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LAI Live’s 2021 Event Trends!

LAI Live's 2021 Event Trends

Each year, LAI Live presents the top industry trends we see taking shape in the year to come. This year is a little different in that we’re all in a strange state of limbo between virtual events and the much-anticipated return to in-person events. So with that, this year’s trends are focused around what can be done to continue making virtual programming a little more engaging, a little more effective, and a little less dull. Here are our 2021 Event Trends!

Event Trend #1 – Revise and Reinvigorate

Use virtual as the excuse to make some much overdo updates to your event format. If you have long, predictable sessions, declining attendance, or are caught in a rut, now is your chance to try new things! Explore fresh ways to connect attendees, introduce new content topics, change up your reoccurring speaker line-up, and more.  

Read more about ways to increase virtual event engagement.

Event Trend #2 – Include "Live From" Components

To add a little variety, introduce a few live shots from various locations. Have your CEO or key presenters join from a studio with professional cameras and lighting, encourage watch parties with small (and safe!) groups of attendees and have them join as a group in a virtual networking lounge, pick a venue and build a small stage with scenic for a more live event feel, or have a camera crew film live from your headquarters so your viewers know you’re still hard at work supporting the industry needs. Including a live element to a virtual show keeps the visuals interesting and adds layers to your program.

Learn more about the different formats you can use to give your virtual event a more "hybrid" feel. 

Event Trend #3 – The More the Merrier

Virtual events provide an opportunity for everyone to join, no matter where they are located, and larger attendance numbers are proof that it’s working! In fact, our virtual events by the numbers say that 52% of organizations reported seeing the same or more attendance than they’d expect at an in-person event.

CEO Summits are expanding the invite list to include COO’s & CFO’s. And companies with international components are either having a second dose of live programming or airing the recording of the earlier live program to be able to accommodate different time zones. Industries required to limit travel (because someone must stay behind to steer the ship) can now have teams of people participate from anywhere. 

Event Trend #4 – Thinning the Herd, Savin' Some Dough

This year has taught us that not all events need to happen, or happen in-person. With the world forcing us to strictly rely on technology to connect, the lack of time needed to travel and the ability to multi-task has proven we don’t really need a 3-day event at a lavish hotel for a few committee meetings. Now’s the time to curate your list of events and infuse virtual programming where it makes sense, eliminate some events altogether, or creatively combine smaller events into a larger show. Use the funds saved by these changes to increase offerings or engagements at your marquee events. 

Not sure if your event is cut out to be virtual? Check out these tips on how to host a virtual event.

Event Trend #5 – Kaboom the Zoom 

Yes, Zoom Fatigue is a real thing, but we all know it’s still one of the best ways to give your attendees a chance to connect. To combat this fatigue, have post-session group discussions that take a deeper dive into the content, engage through 15-minute “stretch breaks” or with games like Bingo, Jeopardy, or Name that Tune, use the breakout room feature to host a special guest in each room and allow your attendees to change rooms at their leisure, or feature an improv artist who will interact with your attendees to create a one-of-a-kind experience.

Read more ideas about how to fight Zoom fatigue at your meeting.

We Can Help With Your Virtual Meeting

At LAI Live, our virtual meeting producers can help ensure that you still meet your event goals in an online environment, create an engaging experience, answer all the common virtual meeting FAQ’s, keep up with the latest trends, and guide your event strategy from start to finish.

Contact us today to start exploring the potential of your meeting and for more trends and best practices for delivering a successful virtual experience!

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