3 Sustainable Event Trends this 2021

4 mn read

Did you know that in an events venue, an average person from the attendees will produce almost 2kg of waste in just a single day? And this isn’t even considering the tons of disposable and non-biodegradable materials used by event exhibitors for their trade booths, flyers, promotional items, and other packaging materials. 


There’s no other way around it — events are one of the main hotspots for waste materials. For this reason, people and key stakeholders involved in the event industry like venue owners, event exhibitors, hosts, attendees, businessmen, event planners, coordinators, logistics have to think about ways to make the industry more sustainable. Even more so during a time of a pandemic, the industry is turning towards ingenious alternatives of holding highly-engaging events in the safest way possible. 


For the upcoming year, there’s no doubt that a lot of things will change in the industry. There was already a small glimpse of this in the previous year — most, if not all, of the events were held virtually in the comfort of a remote location. Later on in the year, people have also been turning towards contactless avenues for any transactional-related activity.


There’s no doubt that these changes will seep into 2021. If the industry wants to keep up with the growing demand for eco-friendliness and sustainability, then it will certainly do well by adopting new strategies. Read on to learn more.


Augmented Reality


Augmented reality is nothing new. In fact, it has already been existing for more than 50 decades now. Many industries have already tapped this in the past. Artists for example, have used AR in order to enhance the art-viewing experience for their gallery visitors. The video game industry on the other hand has developed software and hardware with in-built VR support for a more novel gaming experience.


But what is the events sector doing about it? Like all the industries mentioned, they also understand the need to tap into this new sustainable trend that also boosts engagement across various audiences. 


It may now be time to say goodbye to the typical slideshow presentation or the video format — people want to see eye-popping visuals combined with incredible sound effects that are just, well, out of this world and nothing like they’ve ever seen. 


And there is some data to support this. The International Data Corporation in fact made projections that in 2020 the global business spend for AR technology will be at almost $19 billion dollars. Everyday consumers are also beginning to warm up to this technology, with more than 72% of them expressing satisfaction for AR-based interactions. 


Although many major economies are now opening up, the pandemic still remains and will continue to do so until the foreseeable future. But this should not result in grim expectations for the industry. What’s important is that they take advantage of it and refocus their efforts towards AR technology and how they can adapt it for all those involved. 




When you think about the word “sustainability” it’s likely that the first few ideas that will come to mind have something to do with being more eco-friendly, lowering emissions, or reducing carbon footprint. It’s very rare that the word be used to describe how live event participants can still remain engaged even after spending long hours listening to multiple workshops and seminars one after the other.


With that in mind, events are starting to focus more on the well-being of the attendees. Although virtual events tend to last much shorter than their counterparts, there’s still the matter of how the participants can still retain everything that they’ve learned from the event. The latter may not have a higher tolerance for long durations of listening to someone talk, even if only the 30-minute mark has passed. 


Mindfulness in this case, focuses on giving participants a chance to take breaks, reflect, and engage in a much more relaxed environment with their peers. Complimentary items like meals, snacks, and refreshments may not really do enough. The industry can certainly do more by making the event structure itself more open to the physical, mental, social, and emotional needs of its participants. 


Hybrid Events


Nowadays, the quality of an event location is not just by its physical features and availability of services, but also by its ability to support hybrid and virtual-based events. As events turn away from large crowds and become much smaller in capacity, the industry also begins to question how they can adapt to this change. The answer is simple — through a dedicated studio that can support excellent audio visuals and other peripherals for a successful and wholly engaging event.


As the name suggests, hybrid events have the best of both worlds. They still feature the presence of physical attendees while adding a virtual element by way of video conferencing platforms. 


Unlike virtual events, hybrid events are far more interactive because participants will still get a chance to interact live with a few key speakers. Virtual events that solely rely on a single platform like Zoom, Google Meets, Skype, or Microsoft Teams, stil face several challenges. For example, participants may not be willing to turn on their cameras, which can make conversations less personal. 


The virtual aspect of the hybrid event provides many solutions to the live event aspect, and vice versa. One of these reasons is that the physical site may not be accessible to a broader audience which can hamper attendance and participation rates.


Ultimately in the hybrid arrangement, the virtual and the physical are well complemented with each of the benefits that they bring to audiences, organizers, venue managers, and even the guests. There’s less spending on the logistical side, and a renewed focus on engaging the audiences. 


Key Takeaway


For 2021, an events venue would have to deal with the many changes brought about by major world events. The pandemic for example forced the industry to rethink ways of bouncing back and still remain a foothold as one of the most valuable global economic sectors. 


New ideas and changes have risen in the past year or so, with the growing popularity of AR, hybrid events, and becoming more mindful of the participants’ well-being. However, there’s no doubt that the year 2021 will be marked with creativity and inventiveness from the events industry. More stakeholders are willing to take a chance on strategies that have never been done before.

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