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The 10 Trends We're Anticipating for Association Events in 2021

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Association event managers know that their events are as unique as their members. Planning virtual events or hybrid events became the norm in 2020, but what does 2021 hold for association events?

Hybrid Events Here to Stay

As many as 97% of event managers believe that hybrid events are the thing to look out for in 2021. It’s the ideal way to blend your in-person experience with a safe and virtual audience, which is why so many savvy event managers are partnering with event production companies who know how to plan and produce the best hybrid events.

Fully Virtual Events

Of course, fully virtual events are still relevant in 2021—and likely always will be. They’re accessible, inclusive, and you can invite anyone from anywhere in the world.


Another trend we expect to see more of this year is the micro-event. That’s where you invite a small number of your association's members, depending upon your state’s restrictions and laws. Of course, a micro-event can be paired with a live stream and transformed easily into a hybrid event.

360 Degree Videos

VR experiences are desirable right now, so expect to see plenty of virtual tours, 3D product demonstrations, or 3D videos of installations.

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Snippets for Social Media

The social media story is set to reach new highs in 2021. Think popular platforms such as TikTok, Instagram reels and stories, IGTV, and Facebook. These are ideal spaces for showing off a tiny teaser of what happened at the latest virtual association event.

Events Linked to Voice Assistants

“Okay Google, sign me up for that workshop.” Voice activation can technically be linked to anything, so expect virtual events and event production companies to take full advantage of that to make things easier for attendees in 2021.

Increased Accessibility

App interpreters make translation a breeze, whilst close captions and linking in a sign language interpreter help include the hard-of-hearing and deaf.

Visuals Mixed with Audio Only

Another way of helping with accessibility is by including audio-only presentations. “Zoom Fatigue” is a real thing—people get tired of sitting and staring at a bunch of faces after too long. Making an audio stream available as well as the video helps engage more people. Some attendees with autism may also find this easier to engage with because it reduces sensory overload.

Facial Recognition Check-In

A possibility for 2021 hybrid events is the use of technology to allow guests to check-in via facial recognition. This helps make the process easier for guests and can also provide more accurate data for association event analytics.

Increased Gamification

Incentivize your event! Give reward points for attending certain features, create an appropriate digital game, run a competition—your only limit is you and your team’s creativity.

Bringing It All Together

Take advantage of the top trends of 2021 by partnering with an experienced event production company that keeps its finger on the pulse of what’s new! Talk to Nifty Method about your upcoming events this year.