2021 Event Trend Predictions

Oh 2020 where do we begin…. It’s fair to say that when we sat down to write last year’s event trend predictions we were WAY off. We had no idea of the journey that we were about to go on, nor the way that the event seasons would be turned upside down completely. You’d be forgiven for forgetting what an event is after 2020.

Here in 2021, this year’s predictions are ALL heavily influenced by the effect that Covid-19 has had on the industry. We do not shy away from the fact that this will have massive implications on the sector for years to come, but we can hope that we can start to rebuild the industry steadily.

This time last year we had no idea what ‘socially-distancing’ was, but now it governs our everyday movements. Of course, with the UK in a fluctuating state of being in and out of lockdown, and mass gatherings still illegal, it is almost impossible to predict whether events of any capacity will be able to go ahead this year. However, with this is mind, here are our 2021 Event Trend predictions….


I’ll jump straight in with the obvious. While the risk of coronavirus still exists it is impossible for large events to go ahead.

Events that do go head will be governed by strict capacities and seating plans to allow participants to keep the required 2m social distancing guidelines. We began to see this at the end of 2020 with events allowed to go ahead with 50% venue capacity or 2000 people outdoors/1000 indoors, whichever was lower, in Tier 2 areas.

Smaller events will need to move to bigger venues, in order to be able to keep to social distancing guidelines, and masks, plexiglass and onsite testing facilities will become the new normal. 

PaulOperations Manager


One thing we are certain of is that if and when events start to open up, the first place that they will be allowed to go ahead is outdoors. This is because of the natural air circulation, and the better ability to distance, making it safer for people to meet without transmitting germs. Therefore the risk to people is less significant. 

There will be an influx of new outdoor experiences popping up for families to enjoy throughout all the seasons, such as the Enchanted Light Trail at Cotswold Farm Park, and expect outdoor cinemas and dining experiences to dominate the summer. 

Open-sided outdoor structures that offer shelter such as tipis will be in high demand, caterers that can operate in a mobile fashion will conquer, and outdoor furniture such as picnic benches and tables to ensure that guests are comfy will be crucial. 


Chris Tarren of Tarren Production

2020 accelerated the events industry’s move over to digital platforms faster than most event professionals were ready for, but also provided a vital lifeline in the form of virtual and hybrid events in the process. Of course these event models will still be a key trend in 2021, and for the foreseeable future, allowing people to ‘meet’ face to face in a safe environment, and also eliminating the need for cross country and even international travel.

However, much like the Zoom-craze, virtual event fatigue does seem to be creeping in, and in 2021 I think attendees will become more selective with the online events they choose to attend, and organisers will need to work harder to lift the event beyond the screen, and make them more engaging. 

Engagement and results will only ever be good for these events if attendees visit these events live and in real-time, therefore I expect organisers to start monetising virtual and hybrid events by charging for attendees to view content after the event is live, for example on a On-Demand service. I also expect that organisers will need to bring in incentives for those attending events in-person in the hybrid event model.

ChrisProduction Director


Micro-Experiences are small capacity, high value events that focus on exclusivity.

Whether used for corporate or public events, micro-experiences focus on an element of luxury and personalisation, that larger events are not able to replicate.

In 2021 organisers need to convince people that in-person experiences are worth the added cost and risk when compared to virtual events, and we predict that micro-experiences will be the way to do this. People will be eager to meet and celebrate after a lost year in 2020. Microexperiences will allow small, socially-distanced groups of people to meet, depending on government guidelines. Think: team-building experiences, wellness workshops, walking tours and events based around nature. 

Instead of thinking about what they can’t do, event planners need to switch their thinking to be about what they CAN do with small groups of people.


We first predicted this trend last year, however as events slowly begin to return and organisers fight for attendees attention, festivalisation is the way that they will capture the millenial and Gen-Z market. 

Festivalisation sees an event take on a festival format and programme, incorporating a range of speakers and topics. There is no event that can not be turned into a festival. The lines are blurring between consumer and corporate festivals; conferences are now becoming ‘festivals of learning’ and we have seen both corporate and private parties take on the festival structure. It can also be applied to both live and virtual events.

The main benefit of festivalisation is the sense of community that it creates. A mixed programme allows attendees to pick and choose the parts of the event that they want to attend, ensuring that there is something for everyone, and that short attention spans are kept alert, meaning that engagement is likely to be higher.

Overall your event is made more memorable, interesting, and engaging by adopting the festivalisation structure, creating an ‘experience’ for your guests rather than a linear delivery of information. Creativity is key to achieving a lasting impression these days.

BecksCreative Producer
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