Event trends for 2017

With a fantastic and eventful year coming to a close, Monday’s #EventPlannersTalk Twitter chat was about event trends for 2017. From engagement to sustainability and to event technology, we looked at what trends will shape our industry next year.

Thank you to the wonderful community for sharing all the latest insights based on your experience and expertise across the world and within different event sectors @CaycelEvents @ChurchStEvents @EventTutor @DetailsQuinn @StaceyKoks @beckyjdempsey @mark_breen @Penthouselord @AssnExecs!!

What are the biggest event trends in 2016?

One trend for sure is the more widespread use of tech before and during events.

We saw more requests for paperless events.

Offering the same brand experience across multiple devices as well as offline.

I’ve seen big shift towards content led events and this trend will continue in 2017.

Huge emphasis on social engagement this year and nice to see change in ‘the usual’ formats and content! Big emphasis on before-, during-, and after the event.

I’ve seen an increase in re-usable solutions like modular exhibition stands and stage sets than can tour. Showslice is an example – bringing the sharing economy and sustainability to events.


Events and the sharing economy. Showslice brings the sharing economy to the events industry by offering event organisers to share their production costs with another event. On this occasion, Woman of the Future Awards took place on Tuesday the 27th October 2015, followed by the London Lifestyle Awards on Wednesday the 28th October at Hilton London Park Lane. Read blog post here.

What #eventtech trends #eventprofs can expect to see in 2017?

Live streaming and virtual reality will play bigger role in events.

Event data analytics and big data will enhance the attendee experience and improve events.

#EventTech really only impacts certain events. There are elements of the industry where it has little or no presence.

More use of tech as it gets to be better understood by #eventprofs and clients and it’s getting cheaper, well sort of!

VR is going to be huge!

More cloud based solutions that help the event organisation plan and manage their events.

I think event badging will get more techy! Making networking more tech focused.

We will see the merge of VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) to create AVE (Augmented Virtual Events).

I see more and more people using live streaming to engage with their audience. Look at periscope /FB Live.

Sustainability and #eventtech are buzzwords and a tad gimmicky, really only applicable in MICE industry I think. For festivals and activations etc. sustainability is a token add-on. Tech slots in in some respects at times alright.

What trends #eventprofs can expect in terms of attendee engagement?

Depending on the economy, we think there will be a rise in virtual meetings in order to cut costs.

Attendees are more likely to be engaged on social media while an event is happening, so tweetwalls etc. are important.

Openly promoting attendee feedback incorporated into the event- nice to show and maybe social media registrations.

In the MICE industry I see the shift towards more niche and smaller events.

The common thread through all events sectors is experience nd story-telling. Both at the heart of all good event.

Where do you see most of event & marketing spend will go in 2017?

We predict spend will be more focused on experience. Free goodies still work, but experiences are more popular.

Online/digital channels, Search engine marketing, online display advertising and social media investments.

I still see a focus on consolidating spend, proving value and not just event gimmick for the sake of it.

Promotional campaigns to help differentiate events from the competition and tech.

Would like to see this on smarter branding – venues and organisers need to think outside the pen/brolly/usb/banner box!


More budgets will go to paid media – Facebook, LinkedIn etc.

How #eventprofs can better differentiate their events and add the WOW factor in 2017?

Content, Content & Content.

Research, research, research!

Same method as buying Xmas presents…give them something they want that they haven’t realised yet!

Differentiation will be on how authentic and engaging virtual is. Delegates aren’t as driven to attend in person now.

#eventprofs need to think through what their event is about & what they’re offering. Create a complete event story.

Don’t copy what others are doing – be different! Know your audience and sponsors and how you can work with them.

What challenges will #eventprofs encounter in 2017?

Higher expectations from clients and attendees! They both need managing well.

Clever use of Marketing not necessarily the most expensive plus more thought into delivering against objectives.

Header photo credit: Connections Meetings

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