalist or the person responsible for social media on the day.

Not only does this eliminate the fear of having to ask questions and having hundreds of attendees peer their gaze at you, it allows the social journalist to ask these questions single-handedly, speeding up the process and minimalising the use of roving mics. Win-Win situation? I think so.

2. Mix up the format.

Event gurus have stayed away from stale formats by creating events that care more about having an engaged participant than an engaged attendee. As audience members are often repeat customers, event planners need to find ways of spicing things up!

For example, if you usually run a panel or workshop format, why not consider a sit-down breakfast or lunch while an international keynote speaker presents or start things off with a fun networking activity which is not only engaging, but also invites your attendees to use all their senses.

Bright Tip: To allow for this engaging energy to happen, be sure to find a venue that is versatile and spacious, a venue that fits in with this active and interactive approach.

3. The rise of the millennials.

With millennials rapidly taking over the workforce, different demands are expected of events. By taking into account that more millennial employees will attend corporate events with an eye for all things they can Instagram, event planners have modernised their approach. For example – food and drinks served on wooden chopping boards or glass jars have been a popular hit in 2015. It’s a simple example, but if a millennial attendee Instagrams this, not only is this free marketing, it’s free marketing to a younger audience that will be attending their future events. It’s all about thinking ahead!

4. Snack-sized (but delicious) content.

Let’s face it; no one wants to sit down listening to slides and slides of content (death by PowerPoint anyone?). To keep event presentations more engaging, consider reducing the time speakers have to present or introduce rapid fire formats – where multiple speakers address the same topic for just 5-10 minutes each. This generally results in content that is delivered using punchy one-liners and been condensed into diagrams that are relatable and of value to their audience.

Bright Tip: After the event, you can create an infographic of all the important ‘sound bites’ and speakers tips and send this exclusively to those who attended the event – not only is this a great take away gift for your attendees, it’s also great marketing material for the next series of conferences.

5. Cool ways of promoting sponsors.

The very success of your event hinges on the sponsors. Aside from including material in the delegates bag, there are other ways of promoting your sponsors to your audience. Whether it’s in private showcases or interactive online games that allow attendees to engage with the sponsor in exchange for prizes, there are new ways to make your sponsorship deals more appealing for everyone involved.

Overall, the event trends so far in 2015 is leaning into creating, active participants as opposed to a standard attendee. With an overflow of content, technologies and a fast-moving lifestyle, corporate events are becoming more engaging, convenient and dynamic.

What are some other event trends you think have occurred thus far? Leave your comments below.