BizBash CEO David Adler on 6 Influential Event Trends for 2016

Feb 4, 2016 9:38:52 AM

Burke Gibney


Convention Nation was in the house when event industry icon David Adler (@davidadler) came to Hartford, CT on January 20th to share the latest trends in events with an audience of event organizers.

The Venue:

Before I get to the esteemed speaker, I must give kudos to the stellar venue, Infinity Hall. Like many CT residents, I already knew Infinity Hall Hartford (as well as its sister venue in Norfolk, CT) as the outstanding live music venue that’s been winning accolades in CT since the day it opened. Well, now I know it’s not just the place to see great concerts in Hartford.

CN Insider Tip: The next time you are looking for an event venue in Hartford, CT, check out Infinity Hall. It’s also a lovely venue for meetings and events that can host seated meetings for up to 300 people or receptions for up to 400.

It was a perfect location for the New Special Event Trends in 2016 program with industry influencer David Adler. A hearty thank you to the Infinity Hall team and the event sponsor Event Resources for putting together a real treat of an event exclusively for event and meeting professionals in CT. Great space, great ambiance, great food! Nuff said.


Who is david adler:

The edible treats we sampled from the talented culinary team at Infinity Hall were delicious, but the REAL TREAT for Kim and I from Convention Nation, and the rest of the event professionals in attendance, was the opportunity to learn what’s on the horizon in the events industry from Mr. Adler, the founder and CEO of BizBash, the #1 source of ideas, news and resources for event organizers.

@davidadler is more than just an event planning industry influencer. He’s perhaps THE industry influencer!



Under his leadership, BizBash has become the largest media property in the B2B event industry, garnering nearly 200,000 monthly unique visitors and more than 20 million yearly page views.

Few, if any people have their thumb on the pulse of the event industry like he does. So “What did he say?” I’m sure you’re waiting to hear! He covered a lot of ground, sharing a ton of great information about the latest trends in events.



Top 6 Influential Event Trends for 2016:


1. The Power Shift from Event Organizer to Event Attendee

In the past, the event organizer had all the control over the agenda of the event. Those days are over. Today’s attendees want to control their own agenda and they want to be participants, not passive attendees. Organizers must adapt to attendees’ expectations and give up control.


2. Forget Content – Contact is King!

The role of the event organizer is becoming more about getting the right people together in the room (i.e. facilitating the right connections between the right people to spur collaboration and creativity), than it is about the content of the sessions. It’s about “curating the room” to create the right contacts between your participants.

According to Adler, event organizers need to become “trusted curators.”  New “crowd shaping” technology tools will enable this smarter curation, or “programming of human interaction” as Adler termed it.


3. The Science of Paying Attention

Another dynamic Adler sees driving event planning in 2016 and beyond is the understanding of new and smarter ways to capture people’s attention. To learn new ways to ensure your attendees are paying attention, Adler recommends Ben Parr’s book Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention.


4. Going Tribal

Seth Godin, author of the book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, defines a tribe as “a group of people connected to one another…A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.” Adler anticipates more “tribal” events in 2016, in other words events for shared interest groups.

@davidadler anticipates more “tribal” events in 2016, in other words events for shared interest groups.



5. The Influence of Millennials

Millennials have been much discussed, debated, and written about in event industry circles, and Adler confirmed what you probably already know – The 90 million or so Millennials and their desires and expectations are having a profound effect on the events industry.

Adler highlighted a few characteristics of Millennials that are driving new thinking in event planning: They like exclusivity, they like customization, they like personalization and they want to be active participants. Also, social responsibility and sustainability are very important to Millennials.

Incorporate such initiatives in your events, but be sure to be authentic about it as millennials highly value authenticity and are skilled at seeing through inauthentic efforts.

Today’s event organizers must strive to create customized, personalized event experiences with more meaningful “audience centricity.” Adler said organizers need to use a combination of technology, digital and physical experiences to deliver engaging audience-centric events in 2016 and beyond.


6. The Real Tastemakers in America are Event Planners

#davidadler says, "The real tastemakers in America are event planners!" 

Adler inspired the crowd when he reminded us how influential event planners are and described them as “the real tastemakers in America.” He reported that event planners collectively spend about $40 billion annually, host about 2 million events, spend an average of $750,000, book 5.5 million room nights, and touch 30 million people.

Those are impressive numbers that show the industry has real economic clout! And according to Adler, 25% of corporate marketing budgets are now spent on events.


The Event Doesn't Have to End:

That’s just a taste of what David Adler shared with us. Trust me, he covered a whole lot more in his informative and inspirational talk. To get fully up to speed on where the event industry is going, you’d be well-served to hear everything BizBash CEO David Adler had to say on the subject. Guess what? You can!

Mr. Adler has made the full presentation publicly available here!

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