The events and hospitality industry in our current COVID-19 world looks a lot different than what we’re all used to. And, let’s be real here, it may take until there is a viable, widespread vaccine before it goes back to any kind of complete normalcy.

With that said, there are certainly still some interesting trends that have appeared out of a lot of creativity and some urgency. Let’s take a closer look at four trends that have gained momentum in 2020.

1. Microparties

Microparty? What the heck is a microparty? Well, if you’re not already in the know, it’s time to get familiar. Microparties are the newest way people are celebrating life’s milestone while adapting to our new normal.

By made-up definition, a microparty is an event that is attended by a maximum of 25 guests. In most situations, microparties are held in a host’s backyard or communal open space, but your restaurant or venue can invite customers to take their microparty to the next level by offering up your venue’s pimped out, Instagram-ready patio or roofdeck.

Create unique packages to go along with these microevents and promote them like crazy on social media. Don’t miss out on the chance to make money off of this trendy yet fun event fad.

2. Sequel weddings

This trend began a while back with overstated and overpriced celebrity weddings where one single event wouldn’t do. But these days, normal run-of-the-mill couples are saying “I do” to sequel weddings.

By name, sequel weddings are ones that take place twice: once in the company of a very limited number of VIPs — think immediate family and one or two friends — while the sequel is planned for a later date and is more suited to the traditional wedding vibe of 100 or more guests. Offering a sequel wedding package is a smart and super-easy way for your venue to make money twice.

3. The pop-up

The families who held drive-by birthday parties at the start of the pandemic are the inspiration behind this fun event trend. Event professionals and venues across the country have begun to offer socially distanced outdoor celebrations that come to you. Think an all-in-one event service that brings everything you need to host a safe and memorable event in the comfort of your backyard. From the simple to the extravagant, we think pop-up events are here to stay.

4. Going virtual

Whether it be a hybrid virtual gathering or a fully remote all online event, adding a virtual aspect to your venue’s list of services is a smart business move. This trend isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future, and fine-tuning a well-working virtual event machine is in your best interest — well-working being the key to virtual.

Just throwing together a projector screen you bought off of Amazon and adding public wifi really isn’t fine-tuning. You need to either hire an A/V expert to be your virtual consultant or hire an entire staff that will execute these events. Taking it seriously will ensure your venue is making money off of virtual well past the walls of this pandemic.

Grow your revenue by embracing trends

Event trends are fickle by nature, and every smart business operator wants to get ahead of them. Everyone wants to be the first to figure out the next big thing, or at least to figure it out before their biggest competitor does.

But COVID event trends are different. They weren’t curated out of a need to predict the future; instead they were created out of necessity. Implementing these trends will not only help to keep your business afloat during these uncertain times, but they also have the ability to bring your venue and its events into the future.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Fall 2020 Issue of Seated magazine.

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