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2020 Corporate Event Trends

By Alex Borkowski | January 13, 2020 | Posted in Conference Marketing, Event Spotlights, Event Tips, News

New year, new trends! That’s what they say, right? All joking aside, event marketing is an ever-changing discipline and staying on top of your event strategy means paying attention to what clients are (and aren’t) interested in. Fortunately, we’ve got a few 2020 corporate event trends that will help you start off on the right foot. Check them out below!

Secondary markets are going to be a primary focus

Traditionally, primary markets within the U.S. have been hot spots for events. But with more and more young professionals moving out of LA, New York and Chicago in search of opportunity and affordable real estate, it behooves planners not to skimp on “secondary” markets in 2020. There are several reasons why secondary markets are demanding attention on the list of 2020 corporate event trends. If you’re hosting international customers, a smaller market can provide a more “authentic” look at American character than global metropolises. In addition, smaller cities often have more specialized economies that can provide you a wealth of keynote speakers and experts. Smaller cities also tend to have more concentrated “downtown” areas, empowering your guests to get out and explore.

Cities like New Orleans and Denver offer unique climates and characters. Similarly, Midwestern staples like Columbus and Minneapolis are accessible and foster an authentic look at America’s heartland. So, whichever coast you happen to inhabit, exploring the possibilities of the “Flyover States” is one 2020 corporate event trend you don’t want to ignore!

Invest in veggies

It’s a fact often lampooned that “New Year, New Me” campaigns include a resolution to eat better. But, there are those out there who manage to stick it out past mid-February! When you plan a catered event in 2020, it’s important to plan around people who are sticking to unconventional diets. More people than ever are sticking to vegetarian and vegan diets for their health benefits, to say nothing of prospective clients dying for gluten-free options at your next to-do.

This is part of an overall industry change related to event sustainability—more and more, organizers and attendees are considering the impact of their choices. It’s not always feasible to reduce your carbon footprint in regards to events, but thinking about your menu is an easy way to start. Out of all our 2020 corporate event trends, taking a chance on a more unique menu might be the thing that puts you ahead of your competition. As more and more venues offer a variety of menu options, it’s an easy way to fully accommodate guests in the coming year.

Tech thoughtfulness

It’s no secret that we’ve become more connected than ever in the 21st century. But despite connectivity being good for business and follow-ups, people have started to ask if we’ve gotten too much of a good thing. Much like swag, the best technology is utilized effectively and modestly. Ask yourself what purpose that fancy new app or QR code serves. If it’s just going to distract from networking or connection making, you probably don’t need it and chances are your guests will thank you!

Bespoke events will come into their own

Thoughtful events will be top of mind come 2020; the current events ecosystem demands it. As planners compete for supply and client attention, laser-focused events are worth their weight in planning. Designing a trim experience is a great way to hone in on your core personas and get back to basics. Ask yourself why you’re throwing the event. Consider what’s going to be the best way to execute on that goal. If you need a little extra guidance, conferring with your stakeholders and sales reps can be invaluable.

Challenge yourself to get back to basics in 2020 and throw events that work—for you and your clients.

Don’t forget your employees

It’s tempting to focus your 2020 corporate event strategy on your customers. After all, they’re the reason you’re marketing in the first place. But in 2020, we’re challenging you to make esprit de corps a top priority. In addition to holiday parties, the occasional after-work getaway, team building activity or group excursion can be a great way to build connections between teams.

The new decade is a great time to invest in professional development and physical and mental health. Employees are looking to develop themselves, and an active team building or development event can be just the ticket to get them to flex a muscle they didn’t know they had.

Increase event security

Although it’s not the most fun, it bears mentioning. Making your attendees feel safe is just as important as making sure they have a good time. Cyber attacks, hackers and other malevolent actors can target events, and it pays to make sure you’re equipped—especially if you’re hosting a conference—to protect everyone in attendance.

Skip the swag—or make it thoughtful

Whether your clients are Generation X, Millennials or Generation Z, you’ll be intrigued to know that audiences are increasingly ditching things in favor of experiences. To that end, one 2020 corporate event trend you should keep abreast of is ensuring you don’t load down your guests with swag or other single use items.

Keep in mind that sustainability is a topic on everyone’s lips. Don’t sweat the takeaways too much or, conversely, make them engaging and unique. Hosting a retail event can be a great way to keep your brand top of mind while avoiding waste. American-made watches, high-end bags and time-tested outerwear are excellent tools for creating a thoughtful takeaway that can be used for decades.

Ready to start planning your next event series that will drive attendance and align with 2020 corporate event trends? From sustainable dining options to team building activities, Kapow has an event package that will meet your needs and save you from hours of researching and planning. Start browsing today

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