The events industry doesn’t sit still for long. As the facilitator of togetherness – in entertainment, in work, in learning, in everything, really – it is in a constant state of flux. Reacting to public sentiment, the economic climate, not-so-long-ago pandemics and more, it can be a wily and unpredictable beast. Having said that, when you work as closely with the industry as we do, keeping a finger on the pulse is possible – for the 12 months ahead, at least.
As 2023 draws to a close, we cast our view forwards to the upcoming year, using data from our platform to hone in on the trends we can expect to dominate 2024. Things like the fact we’ve seen a huge surge in event creators offering greater purchase-flexibility to ticket buyers. And that there's a growing theme of ‘giving back’ across events in general – indicated by an almost 20 percent jump in money raised for charity through our Donations feature.
Intrigued? Read on for our full set of event trend predictions for 2024 🔮.
Event trends 2024 – what industry themes will shape the next 12 months?
Trend 1: Costs remain front and centre of decision making
Although the event industry is currently getting to enjoy a huge appetite for in-person happenings post-pandemic (more on this below) – there’s a new challenge to grapple with, now.
The cost of living crisis has hit the sector hard, with venues and event suppliers being forced to increase their prices to get by. In fact, one study carried out at the start of 2023 showed that 75 percent of the venues and event suppliers surveyed had increased their prices to combat rising energy costs.
The result? Cost has never been a more crucial decision-making driver for event creators. In fact, we noticed an increase in sign-ups the moment Eventbrite launched their new pricing.
(To clarify: that’s because we’re much cheaper to use for paid events, and we’re 100 percent free to use for all free events 😌.)
We predict that event creators will continue to pay close attention to the areas they can save money – whether that’s through switching ticketing platforms or being extra-discerning over venues and suppliers.
Trend 2: Flexibility is much more than a nice-to-have
Ticket buyers are used to getting purchase-flexibility in most areas of their lives these days – so it follows that they’d expect ticketing to be no different. Event creators are clocking onto this, and fast. We’ve seen the number of box offices with PayPal Pay Later enabled grow tenfold in less than a year – from around 200 in January 2023 to 2,156 in November 2023.
Tip: Offering split payments not only gives your ticket-buyers more payment flexibility, but it can help to grow loyalty and boost conversion, too.
We predict that the trend of ticket-buying flexibility will continue to grow rapidly in 2024. And not only this, we think cancellation policies will also increasingly be treated with the same flexible touch. We’re so confident in this prediction, in fact, that we’re launching a new feature that enables ticket buyers to make changes to their own bookings – which will be live in early 2024. We’re also working on a refund protection initiative – watch this space!
For those looking to provide the ultimate resale flexibility to your ticket-buyers, check out our integration with ethical reseller Tixel.
Trend 3: AI as a genuinely useful planning tool
Nobody quite knew where the AI-train was going to take us when the whole ChatGPT thing took off. While highly intelligent chatbots have yet to take over the planet – there are a whole host of AI tools that do offer serious value for event creators.
We predict that event creators will continue to learn how to harness these tools to their advantage – whether to simplify historically complex planning tasks, save time, or maximise their events’ impact.
Read all about our take on using AI to ace event planning here >
Trend 4: Sustainability as a strategic focal point
We’re seeing a steady shift in attitude among event creators when it comes to sustainability – AKA: it’s no longer being treated as an afterthought. Take Thorington Theatre, for example. This beautiful venue sets a great example for those who are interested in really pushing the boundaries of what event sustainability means. The woodland theatre was built with the lowest carbon footprint possible, and has quite an incredible story to tell – read all about it, and watch a video we shot with one of the brains behind the theatre.
We’ve also seen a significant increase in purpose-driven B Corps signing up to Ticket Tailor. B Corps are businesses that undergo a rigorous assessment to make sure they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, among other standards. As a B Corp ourselves, we offer the wider community 20% off our fees to help foster business as a force for good.
We predict that 2024 will see more innovations in the event-greening space. In fact, it may soon be time to scrap the term ‘event-greening’ altogether. We reckon we’ll be seeing an increase in events that are ‘green’ from birth – with sustainability being very much a part of their DNA.
Tip: Looking for ways to improve your events’ sustainability in 2024? You might find our article interesting – 5 easy ways to gear-shift your events’ sustainability efforts. We’ve also got an hour-long panel discussion on the topic for those in need of a lunchtime-watch 😌.
Trend 5: Decisions driven by data
If the response to one of our new reporting features is anything to go by, event creators are more data-hungry than ever.
Since launching our new ticket reporting feature in late September 2023, almost 50% of active box offices have already started digging into the data!
We predict event creators will not only continue to use the data that’s available to them, but expect regular innovations here – making it slicker, easier, and faster for them to get to the heart of their ticket buyers’ wants and needs.
Watch our latest webinar on how to drive more sales and get smart insights from Ticket Tailor’s new reporting tools over on YouTube.
Trend 6: A focus on community and rewarding loyalty
Following demand for more features to help foster community, we partnered with LinkedIn to roll our LinkedIn Community Builder integration earlier this year, which has since had brilliant uptake.
We’ve also noticed a steady growth in the number of recurring event organisers making the most of our Memberships feature – particularly in the Tours, Attractions & Farms sector. This feature rewards loyalty, giving returning visitors discounts, deals and other tailored benefits. We saw a spike in Membership sales in July, and a resurgence in September, indicating that strong sales were made ahead of a busy summer and autumn seasons. Nice!
We predict that recurring event organisers will continue to harness community-building and loyalty-rewarding strategies across 2024 – especially as the in-person events sector continues to thrive post-pandemic.
Trend 7: Events as a way to ‘give back’
We’ve seen a healthy increase in the number of events gathering donations at the point of ticket sale since 2016. And there was a particularly sizable jump in the donation figure between 2022 and 2023 – event creators have raised over £3.24million in donations to date in 2023 compared with £2.7m in 2022. That’s a 19.6% increase. Impressive!
As issues like sustainability, war, and the cost-of-living crisis continue to dominate the world stage, we predict that 2024 will see another notable surge in the give-back power of events.
Trend 8: Events and products as a way to diversify revenue
We’ve seen a steady increase in events created as a byproduct of existing businesses across many industry sectors. AKA: the farm that diversifies into the pumpkin patch sector to keep business ticking over. The winery that puts on spectacular festive lights shows to open new revenue streams. And even fellow B Corp Riverford (who specialise in veg-box delivery) run classes from bread-baking to wreath-making.
Aside from adding events to their roster to increase revenue, more and more event organisers are selling additional products through Ticket Tailor – whether that’s merchandise or bolt-on experiences. Spotting this trend, we’ve made it so that users of our platform can sell their products all-year-round on their own dedicated store – regardless of whether they have any live events running. Our research shows that total product sales have increased across the year, particularly in the last couple of months as we head into a busy festive season - and in particular this trend is even more evident for the Tours, Farms and Attractions industry.
We predict that businesses will continue to find new, imaginative ways to use events to expand their offering. This is great news for business owners who are realising how exciting it is to lean on their hobbies and creativity to turn higher profits. Likewise, for communities looking for awesome in-person events to enrich their lives.
Trend 9: Event partnerships as an exciting way to open new doors
The event industry is seeing an increase in exciting collaborations, curated to grow hype around a certain brand and/or event in a mutually beneficial way. Take the recent Gucci Cosmos exhibition at 180 Studios, for example. This epic pairing has seen an iconic cultural venue reach new levels of idolatry thanks to the prestigious immersive exhibition taking place within its walls.
We predict that venues, event creators, and influential speakers/performers/creatives will become more and more playful with collabs over the course of 2024. The power to be found in joining forces feels both exciting and innovative – helping event stakeholders to reach vast new audiences and unlock greater levels of success.
Event industry trends 2024 – closing thoughts
That’s a wrap! We hope you’ve found our event industry trend predictions for 2024 interesting.
Ultimately, we think it’ll be an exciting year filled with innovations and experimentation – like fun collabs and creative side hustles. Alongside all this, there’ll be quieter, more practical themes – like offering true flexibility for ticket-buyers and using AI to streamline event planning tasks. Sustainability will take on an exciting new gleam, we reckon, with events making bigger, bolder moves towards overhauling their ethos and environmental impact.
While the industry is undoubtedly still facing challenges – particularly around the cost of living crisis – we think the post-pandemic sheen of in-person events is only set to grow stronger, and brighter.
Now all that’s left to do is to watch this space as we roll into the unknown… Bring it on, we say!
If you’re looking for a 2024 ticketing partner, Ticket Tailor is the choice for over 80,000 event organisers. Not just because of our low fees.
Beyond our affordable pricing, there are plenty of reasons why even organisers choose us: our platform is feature-rich, we offer lightning-speed human customer support, and every ticket sold on our platform has a positive impact. We’re a Certified B Corp, carbon neutral, and donate 1p for every ticket sold to climate charities through our ‘Penny for the Planet’ promise. Last year that came to over £130,000!
What are you waiting for? Create your event today for free and give it a whirl with no commitment.