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Five trends set to drive the event industry

Simon Hunter, head of venue and development, Chelsea FC, reveals five key trends for the industry to watch in 2020 and the new decade.

1. Event marketing gets personal

Marketing automation is a known solution for reaching potential delegates. But new forms of automation are on the horizon that will see AI create even more targeted user journeys.

AI can now take traditional campaign workflows and supercharge them. Not only can you segment users into groups to target, but you can also create a personalised journey for each delegate based on their interests, preferences and previous interactions with your content.

The global marketing automation market is predicted to almost double in size by 2024, as innovation continues. So event bookers, organisers and venues should look out for ever more sophisticated AI that will help promote events.

But there is one snag - this kind of AI doesn’t come cheap. Getting it to work to its full potential can mean specialist staff and a lot of content to support it.

2. ‘Bleisure’

This is a rapidly growing trend driven by millennials. It simply means combining business and leisure travel into one trip, usually to save on transport and accommodation costs.

According to Expedia, over the last three years, 50% of business trips lasting two to three nights are likely to be extended to incorporate time for leisure. With conferences being a main reason for business travel, companies and the events industry should consider the benefits they can derive from bleisure.

3. Increased use of translation apps for global audiences

As more events are broadcast to global audiences, event managers are making use of tech to enable live translation at a lower cost. Two platforms to look out for in 2020 are Wordly and Interactio. The former can translate 15 languages almost instantly, which negates the need to hire multiple translators.

Currently it can support 2,000 users simultaneously, but it is in the process of increasing this to 20,000. Interactio uses translators, rather than AI, to provide language services. The translators can be off-site which can reduce travel expenses, as well as costs for sound booths and AV, such as providing headsets to delegates.

4. Event planners want venues with more impact

Event planners are spoilt for choice when it comes to venues that match their basic requirements. Driven by social media, unique ‘instagrammable’ venues are now a key differentiating factor and selling point.

This is where our footballing heritage helps us excel. Clients appreciate our high level of service and flexible event spaces, but they also like the fact many of them offer views of the football pitch.

5. Sustainability

Helping the environment is more of a necessity than a trend. But people increasingly won’t associate with businesses doing the wrong thing, or at least not making an effort to be more sustainable. Companies without a sustainable framework are now often questioned, and its absence tends not to be tolerated by clients.

The flipside is clients will reward businesses making an effort. At Events at Club Chelsea we carefully plan our calendar to ensure logistically similar events make use of the same set up, reducing the need for transporting equipment.

We have removed single use plastics from our catering, our menus use a minimum 80% British seasonal fruit and veg, and we’ve committed to a 50% reduction in beef consumption by the end of 2020.