Big ticket events are the shape of the future, say millennials

Big events are here to stay, according to a new generation of organisers.

Young people around the world have revealed what they want from the future of major events.

Growth in mass participation events, extreme sports, and the convergence of sport and entertainment are all on the agenda according to a study launched at the Host Cities 2015 summit in Dubai.

The ‘Next Generation Events’ report identifies the top ten trends for the future of events, drawing on YouGov research into the behaviours and attitudes of more than 2,000 young men and women, across 10 countries.

The Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup have made a big impression in the past four years, but young people are more interested in arts and culture events (six in 10) than sporting occasions (four in 10). Nor are they content to stick with tried and tested formats, two thirds call for more extreme sports in the lineup and a third (34%) support the mooted inclusion of skateboarding in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Seven in 10 young people think that the number of events they engage with will increase in the future. The majority also want to see more emerging markets given the chance to host in fair a bidding process and say they are more likely to travel to a city if they see it hosting a major event.

Game-changing technology will radically alter how young people engage with events – and vice versa. Keeping pace with innovation will therefore be vital to an event’s success. Yet nothing, young people assert, beats the ‘live’ experience of ‘being there’ in person, if you can afford it. Cost is the primary barrier to attending events, with six in 10 saying major events are out of reach for most young people.

The majority of young people believe that events create positive social and economic legacies as well as driving tourism, and the majority would back a ‘home bid’, but not at any cost. Events are expected to deliver not just entertainment but also new job opportunities, infrastructure improvements and social legacies. Young people in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are most certain of their readiness to do so successfully, and those in Japan the least confident.

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