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Event & Venue Trends 2020

An eventful decade is ending as we enter the “20’s of the year 2000”. With the new year ahead, it is worth asking: What is trending in events? What do convention centers and event venues need in 2020 in order to stay competitive and unique at the same time? How can they meet expectations of customers and stakeholders?

Think about these 5 event venue trends as you enter the year 2020:

1. Sustainability

After years of "talking" about sustainability, the event and venue industry has now reached a point where people don't just buy CSR promises any more – they want to see results. Especially young people between 20 and 30 (certainly encouraged by the media and role-models such as Greta Thunberg) are determined to act sustainable and push companies to rethink their actions.

How can an event venue be sustainable?

Venues should actively encourage waste reducing initiatives among all stakeholders, event planners, exhibitors and venue visitors. Action items could include:

  • Introducing a ban on plastic bags, straws, cups, stirrers, plates...
  • Using sustainable badges for event registration
  • Rethinking F&B by working with caterers that offer plant-based, local food
  • Encouraging visitors and exhibitors to travel with public transportation and offering attractive ticket deals; facilitating transportation to bus and train stations by offering a complimentary shuttle service within the venue

2. Flexible Spaces

Nowadays, everyone and everything is becoming more flexible, and so should your venue. Event participants will appreciate spaces that allow for interaction and spontaneous meetings. Try using "unusual" corners like terraces, outside areas and other spaces to make meetings more natural and facilitate informal networking.

Adaptable venues such as the Swiss Tech Convention Center Lausanne in Switzerland are on the rise as they allow for a quick transformation of seating and room layout which makes them extremely attractive to innovative event formats.

3. Borderless Events

Technology allows for new event formats and innovative ways to bring people together. Virtual elements and online meetings can enrich a conference, trade show or other events while making it more accessible to participants that are not travelling due to budget or time constraints.

The German Convention Bureau’s initiative “BOCOM" further promotes the idea of borderless communication through a live event overcoming the borders of mobility, language, communication, culture and workplaces.

Event venues may need to invest in state-of-the-art technology within their conference facilities to make virtual meetings possible.

4. Smart Processes

Smart event venues take the concept of a smart building one step further adding technology, process and service to their strategy in order to achieve measurable goals and improve the overall customer experience.

Real-time intelligence facilitates smart processes:

  • Improved operational efficiency and up to date event information including short notice changes and client wishes, thanks to centrally stored data that is accessible in real time
  • Efficient exchange of information and optimized communication across teams, departments and stakeholders
  • Event information made visible across the entire venue, e.g. by using digital signs and portals to display rooms, event details and session names

5. Service Excellence

A great customer experience depends on your service quality as well as your attention to detail. Thanks to increased possibilities with regards to digital services, event venues can provide more relevant information to clients at the right time – for example with the help of event apps, self-service registration kiosks, interactive floor plans and venue digital signage.

Make your event venue well accessible and easy to navigate. Make it a fun place to visit and help to create nothing but positive memories in your visitors' heads.