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5 Trending Event Strategies For 2018

by Shannon Semler
2018 event strategies and trends

At LAI Live, we always strive to be at the forefront of cutting-edge event strategies that fill seats and drive results.

We see our clients needing to adapt to their attendees’ needs and the ever-changing environment around them. 2018 is a year of uncertainty and change, and that is reflected in the unique ideas we’re crafting with our clients for shows from DC to Omaha to LA.

Without further ado, LAI Live declares these the top five hot event trends of 2018.

5 Trending Event Strategies For 2018

  1. More Audience Engagement
    The desire for audience engagement is at an all-time high. Create interactive stations in your main thoroughfares that encourage your attendees to participate, learn, create, or share your organizations core messaging. Design the education sessions to be less ‘talking heads’ and more of a group conversation with hands-on learning experiences. Keep programming in the General Session geared towards where the industry is going—and how your attendees will play a large role in that success.
  2. Connecting The Dots
    The building blocks of longevity within an industry include strong communication and understanding the big picture. Getting one segment of your attendees to meet and talk with other segments (i.e. distributors and manufacturers or supplies and end-users) is key when trying to educate attendees on the entire life cycle of your industry. Making the connections can be done in a variety of ways including leading ice-breaker exercises, organized networking opportunities or touring nearby facilities/offices that represent the various sectors.
  3. Reinvigoration 
    The days of stuffy, board meeting-style events are on their way out. ALL attendees—whether CEOs, SVPs, distributers, purchasers, users, or employees—want to leave the event thinking, “Wow, I can’t wait to attend the next one.” Test the waters through small enhancements, like adding music, changing the space layout, adjusting the schedule and updating the curriculum. Or, try diving right in with large changes, like introducing new technologies, changing the location or giving the general session a complete makeover with powerful creative content. Either way, a reinvigorated event will produce a reinvigorated audience!
  4. Making An Impact
    Community Service projects have long been an important part of many events. The current trend is more about making a lasting impact. Organizations are developing longer-term partnerships with groups needing on-going financial and services support. They’re working together to take their unified message and concern to Capitol Hill. And they’re launching a pilot project at the annual event with instructions and support systems for taking it back into the attendees’ individual communities. 
  5. Having A Voice 
    Your attendees want to be heard! You may think you know what hot topics are at the top of everyone’s mind, but you may be surprised. Create a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ general session where the audience gets to vote on which topic is most-important to them, and that guides the next panel discussion. Develop a Town Hall session that provides one-on-one access to your organization’s leadership. If the post-event surveys mention long registration lines and lack of networking, take that into consideration when planning your next meeting. Don’t forget to keep the communication lines open after the event by creating a forum with on-going opportunities to connect which could include polling to find out who they want to hear from as a keynote speaker or running a competition for the Next Big Idea that could possibly propel the industry into future.

What do you think of these five trends? Ready to incorporate one into your next meeting? Think we missed something? We’d love to hear from you.

To get in touch with us, you can fill out the form below, email us at Contact@LAIEvents.com, call us at 202-783-0300, or live chat with a member of our team right now.

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