4 Wedding Tech Trends on the Radar This Year
Technology has been on a steady incline over the past decade, but 2020 has really showed us how valuable it can be when times are tough. From Zoom meetings to wedding livestreams, we’ve seen virtual apps and programs provide a channel for meaningful connection between people. While certainly not a replacement for in-person celebrations, tech has helped us to navigate the highs and lows of 2020 without feeling quite so alone.
Now, it’s safe to expect that technology is firmly entrenched in the industry, as well as within many of our daily lives. As we move towards a brighter future, we’re seeing tech used in new and exciting ways that will influence the way that event professionals market their businesses and serve their clients.
Here are four event and wedding tech trends to keep an eye out for in 2021.
Virtual Micro Weddings
Micro weddings aren’t going anywhere in 2021, but the digital element is expected to evolve from basic livestreaming to virtual reality and beyond.
“2021 will continue to see micro weddings with a virtual extension,” assures Allseated’s co-founder and CMO, Sandy Hammer. “The virtual extension will allow those who can’t attend in person to still be a part of the special day. Augmented reality will come into weddings (brides will love it!) and virtual ways to select venues and plan the details (floorplans and seating charts) without meeting in person will continue to rise in popularity.”
With weddings going online in 2020, there is now a whole new component of wedding services: digital planning. Social media and other tech platforms have always been popular additions to couples’ celebrations, but now they serve as the primary mode of participation for some guests.
“During 2021, rules governing the size of weddings will continue to push couples toward smaller guest lists,” explains Susan Moeller, Marketing and Partnerships Manager for Tailwind. “Because of this, social media and technology will play a bigger role in each celebration as the couple leverages tech to share their special day with a broader audience. Savvy wedding planners can ease their customers’ stress by handling social media plans and implementation as part of their services.”
Moeller suggests a few service ideas for event pros: “The basic offer could be a simple announcement and picture scheduled to go out on the couple’s favorite networks immediately after the ceremony. Larger packages could include full-scale social media ‘campaigns’ delivering timely wedding messages and helping to build excitement and a sense of community among far-flung guests. Planners could also offer private Facebook group creation and management.”
Of all the social media platforms, TikTok really embraced its role in the spotlight in 2020. It became a way for people to bond with one another and add some lightheartedness to a difficult year. In 2021, though, it will be more than just choreographed dances and duet memes. Event professionals will harness the power of TikTok marketing to better engage with their audiences.
“Even with 800+ million active users and being the most downloaded app on iTunes, TikTok is still something that wedding professionals have been slow to embrace,” says Jóse Rolón of Jóse Rolón Events. “TikTok boasts higher engagement rates than Instagram and is most frequently used by Generation Z and Millennials, the demographics that most wedding pros globally will be targeting.”
Rolón continues: “The beauty of TikTok is that it’s not curated and allows wedding pros to use it as a creative outlet. You can give a tour of your venue, introduce new products as they come in, or share planning tips with your audience.”
When life is feeling unstable, people seek comfort and reliability from the brands they trust. As a result, event pros will be challenged to level up their communication game by implementing new channels that connect with prospects and clients alike.
Henry Chen, founder of Wedding Chat Marketing, says: “It’s not enough to just have an effective, mobile-responsive website along with a social media presence. ‘If I build it, they will come’ doesn’t work anymore. 2021 saw more mobile messaging app users than social network users (2.70 billion vs. 2.66 billion). And that trend is only going to continue into 2023+.”
“What’s fascinating but so true is that the way people connect with businesses is similar to the way they connect with each other,” Chen continues. “It’s not business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) but rather people to people (P2P). Whether your target audience is a wedding couple, venue, wedding pro or creative, people want to connect with other people on mobile messaging apps.”
All of these tech trends come together to signify one thing: 2021 will be a year of nurturing personal connections and leaning fully into authenticity. 2020 has been one of the toughest years in recent history, but we will all walk away with valuable lessons learned. Perhaps most importantly, we will rediscover the true magic of our relationships and networks — particularly with a little help from technology.
For more inspiring trends to help you plan a magical, unique wedding, check out the full Wedding Trend Report 2021 and see what global industry experts have to say.
Kylie Carlson is the owner of The Wedding Academy, a globally-known education organization for industry professionals. Since its start in 2007, the Academy has launched the careers of over 4,000 wedding planners with their certification courses, and Kylie has devoted her time to empowering other CEOs and entrepreneurs to build a meaningful, powerful career. She’s also the founder of Wedding CEO Club and the Wedding CEO Podcast.