By Samantha Stallard, Director of Marketing & Business Development
VIP experiences have become the expectation, not the exception. Last year, we worked on more events with VIP offerings than ever before, providing our clients' guests with hotel accommodations, travel booking, and private meet and greets with their favorite musicians, among many other options. Of course, as with everything in the events industry, now we have to step up our game in 2020, not only continuing the VIP treatment, but expanding it.
So, what will VIP experiences look like in 2020? How can you offer your event guests even more than a luxury suite and the best seats in the house? Check out these innovative and creative ways event marketers will upgrade their VIP packages this year, often without even blowing the event budget!
they will embrace the nontraditional
Start by rewiring your brain away from large-scale, flashy events and refocus on executing simpler, smaller experiences with authentic opportunities for VIPs to engage with each other (and build trust with your brand). Consumers are increasingly demanding authenticity from brands and becoming distrustful of big business, so speak with guests individually during your event, this puts a face with your business, so you're less likey to be boxed in as a money-hungry corporation.
Fewer attendees also means you can get creative with your event location. A recent study by Social Tables shows that over 90% of event planners agree that events are more likely to be booked in a non-traditional venue than five years ago. Try taking over a raw space such as a warehouse, barn, or co-working office that you can customize to your liking. Or go in the completely opposite direction, inviting VIPs to gardens, art museums, or galleries that don't require any aesthetic changes at all.
they will prioritize sustainability
Sustainability is front and center in events. Today, 86% of consumers expect companies to act on social and environmental issues — and they’re more than ready to vote with their dollars. While small efforts such as recycling bins and water bottle refilling stations are a step in the right direction, your VIPs want to make sure that they're reducing their carbon footprint while still enjoying themselves.
Go big by pledging to eliminate all plastic straws at your events, donating leftover food to a local homeless shelter (or composting the produce in a community garden), and partnering with an environmental charity allowing VIPs to round up their onsite purchases to the nearest dollar, donating the extra cents to a cause they believe in.
Then, go really big by tracking your events' environmental impacts, such as the number of plastic water bottles eliminated, the weight of donated food, and the amount of money donated to charity. Share those numbers with your VIPs via email — we all love to see our contributions in action!
Chart source: Columbia University
they will offer even more personalization. yes, even more
Yes, you're already capturing every detail about your VIPs. You're using a guest management software (hello, Concierge.com!) to learn their dietary preferences and preferred airlines, but the most innovative way to personalize the guest experience is by allowing your guests to plan their own experiences. Empower VIPs to customize their packages and mold your events to meet their personal preferences.
Personalization is just that, personal. So the opportunities are endless and you are in full control of how much money to invest. Hosting a festival similar to one of our favorite events of the year, the iHeartRadio Music Festival? Try allowing VIPs to:
- Request their favorite food and drinks for their concert-viewing lounge
- Instantly access their artist meet and greet photos with a personalized link to your photo hosting site
- Customize their hotel room playlist by hooking up their Spotify to bluetooth speakers
What do you think VIP experiences will look like in 2020? Anything we missed?