The Future of Events 2021 — Insights From Zoe Moore

Kabir Uppal
• April 5, 2021
Zoe Moore, Inclusive Event Strategist
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his article is part of our new Future of Events 2021 Series which will interview a mix of event organizers, consultants, thought leaders, and other event professionals responsible for overseeing events put on by their organization. Our goal with this series is to help event organizers best prepare for the future of events.

The following is an interview we had recently with Zoe Moore, Inclusive Event Strategist, CMO, CADAZO Consulting Group

What are the top trends that will shape the events space in 2021?

ZM:  A defining trend of the events space in 2021 will be inclusive event strategy (IES). Similar to the principles of universal design, the goal of IES is to execute meetings both large and small that accommodate the highest amount of diverse needs. The difference between the two practices is that IES is rooted in social justice which insists that professionals are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion.

What are the top mistakes you see organizations make with events?

ZM: The primary mistake that organizations are making with events is not having processes, procedures and policies that align with their expressed commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. As with any other aspect of business, there are standards, suspense dates, objectives and key results that need to be identified during the strategic planning phase. Yet, when it comes to enforcing EDI, organizations are performative and reactive rather than hiring an expert or creating a position dedicated to an effective DEI strategy that impacts the execution of their events.

What are the keys to a successful event?

ZM: A successful event is measured by its impact on the triple bottom line; environmental, social and financial. Projecting for carbon neutrality and revenue goals is seemingly easier to digest than defining how people are impacted by events. Without fail the majority of event professionals will focus on the number of attendees, rating of content and popularity of speakers. Rarely are those same professionals taught to measure their social impact in regards to supplier diversity, investment into the local economy and job creation. As we reopen and reunite, leaders must understand the critical importance of social equity as core to the future of their events.

What makes events such an important channel?

ZM: Events are a conduit for the business ecosystem. They serve as an important channel that help companies gain exposure, connect with stakeholders and showcase their products/services. In addition, events are a demilitarized zone where warring sides can meet for a common purpose with respect for differing perspectives. For that reason, event professionals trained to enforce a social equity response when managing conflict can be thought leaders that influence leaders across multiple industries.

In your own words, what will the future of events look like?

ZM: If we have learned anything from the last year and a half, events of the future will be more inclusive. They will all have some virtual component to ensure that content reaches a wider audience. Accessibility will go beyond compliance that is physical but deeper into having compassion for people with disabilities of all types. There will be an increase in diverse representation of all social identifiers reflected in planning teams, attendees, speakers, suppliers, vendors, service providers, sponsors and more. Lastly, the content will improve in quality because a major benefit of being strategically committed to equity, diversity and inclusion is innovation which homogeneity fails to produce on all levels.
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