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Is Small Event the Next Big Thing?


One of the trends over the past few years has been to move away from giant galas and other huge gatherings, and instead host a series of smaller events. While much of this has been motivated by the pandemic and a desire to be more flexible in changing circumstances, the appeal of the small event is gaining traction.

Here’s why:

Reason #1 – Exclusivity Sells

It’s a concept as old as time – tell people there’s a limited supply of something, and suddenly demand for that item skyrockets. For events, this is obviously great for attendance, but it also means there’s a chance to monetize the event.

Preferred/early access, behind-the-scene meet-and-greets, or a dedicated table all work better because they aren’t available to every guest. The ancillary charge for these items and others like them can make a noticeable positive impact on bottom-line costs.

Reason #2 – Fewer Guests = More Engagement

Whether it’s digital, hybrid, or in-person, managing a conversation between 100 people means not everyone will get a chance to speak. Change that to 20 people however, and that dramatically changes. Break out into smaller groups during the event and that group of 4 or 5 people tends to have lively conversation and participate more in activities.

Reason #3 – Perceived Value

Every guest loves getting that unforgettable piece of swag, enjoying a superb meal, or rubbing elbows with prominent people. All of those things are far easier and more affordable to coordinate among a smaller group as opposed to a large one.

Reason #4 – Peace of Mind

With hundreds of moving parts and dozens of vendors to coordinate, a company’s event planning team can get beyond stressed. Scaling back the size of the event allows valued team members a chance to participate in the event instead of trying to control everything from backstage.

Reason #5 – Market Segmentation

Think about a big charity gala – there are so many different types of people all together in one place. Yes, it can be interesting, but it can also make some guests feel isolated or out of touch. Split into smaller groups with similar interests and/or backgrounds, people make stronger connections and walk away feeling more satisfied with the event feeling tailored to them.

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