Conferences have long-since evolved since the early days of a fairly monotonous speaker addressing a large group of people on one topic. Conferences have really established their place in the corporate, education and philanthropic sectors at both national and international level with event organisers looking for ever-more enticing ways to ensure delegates get the most out of the experience. Here are some of the exciting conference trends that we will see develop in 2021.
Rather than hosting individual conferences for departments, industries or interests, there is a convergence of ideas into one holistic conference that cuts across all realms. These multi-dimensional conferences allow the sharing of knowledge between fields allowing for more harmony and synergy between teams and sectors.
There is a move away from the one-day conference in a hotel to an extended conference retreat, usually in a country venue. This gives delegates the chance to enjoy some downtime away from the city, while re-booting their minds for fresh ideas and knowledge. These venues often offer delegates a host of activities outside of conference activities such as teambuilding or relaxation and leisure.
Instead of a quick coffee break in between conferences, organisers are opting for rejuvenating breaks which relax and stimulate delegates. These can include anything that re-boots the body and mind such as yoga sessions, meditation, swimming, painting or a simple walk. These meaningful breaks lower stress levels and encourage more co-operation between attendees.
The introduction of technology into the conference arena is by no means new, but as technology develops, conferences will adapt to make the most out of new technology types. Conference apps, real-time forum discussions and panel engagement on smartphones, live streaming and the use of social media are just some of the commonplace technologies being used so expect more development going into 2021. This encourages more interaction and makes the conference format more of a two-way process.
Healthier food options
Conference venues will continue to expand healthier, lighter food options with more of a dietary range than before. Hot beverages will remain but expect a range of tea/ coffee options with health-infused waters and iced teas with lower sugar contents.
The millennials are bringing with them an environmentally-conscious ethos that is flowing into venues. This has prompted conference organisers and venues alike to reduce, reuse and recycle where possible while also re-thinking traditional methods that have been carbon-footprint heavy such as food miles.