Top event trends for 2020 uncovered

Event Academy's Industry Trend Report reveals priorities for planners in the coming year.

Event planners will focus on experiential technology, social responsibility and plastic-free events in 2020, according to data from Event Academy’s recently released Industry and Trend Report.

The report surveyed Event Academy alumni and more than 40 of its expert advisors across a range of different sectors in the events industry. 

When asked what their hottest trends for 2020 were, nearly a third (29.71%) of alumni and 27.59% of the experts answered ‘social responsibility/ events with a wider purpose’. Just under 29% of alumni and 20.69% of the experts answered ‘plastic-free events’. 

There was a discrepancy between the alumni and experts over ‘Technology-enhanced personalised experiences’. This choice was the most popular answer with the experts – with 41% of experts seeing this as the hottest trend in 2020 – but received only 21% of the alumni vote.

‘Incorporating mindfulness and wellness’ came just behind this, with just under 16% of the alumni vote and 11% of the expert vote. 

“Once again the hot trends are around the growth of technology and the enhanced personalisation of experiences,” said Lorne Armstrong, director of Event Academy. 

“This is closely followed by an ambition to create socially and environmentally responsible events with a nod towards mindfulness/wellness.”

He added: “Sustainability and environmental responsibility are key concerns for students coming through our courses into the industry. Change will rightfully be forced by this generation. We must listen and act as one.”

Industry growth expected

The survey also asked the experts if they expected to see industry growth in 2020. As the chart below shows, 51.7% said they expected growth, while 20.7% said they were “a little worried” about the year ahead.

However, when the alumni were asked what effect they thought Brexit would have on the industry, 59.1% thought it would lead to an industry downturn and 26.2% said there would be no effect. 


Around 95% of the alumni who took part in the survey are employed within the events industry, while the experts include industry leaders and agency directors.

Read the full report here.

For more features and breaking news sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
In pictures: Events industry joins nationwide NHS tribute

In pictures: Events industry joins nationwide NHS tribute

As the UK came together to thank frontline healthcare workers, venues did their bit to mark the occasion.

Fears freelancers will be forced into debt despite UK chancellor’s intervention

Fears freelancers will be forced into debt despite UK chancellor’s intervention

Relief for freelancers welcomed by HBAA chair amid concerns many will have to take out loans before a payout in June.

How many MICE businesses have a complete travel ban in place?

How many MICE businesses have a complete travel ban in place?

Nearly 2,000 MICE professionals reveal whether their company has banned business travel in part three of C&IT's Impact of Coronavirus Report.

LIVE UPDATES: Which international events are being cancelled

LIVE UPDATES: Which international events are being cancelled

All the latest postponements and cancellations as the world deals with the spread of coronavirus.

Events industry applauds ExCeL's hospital transformation

Events industry applauds ExCeL's hospital transformation

The conference venue is expected to be ready for action as a huge coronavirus hospital by next week.

‘Kill the agenda, it gets in the way of creativity’

‘Kill the agenda, it gets in the way of creativity’

A detailed event schedule doesn’t leave much room for flexibility or self-expression, says INVNT’s Adam Harriden.

How coronavirus is changing event contracts and insurance forever

How coronavirus is changing event contracts and insurance forever

A need for more detailed contracts has been highlighted in C&IT’s Impact of Coronavirus Report, which surveyed 2,000 event professionals.

Aeorema Communications acquires Eventful

Aeorema Communications acquires Eventful

The deal marks Aeorema's 'conviction in the future and recovery of the events and MICE industry'.

Largest stimulus bill in US history agreed

Largest stimulus bill in US history agreed

A nearly $2-trillion package will boost the US economy amid the COVID-19 outbreak after both sides of the senate reached an agreement.

Industry support line launched by Stress Matters

Industry support line launched by Stress Matters

Help by phone and Whatsapp is available to event professionals who would like to talk to a trained mental health first aider.