The 10 Trends We're Anticipating for Association Events in 2023
By: Lindsay Martin-Bilbrey, CMP
3 min read8/15/22 7:00 AM
Association event managers know that their events are as unique as their members. Planning hybrid events became the norm in 2022, but what does 2023 hold for association events?
Hybrid Events Here to Stay
As many as 97% of event managers believe that hybrid events aren't going anywhere in 2023. That being said, nearly 60% of event planners believe that more and more participants will be joining your annual conference or regional chapter meetup in person.
Hybrid events are 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 2023—and likely always will be. They’re accessible and inclusive, and you can invite anyone from anywhere in the world. We're seeing more and more a return to a pre-March 2020 reality where solely virtual events are webinars and user conferences aimed at folks who didn't travel to in-person events before.
Encourage your annual conference planning committee to really look at the goals and objectives of your participants. Are they facing the realities and pressures of the almost-recession many organizations are facing, with budget cuts and inconsistent revenue streams impacted by inflation? If so, revamping your event design and creating options that are both in-person and virtual will allow your members to get more out of their event experience than just another webinar.
Another trend we're expecting to see more of in 2023 is the micro-event. In 2022, many of the industries experienced COVID outbreaks at their large annual gatherings. Safety and health remain a concern. The pandemic, though we'd like to believe it so, is not actually completely over.
Think about adding in more regional or micro-events, 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.
You can't escape conversation around the metaverse. Many events managers are creeping closer to including it in their hybrid strategy. Check out this article to learn more about what the metaverse is and why it's important for your events and marketing.
Snippets for Social Media
Social media remains an asset your professional or trade association shouldn't do without. Video in particular is expected to reach new highs in 2023.
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 hybrid association annual event.
Use it as a way to show off your association personality. No one wants to read your white papers all the time. Be human too.
Events Linked to Voice Assistants
“Okay Google, sign me up for that workshop.” Voice activation can technically be linked to anything, so expect hybrid events and event production companies to take full advantage of that to make things easier for attendees in 2023.
App interpreters make translation a breeze, while close captions and linking in a sign language interpreter help include the hard-of-hearing and deaf.
Not sure how to make your event accessible? Check out this blog post with 25+ tips on how to make your event accessible and inclusive.
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 2023 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.
Incentivize your event! Give reward points for attending certain features, creating an appropriate digital game, run a competition—your only limit is your and your team’s creativity.
Bringing It All Together
Take advantage of the top trends of 2023 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.