Survey Reveals Event Engagement Challenges and Trends

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Engagement and personalization are crucial for successful meetings and events, yet the initial challenge is to attract potential participants, according to a new survey by Ovation Global DMC. Ovation Global DMC recently conducted this survey to explore the significance and development of engagement, content, personalization, and interactivity within the events industry for meetings, conferences, and exhibitions. The research, involving 463 respondents (55 percent suppliers and 45 percent event planners), highlights the main challenges and opportunities shaping the future of memorable events.

The Challenge of Standing Out

Most respondents identified capturing their target audience’s attention as the biggest challenge. With many events competing for attendees’ time and interest, standing out is increasingly difficult. To overcome this challenge, event organizers must deeply understand their audience to create content that resonates.

Once attendees are present, session formats need to maintain their attention. One-third of respondents use Q&A sessions to engage participants, while 25 percent use a variety of tools such as Q&A, social media integration, live polling, entertainment, gamification, and mindfulness strategies.

The Significance of Personalization

Personalization has become a key factor in driving engagement. By offering targeted content, tailored sessions, and customized networking opportunities, event organizers can make attendees feel appreciated and engaged. However, 42 percent of survey respondents find it challenging to create personalized experiences, and 25 percent are concerned about maintaining participants’ privacy.

Future Opportunities in the Events Industry

Looking ahead, the survey identifies personalization and sustainability as the main opportunities for improving engagement, followed by AI capabilities. Only 8 percent believe hybrid events will be a major success factor in the future.

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