A recent survey conducted by Massive, the mass participation event specialist, found that 96 per cent of event industry experts think sponsors and brands are now demanding more for their investment, with 86 per cent saying that participants will expect events to be more of an experience in 2020.

Massive surveyed more than 300 event professionals working in mass participation and outdoor events, from the UK’s leading charities, brands, rights holders and event management companies, to get their views on what 2020 holds.

Almost three quarters of respondents agreed that participants will want more for their money in 2020, with 92 per cent also believing this will need to be delivered with an increasing focus on sustainability.

Reflecting the trend of brands looking to do more than just slap a logo on an event, more than half of the experts reported that brands are increasingly demanding more opportunities to interact with participants as part of their support.

Despite the growing expectations, rights holders are confident they can tackle these challenges heading into 2020 with the majority of event professionals spoken to optimistic about the year ahead and planning on delivering more events.

Given most of the industry insiders are expecting to deliver more events, 40 per cent are planning to increase their budgets for events, 34 per cent will be increasing headcount and a similar figure will be looking to increase agency spend to cope with additional demand or where full-time resource is not realistic.

To deal with increased competition in the market, 47 per cent of respondents are planning to increase their marketing spend and 45 per cent will be spending more to improve the event and spectator experience to reach new audiences and keep their events fresh, relevant and attractive.

Charlie Dryden, commercial and partnerships manager at Massive, said: “There are many reasons to be optimistic about the future. We’re confident event providers can adapt to the changing and increasingly competitive market, even if that does requires more work to recruit participants and new approaches to develop experiences that continue to excite, engage and inspire new and existing audiences.”

Image: The Great Run Company/Great North Run