Great Scott! Event Trends of the Future

Great Scott! Event Trends of the Future

2021 Event Trends Bringing us Back To The Future

We have shot forward from 2020, and even more, change is afoot coming out of the third wave.

Worldwide event trends and technology seem more and more like something from the future. If that means we can meet with other people and upskill ourselves, then we say, “You can’t keep a good scientist down!”

Conference Technology and Trends Worldwide


No man should know too much about their own destiny.” – Doc, ‘Back To The Future’

Sorry Doc, but in this case, we disagree. We looked at event trends throughout the world and can only see value in them. These are the trends that are making conferences and events possible again.

These are the trends that are getting us back to the future! And it’s only a matter of time before they reach sunny South Africa.

Here are some of the up-and-coming conference trends you can expect to see soon.

Contactless Technology

“Don’t talk to anyone, don’t touch anything, don’t do anything, don’t interact with anyone, and try not to look at anything.” – Doc, ‘Back To The Future’

Okay, it is not as bad as all that, but events venues like ours now embrace contactless interactions. We can’t say we’re complaining. Even before the pandemic touching something a million other people had touched was no one’s first choice. Now you barely have to touch anything at all!

This technology applies throughout the conference experience. From the moment you step in the venue door to when you turn off the light in your hotel.

Future contactless technology comes in the form of:

  • Facial recognition for checking in and out of face-to-face events
  • Ordering your meals from a virtual menu, you can bring up on your smartphone
  • Scheduling appointments on mobile apps
  • Networking through hybrid or virtual events
  • Tapping your bank card to make payments

The exciting news is we have not even scratched the surface of contactless technology that will only improve our industry!

Food Trends

Our special today is mesquite-grilled sushi. – Ronald Reagan Video Waiter ‘Back To The Future II’

Like this loved film, organisers are reimagining event meals. From what is on your plate to how you order it. We are all familiar with the waitstaff outfitted in face masks, but event planners take our safety further.

In the future, expect to order your event cuisine from contactless menus and have it served at attended buffets. Snack tables accompanied by various necessities, such as hand sanitisers and more.

The changes food-wise extend beyond service, even affecting what we eat. Conference venues throughout the world are steering towards immunity-boosting healthy food.

Nutrition is top of the checklist as conference guests are steadily becoming more aware of what they eat. As a result, locally sourced healthy meals will dominate event menus as we advance. We are proud to say that Focus Rooms were ahead of the trend here.

Food is also playing its part in making a virtual event more memorable. Organisers suggest sending guests gift bags with local food and drinks from where the virtual event will happen.

Volvo Truck Launch Event - Catering | Focus Rooms
Focus Rooms Plastic Free July Reusable water bottle | Focus Rooms Venue


There’s that word again. ‘Heavy.’ Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational pull? – Doc, ‘Back To The Future’]

The pandemic led everyone to take stock of what is around them. Sustainability is not a new trend in the events industry, but it is gaining more traction.

Conferences and events can generate a lot of waste material. The drive to eliminate one-use plastic cups, bottles and straws is just the tip of the iceberg.

Conferences create waste in the form of marketing materials, displays, fabrics and various merchandise. 92% of event professionals believe sustainability is vital to event industry recovery, according to an IMEX Group study.

Expect to see sustainable swag and recycled materials as conference venues like ours push to reduce their carbon footprint.

Social Distancing Tech

Your future is whatever you make it. So, make it a good one. Doc, ‘Back To The Future.’

Social distancing will be part of our lives for the long haul, and it keeps us safe. Making the correct choice of social distancing can be tricky at a conference where most people want to network.

New trends have arisen to make social distancing a zero-thought process.
Organisers can use event diagramming software to create practical room setups adhering to social distancing guidelines. This software also allows them to create virtual tours of venues for use in hybrid events.

Wearables give people the opportunity to choose the level of human interaction with which they are comfortable. Coloured wristbands have been a low tech and ingenious way of communicating with others from a distance. Different colours indicate:

  • “Do not approach me.”
  • “I am comfortable being approached at a safe distance.”
  • “Come on over, let’s chat!” (masks firmly in place, of course).

This concept stretches beyond simple coloured wristbands to more high-tech solutions. Wearable Bluetooth devices, previously used for networking ease, now let you know when someone is too close. These wristbands also allow organisers to track interactions should an attendee test positive after the event.

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Hybrid Conferences

If you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style? Doc, Back To The Future

This list would not be complete without mentioning the growing popularity of the hybrid event. A stylish combination of the old and the new, hybrid events are here to stay.

The benefits of hybrid events are many, and venues and organisers continue recommending them.

“The Future isn’t written. It can be changed.” – Doc, ‘Back To The Future’

Focus Rooms cannot wait to get ‘Back To The Future’ with you! Equipped with everything you need to hold a high-tech, safe, and sustainable event, we have the facilities you need.

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