Top 3 Event Planning Trends to Watch in 2016

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Are you interested in pursuing a career where you’ll get to meet new people, organize fun and memorable events and attend tons of social gatherings? If so, event planning might be for you. Whether you’re planning a conference for a client, helping someone organize the perfect trade show, or perhaps planning a dream wedding, no two days will be the same in this line of work.

As new trends help shape the future of event planning, you’ll get the opportunity to use new technology, audience engagement tools and other fun strategies once you start your career.

Here’s a look at some of the top event planning trends in store for 2016, and why they might become an important part of your future career.

1. The Future of Event Planning is All About Community Engagement

More than ever, today’s events are about creating a sense of community. That’s why top event planners are discovering new and innovative ways of encouraging attendee engagement before, during and after an event.

Participation through social media can help audiences feel like they’re part of a community

Participation through social media can help audiences feel like they’re part of a community

During your event planning training, you’ll learn that social media is a top tool for promoting audience engagement. You could create an event-specific hashtag, event news and other engaging content to help your attendees connect to your event on a deeper level. However, while social media is an important community-building tool, it’s not the only way to encourage audience participation. For instance, you could include ‘selfie-friendly’ photo booths to help participants capture the perfect shot. You could also encourage listeners to submit questions through their smartphone during a formal event. This way, presenters can gear their content to audience interests.

2. Event ‘Matchmaking’ Apps Might be the Future of Event Planning

In your event planning courses, you’ll learn that networking is often one of the most important parts of a conference, trade show, or other event. In fact, in a recent survey, as many as 65 per cent of event attendees said that networking was just as important to them as content.

To help participants get the most out of their networking experience, many event planners are turning to new technology. For example, using mobile apps like ‘Intros,’ ‘WeBeam,’ and ‘Charlie,’ participants can quickly browse through the profiles of other professionals attending the same conference and plan a meeting with them to discuss ideas, pitch new products, or expand their professional network.

3. Consider Offering Digital ‘Swag Bags’ During Your Event Planning Career

Goodie bags filled with coupons, branded merchandise and promotional material are an important part of almost any top conference. Throughout the course of your event planning career, there’s a good chance that you’ll put a few swag bags together for your event’s attendees. However, unlike in the past, these promotional bags might be digital.

Digital swag bags offer the same goodies as traditional bags, but participants can pick and choose which items they’d like to receive. As Anna Lee from the virtual conference and gift-bag making company UtherVerse points out: “I go to 20 live conferences a year, and when they give you a bag when you walk in, you pick through the good stuff, and the rest gets discarded… With this, nothing gets discarded.”

In these virtual gift bags, you could include everything from coupons to redeem branded merchandise to downloadable songs to discount and promotional codes and beyond.

Are you ready to start your event planner career?

CTC’s online event and wedding planner courses can help you get the training you need to succeed.

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