December 21, 2023
Savvy event planners looking to stay ahead of rapidly-evolving attendee expectations always have an eye out for the elements that will help their next event stand out from the crowd. Our Shiloh experts have put together a list of top trends that we expect to see delighting attendees at 2024 events and beyond. 
We anticipate an exciting year as new technologies and approaches reinvent the meaning of familiar event buzzwords like accessibility and attendee networking. A seismic shift in attendee expectations for content and programming is already underway. Read on to learn what the hottest trends for event success will look like in 2024.

1. Purposeful Connection and Personalization

Nurturing purposeful connections is a cornerstone for events in 2024. Organizers are emphasizing authentic interactions over transactional exchanges, shifting the focus from organizing gatherings to curating experiences that foster meaningful interactions. The goal? To drive genuine connections, inspire action, and evoke long-term loyalty. Through personalized experiences, attendees forge deeper connections with brands, speakers, and fellow participants, leading to increased engagement, brand loyalty, and post-event advocacy. Look for opportunities to build purposeful connection such as:

  • Segmented content
  • Interest based activities
  • Personalized agendas
  • Personalized swag
  • Experiential staffing

2. Community-sourced Content

The days of back-to-back session programming where attendees sit passively listening all day are over. Event communities house a wealth of knowledge and experience outside the expert speakers pictured on event websites.Today’s most popular sessions are still expert-led, but not speaker centric. The expert speaker has transformed into the expert facilitator who structures and leads a group through a topic inviting the audience to discuss, share their own experiences and problem solve together. 2024 ushers in more and more workshop-style content that activates the audience to share anecdotal experiences from a more diverse pool of knowledge. Look for agendas to feature more:

  • Facilitated Workshops
  • Debates
  • Fishbowl discussions
  • Success stories
  • Game shows
  • Microphone box sessions

3. Next-level Networking

Networking is not a new element for event organizers, but with attendees reporting that the value of in-person events is in making personal connections, 2024 event networking will come out of the bar on to center stage. With new developments in AI-driven networking tools, attendees can expect it to get a lot easier to find and meet the like-minded people they seek at events. Look to implement event apps that provide attendee match lists based on common topics of interest. Facilitated networking sessions based on shared-interest topics that stimulate conversation will appear on more and more agendas. Other impactful tactics to drive meaningful attendee networking include:

  • Belonging badges
  • Networking tracks
  • Hosted table topic discussions
  • Gamified networking
  • Themed networking lounges

4. Enhanced Accessibility and Inclusivity

Making events accessible and inclusive has become standard practice for most organizers – but don’t cut corners! Make your event stand out in 2024 by going above and beyond. Push boundaries to ensure accessibility for all by incorporating closed captions, sign language interpreters, or various accommodations that promote positivity and foster an inclusive environment. Here are some ways to make your event more accessible in 2024:

  • Pre-event surveys for attendees to highlight specific requirements
  • On screen closed captioning for all sessions
  • Sign language interpreters
  • AI-driven language translations via closed caption 
  • Wheelchair-accessible venues and facilities
  • Dedicated support staff for attendees with special needs
  • Inclusive language and communication practices

5. Health, Wellness, and Mindfulness

Sitting for eight hours in a day is uncomfortable, unhealthy, and unfun! Post-pandemic we are all more aware of our health and wellness and these concerns should be a vital component of event design. In 2024 initiatives promoting mental health, physical well-being, and moments for relaxation will be integral parts of event setups. Dedicated spaces for relaxation, meditation sessions, wellness workshops, and even “digital detox” rooms offer attendees moments of respite from the bustle of the event. By emphasizing holistic well-being, events in 2024 will aim to leave attendees feeling rejuvenated and inspired. Here are more ideas to get you started.

Wellness Zones:

  • Relaxation spaces with massage chairs
  • Meditation and mindfulness workshops
  • Quiet zones for mental relaxation

Physical Wellness Activities:

  • Running clubs or group fitness sessions
  • Healthy food and beverage options
  • Hydration stations and vitamin-infused drinks

Mindfulness Practices:

  • Guided breathing exercises
  • Stress-relief workshops
  • Digital detox rooms for mental relaxation

6. Micro-events & Community

In contrast to the more traditional, ancillary event, micro-events are brief, personalized experiences crafted to deliver value to target audiences with a focus on quality interactions over quantity. These small-scale gatherings are swiftly gaining popularity as organizers recognize their potential to develop meaningful connections with well-targeted personas, generate higher caliber leads, and maximize impact. Some popular formats to execute this trend include:

  • Regional viewing parties around hub events
  • Private reception at a mega-event
  • Community within a community event
  • Thematic areas for spontaneous meetups

From purpose-driven connections to inclusive experiences, events are redefining approaches to both content and engagement to leave a lasting impact on attendees. 2024 showcases a shift towards richer, more personalized, healthy and enjoyable experiences.

Interested in learning more about how Shiloh produces innovative strategies and event solutions? Contact us today to get started!

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