As we dive head first into 2024, let’s pause and have a think about the trends and the opportunities we are excited about. For us, this year is not just about doing as MUCH as possible, it’s a deep dive into identifying the clients and people that inspire us. And we don’t think we’re alone in this. Many event industry professionals we are speaking to are swinging towards identifying their ‘no-nos’ before they say YES to a sale. We think that, like us, many are going to be looking for the right opportunities, not just ANY opportunity.
We are hyper aware of the shouts around us telling us about the ‘transformed events landscape’. We hear that gone are the days of static conferences, stale networking and thoughtless branding (praise be). We are all preparing for a year where experiences ignite, technology transcends, and connection beats at the heart of every experience.
Welcome to 2024. Here are a few YOURGB trend callouts…
The Earth is no longer a backdrop – we’ll see it taking the lead role this year.
YOURGB offer certified Carbon Neutral Events.
Both morally and commercially it’s becoming central to ambitions industry wide. YOURGB is making the difference that we can, in our way, with our Carbon Management service. Using our Event Carbon Calculator, we are passionate about helping our clients reduce the carbon footprints of the events we produce with them. For the unavoidable carbon produced? We offset it in sustainable worldwide projects. We’re incredibly proud that our work in this area allows us to offer our clients certified and industry recognised Carbon Neutral Event Certification.
If you are not using Gemini or ChatGPT on the regular, you’re being left behind. Event teams everywhere are turning to it for their R&D, speeding up proposal writing, checking grammar, seeking inspiration, increasing their descriptive vocabs and scripting up social posts… (always remembering to fact check and edit!). The trend is becoming so strong the days of the ‘google it’ directive are likely numbered. The tech community has told us “if you can imagine the time when horses were used for day-to-day transport, and someone introduced the car (stay with me here – the car represents AI) – it is not the car that will take the jobs, it is the people who learn to drive the car that will.” So, learn to drive the ‘car’ everyone – now is the time!
Technology isn’t here to steal the show, it’s the enthusiastic sidekick, amplifying every moment. Picture facial recognition attendee check-ins, AI generated ‘voice of gods’ and augmented reality networking sessions, allowing hundreds of in-person guests to meet hundreds of others in VR to weave unforgettable connections. Imagine using AR to walk your clients through your imagined set design or proposed brand pop up on-site, transforming the way you pitch. Consider immersive and reactive 4D art installations, sensor sensitive lighting design, and holograms bringing remote speakers and celebrities right into the room, live. In terms of marketing and promotion, we think we’re going to continue to struggle to identify what is real, and what is not, with AI imagery being key to amplifying campaigns and creating quick grab attention across social media.
Never has culture mattered more in event teams and businesses, so it may seem surprising that we’re seeing a slowing in the ever-growing list of benefits being bandied about. Do Taco Tuesdays really make Marco in Social less stressed? How many Drinks Trolly Thursdays will it take to engage Cassandra? It’s less about peacocking and the outward demonstration of ‘good culture’, because culture isn’t born only from benefits. For long lasting step change, we’re all realising it’s about truly living our values. Through this we can see the link between happiness and team and client retention in real time, permitting leaders to listen to wants and needs, be flexible, human and honest.
At YOURGB our values are central to who we hire, who we work with, and how we work – Creative, Committed, Brave, Sustainable and Kind – they underpin everything.
Some of the dream team at YOURGB
“Being happy at work and loving what you do is an overall productivity booster and it enhances performance. People who enjoy their jobs are more likely to be optimistic, motivated, learn faster, make fewer mistakes, and make better business decisions” MOS Article, Uni of Southern California.
We craved it, we dreamed it, and it’s very here – the glorious return of in-person events feels like old news. But hold on, this isn’t a dusty rerun of old programs. This isn’t the immediate post COVID ‘go for it and risk it for a biscuit’. This is a proper – WE ARE BACK – moment, where brands and companies have had the time and they are pushing their boundaries, elongating lead-ins, applying intricate planning, curating strategic partnerships and stretching their thinking. It’s going to get results – and the competitive spirit is high.
Think vibrant, sensory-exploding immersive and physical experiences that leave every attendee buzzing with inspiration. Picture breath-taking outdoor summits where ideas flow as freely as the axes being thrown (great team building activity), or detail driven and premium brand activations where identity refreshes are announced by way of a drone show (we produce these – fireworks who?!). This year we think we’ll be seeing an intense design lead ‘who can do it first’ moment in our industry. We’ll see face-to-face magic with a luxury, experiential and immersive focus. There will be a clear lean into premium experiential, and an intense fight to impress with tech.
YOURGB drone show
The walls are crumbling, the doors are flung wide open. 2024 is the year we’ll see events truly embracing accessibility. From sign language interpreters weaving stories alongside speakers, to neurodivergent-friendly spaces offering sensory havens – inclusivity should take centre stage. This trend is a celebration of humanity in all its diversity, where everyone feels welcome and seen, and we’re here for it.
On this, YOURGB are also seeing maintained interest in hybrid and online events, which allow for inclusivity no matter where your guests are in the world. Just last year we delivered an online event to over 5,000 participants across 3 days, 2 time zones and in 3 languages with closed captions and live ASL… Inclusive, and also sustainability conscious.
With HUGE strides being made in terms of online audience interconnectivity and improving the online experience in general – expect streaming to become frequent in event formats this year. The tech is catching up and we are speaking to platforms stress testing the ability to bring up to 500 online audience members live on screen, on stage, with comms. Not long ago bringing in a panel of 5 speakers in pips via Vmix was nerve wracking enough! The platforms are getting bigger and brighter, and we think we’ll see this tech transform the way we think about livestream and joining events online. Live podcasting and e-sports are two movements we’ll see come further into the mainstream spotlight with this progression. Gaming and streaming venues will continue to lead the way – all eyes on e-sports & events venue Dundee Arcadia for example. Supporting this progress, we’ll see brand influencer choice leaning away from ‘how many followers do they have on instagram’ into ‘what are their listener and streaming stats’ – further punctuated by more and more brands creating their own content to cast online.
Dundee Arcadia vision. Image: Holmes Miller
The push continues to make this ‘trendy’, and we are hearing event teams talking about it. It is something to be celebrated and spoken about, as events are HARD. They are mentally and physically exhausting, so let’s see more limitations on our on-site working hours, more understanding around this, and more rest time baked into our planning.
This isn’t new, but we are seeing it further evolve. How we capture content is becoming part of the theatre itself at events, and how we share it is pushing towards being quicker, shorter, more impactful, on-point and target driven. At YOURGB we are diving into more multi camera set-ups, engaging on-site directors of photography, live producers for guest interviews, live streams, live podcasting, live content translations, on-site editing suites and digital marketing hubs with bulletproof wifi… It’s all about the NOW. Gone are the days of the 20 minute long overview reels, nobody is watching them. It’s quality, on-brand, professionally taken content, provided in quick dopamine savvy hits, that’s cutting through for us.
Remember that blurry line between business and leisure? It’s likely going to become a glorious kaleidoscope in 2024. Picture attendees exploring local markets after morning workshops, or squeezing in a yoga session before keynote speeches. This is a year where work and play will intertwine, leaving participants rejuvenated and inspired – we’re seeing it all the time, and it links to the importance of physical and mental wellbeing.
We are starting to see corporate events beginning earlier, and finishing earlier – fundraisers, awards ceremonies, milestone celebrations and conference socialising are swinging from late dinners to long lunches. It’s an observation, but we feel it’s likely born from the recognition that personal time is precious to all.
It’s not just about numbers of attendees anymore. This year we feel that data and analytics will become dance partners with storytelling. We are seeing a push towards experience with insights – event apps, live polling, social media listening & live community management, feedback stations, social feed projections, voting holograms… We’ll see more attendee sentiment visualised in real-time, and feedback being used to craft experiences that resonate on a deeper level, create further reach, and articulate ROI.
That’s it for now! This was just a glimpse into the electrifying focal points of the events industry in 2024 as we currently see it. So, buckle up, get ready to connect, and let’s see what we can do.
WE LOVE WHAT YOU DO.
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