by Brenna Adkins Corporate Event, Event Trends March 23rd, 2023
With trends, timing is everything. If your timing is off, you can miss it completely, and when it comes to events, that may give the wrong impression to your attendees. Similarly, if you’re utilizing cutting-edge trends or tapping into popular evergreen trends, that will reflect in attendee experience, as well as ROI.
One trend that’s caught on (and rightfully so) is personalization. Especially when it comes to big events, it’s easy to feel like a number or an attendee badge. For that reason, some attendees struggle to get as much out of the event as possible. Personalization can change that.
- Leveraging Trends at Corporate Events
- Types of Corporate Event Trends
- What Does Personalization Mean at Corporate Events?
- Practical Tips: How to Personalize Corporate Events
Leveraging Trends at Corporate Events
One of the unspoken goals of corporate events is the hope that your attendees will have such an amazing experience that they’ll share with friends, family, colleagues, and more. That’s why corporate event trends matter. They’re the things that catch on with attendees, and they both expect and enjoy them.
When it comes to planning your next corporate event, you want to keep up on those trends and work with an event planner who is not only doing the same but is ahead of the curve or helping to set those trends.
Sometimes event trends are focused on specific destinations, food and drink, off-site activities, themes, or entertainment, but with an insider’s knowledge, you can learn what they are and how to include them in your event to make the most impact.
Types of Corporate Event Trends
Corporate event trends can be tied to just about any aspect of the event. However, we want to explore how you can help determine which event trends you want to leverage.
Annual Corporate Event Trends
Annual event trends are trends that are more brief, usually only lasting about a year. This may be due to changing attendee needs or a lack of lasting interest in the trend. That’s not to say that all annual trends are a flash in the pan, but most of them capitalize on something that’s trending in popular culture at the time that may not last. Trends come and go in events as often as they do elsewhere.
Sometimes those corporate trends only last for a few years, and yet others become so popular – so appreciated by attendees and so memorable – that they continue. Look for trends that are focused on enhancing your attendees’ experience and making it unforgettable.
Evergreen Corporate Event Trends
When event trends continue for many years, we refer to them as evergreen because they don’t go out of style. While some aspects of event planning may have started as a trend, they can retain their popularity and can even become evergreen event trends. While aspects of the trend may change, the overall concept remains the same. For example, a lot of safety and hygiene safeguards were put in place during and post-pandemic, and various elements were trending, such as hands-free registration and smaller events. However, safety and hygiene trends have become evergreen with continued emphasis placed on how they’re incorporated into your corporate event.
Not all evergreen events are in response to an external factor. In fact, some are introduced and get such an amazing reception from attendees, like personalization, that they become evergreen.
What Does Personalization Mean at Corporate Events?
One trend that’s become evergreen is personalization. What exactly does that mean? Across the board, more and more people are looking for ways to feel connected and to be seen as individuals. Personalization helps meet this need while increasing positive feelings toward your event.
With personalization strategies in place, you can make an event for thousands of people feel as if it was tailored and designed for an individual. These simple steps can make a large event feel more intimate, make attendees feel valued and seen, and make your corporate event memorable for your audience.
Practical Tips: How to Personalize Corporate Events
One of the most daunting aspects of personalizing an event is the erroneous belief that it requires knowing all of your attendees. Personalization efforts don’t have to be hyper-individualized; instead, there are some tips and tricks to personalizing without taxing your team and requiring knowledge of each attendee.
1. Personalize in groups
One trick to personalizing is to personalize based on groupings. For example, one practical personalization tip we’ve offered in the past is to create tailored tracks that schedule sessions they may want to attend. Then, individuals in that group feel as if they’re getting a personalized agenda. You can create these tracks based on their role or on topics they’ve expressed interest in.
Further, in the same way that you or your marketing team would segment a mailing list, you can segment communications and tailor emails or messages to those individuals based on their interests. Similarly, you can invite those individuals to smaller, unscheduled events that speak directly to their interests or roles.
2. Remember to collect data
One of the best ways to strategize for tip #1 is to gather data. Whether it’s during registration, pre-event communications, or information gathered from post-event surveys, use the data you’re able to collect in order to help you segment your attendees.
And if you’re tailoring your communications based on segmented groups, you can gather some remarkably useful insights that will help as you plan your event and refine the experience.
3. Allow attendees to customize event elements
From emails and apps to check in and event experiences, provide options for attendees to have an individual experience. Give your attendees ways to customize everything from your event app to their schedule. Not only will they appreciate that they can take ownership of aspects of the event, but this is a great way to encourage engagement.
Sometimes personalizing is as simple as offering choices for everything from meals and activities to their swag bags or gifts.
4. Create spaces for people
Often one of the least personal parts of an event is the expectation to be in specific places at specific times: this is the room where we meet, this is the space where we eat lunch, and so on. It’s easy to get lost or feel like part of a herd when an event is focused on shepherding attendees from one location to another. Consider adding spaces and opportunities for unwinding and relaxing. You can also include quiet spaces or places that allow attendees to step away from the “schedule” and create connections.
5. Personalize your swag
This is yet another area where data collection can come in handy. While personalized swag bags with an individual’s name is a nice touch, some added info on attendee’s interests can help you create an even more individualized experience. Guests love a good swag bag, but what they love more is when the gifts are useful and applicable to their lives or interests. Further, when it comes to VIPs or special guests, speakers, or attendees who are being honored, you can find additional ways to customize their swag bags.
Personalization doesn’t need to be complex, but it can go a long way toward helping you create an exceptional event. Additionally, when it comes to attendee engagement and long-lasting ROI, small touches that tailor your corporate event can transform it to an individualized experience, which can be remarkably impactful.
At Bishop-McCann, we’re no strangers to personalization. With our experience customizing meetings and events, we can help you personalize your next corporate event. Get in touch with our team today, and let’s start planning!