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 recently had with Annette Naif, CEO & Creative director of Naif Productions.
What are the top trends that will shape the events space in 2021?
Safety Guidlines : Any size event in 2021 cannot afford to take a chance with the safety of its attendees; therefore, health and safety is being implemented with mask wearing at all times, social distancing, staggered meal times, updated ventilations, sanitation stations, on-site temperature checks, bubbles, and proof of vaccinations prior to the event may also be required
Micro Experiences : with larger events still not an option in most places, micro experiences are allowing planners to offer new and exciting experiences allowing for more personalization and connection that larger events might not offer
Hybrid Events : Hybrid events have a limited number of live attendees with most of the participants watching virtual from a live stream. Participants and corporations like the idea of not having to spend money on travel as well as the liability that comes from the risk factors with contracting Covid-19. Hybrid events in the future will have more live speakers or performers with an emcee to keep engagement high, limited live attendees, and venues will provide more technology and high internet capability to accommodate the virtual format. Budgets will show more money spent on AV than on F&B. Two experiences will need to be implemented to accommodate the live audience and the virtual attendees, and sessions will need to be shorter.
Making Money With Virtual – Many of our clients moved their live events to a virtual platform in 2020 and now into 2021 and many of them were able to sell coaching packages, get the sponsors they needed to help cover costs, and raise the funds needed to support their non-profit organization. Live engagement with participants and heavy content is key with a virtual platform. If you are offering a replay of the live event, the content should be offered in a better way. Break down the content in smaller sessions with notes and include audio as many like the option to listen on the go. Also, it’s important to offer creative ways for participants to get business through networking.
What are the top mistakes you see organizations make with events?
AN: Not allocating enough for the budget, losing sight of the goal of the event, not having enough team members to get the job done, waiting too late to market the event, not understanding the value of a good AV team, falling short on the follow up after the event, and not hiring a professional event team that can save them money on the front end. Our clients often find the savings we negotiate more than offset our fees.
What are the keys to a successful event?
AN: There are many factors that guarantee a successful event but having a strategic plan in place is crucial. Meet with the key players for the event such as management, sales and the marketing team to be sure everyone understands what it will take for a successful event. Outline the goals of the event as well the timeline. It’s important to compare the outcome of the event with the original strategic plan to be sure event goals have been met.
What makes events such an important channel?
AN: Events allow for hosts to gain access to a core audience, are a great way to market content, a great platform for networking and providing education, launching a new product, lasting emotional connections, and brand loyalty.
In your own words, what will the future of events look like?
AN : Hybrid events are going to be the craze in the next year and possibly into 2022 until we’ve come through the risks of Covid -19.