Trend predictions: What will events look like in 2024?

Every year, the team at BeaconHouse delivers over one hundred events across the whole of the UK and over the last year we’ve seen a real shift in what our clients are looking to achieve and what delegates enjoy, so we’ve put our heads together and created our own top trend predictions for 2024 and beyond…

  1. Make it personal  

In 2024 we’re going to see much more of a ‘choose your own adventure’ approach to events, which could be as simple as having the ability to build your itinerary by choosing content that is interesting and relevant to you, or speaking to delegates in advance to find out what the most important thing is for them to take away from the day. Bespoke experiences are key post-pandemic as people are unwilling to sit through unappealing content, especially if they have to take time out of their busy diaries. Remember that people are individuals and trying to create a ‘one size fits all’ approach will leave everyone feeling a little underwhelmed.

  1. Sustainable and socially conscious experiences 

Sustainability is front of mind for a lot of businesses, and while there have been moves in the right direction, the event industry still has a long way to go when it comes to being truly environmentally friendly. In 2024 we’ll see agencies, suppliers, and clients putting more emphasis on tracking carbon emissions, making more conscious choices when it comes to ‘use once’ marketing materials, and a better understanding of the impact of our sector on the planet. It won’t all be focused on environmental goals though, there will be a shift towards more socially conscious events that give back to charitable causes rather than splashing out on yet another plastic giveaway in the goodie bag.

  1. Inclusivity 

Taking steps to include people from a wide range of backgrounds in your event means that there is space for everyone to contribute, leading to more meaningful interactions, better conversations, and the ability to tackle problems from different perspectives. In-person events by nature aren’t always accessible for everyone, but by being mindful of different needs from the outset, your experience can be as open as possible. In 2024 we will see more events including diverse stages and speakers, inclusive spaces like quiet areas or prayer rooms, and more thought going into what’s on the menu so no one feels like the odd one out when it comes to dinner time.

  1. Annual programmes of events 

Where in the past businesses might have organised a one-off Annual General Meeting, we’re seeing more organisations opting to curate a programme of events throughout the year instead. These days it’s about engaging employees and stakeholders with a diverse programme of events, keeping the momentum going with things like round-tables, dinners, awards ceremonies, or building community networking. Utilising a mix of in-person, virtual, and hybrid event formats to engage audiences and allow as wide a range of people to attend as possible.

  1. Insight led planning 

Data will be at the heart of event planning even more than usual. Event planners will be using data collected before, during, and after events to reduce the carbon footprint of experiences and also to gain insight into attendees’ preferences, behaviours, and patterns. By studying statistics like registration vs attendance, time spent watching speakers, or time spent consuming pre or post-event online content, we can make small changes to enhance our attendee experience and increase engagement with each event.

  1. Opting-in 

Opting in for things like name badges, merchandise, or meat-based meals (as opposed to opting out which has been the norm) allows people to make small, more considered choices when they are on site. Taking this approach puts the power back in the hands of the people so they can make their own choices about whether they want to consume certain things. Making sustainable decisions isn’t about big bold statements, it is about empowering people to make meaningful changes in the way that they take part in our experiences.

  1. Watch-back opportunities 

There can often be a lot of things to take part in at an event and there might not be time to take everything in. Over the next twelve months, we’re going to see more opportunities to revisit content after the event or catch up with anything that you might have missed on the day. This could be a recording of the event that is uploaded online or even additional content in the form of a podcast or webinar.

  1. Clever seating 

Making sure that your delegates are comfortable is a given, but there is more to think about than whether or not you can see the main stage. We’ll see a shift towards more multipurpose seating that makes it easier for people to connect with those around them, power banks so delegates can make notes or take part in multi-platform learning, and arrangements that make it easier to break out into groups for more intimate problem solving and ideas sessions. Different seating arrangements can significantly influence the learning experience and have the power to alter or enhance the whole atmosphere, so we’ll see fewer rows and rows of delegates and more dynamic seating options that work in tandem with how you want guests to move around the space.

  1. Net-walking: Wellbeing focused activities 

Gone are the days of all networking taking place in the bar. In 2024 we think there will be more creative thinking around extracurricular activities that promote health and wellbeing. During a multi-day event, this could include lunchtime jogs, morning yoga sessions, or meditation during downtime. If you have delegates travelling to be part of the event, a walking tour of the local area is a great way to see the city and enjoy an outdoor learning experience at the same time.

To speak to the team at BeaconHouse Events about bringing your next event to life in 2024, contact

Putting creativity at the heart of events: Meet Project Co-ordinator Alice

After studying and practicing architecture, Alice discovered that she enjoyed working on collaborative and cross-disciplinary creative projects and decided to veer from the path to becoming an architect. After spending several years working in creative and community arts-based settings, whilst studying for a Creative Industries Management MA at Northumbria University, Alice went on to become part of the Membership Experience team at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), where she supported North East members and delivered a variety of regional and national events and initiatives, before joining the team here at BeaconHouse in November 2023.

An advocate of the power of creativity to connect people and spark joy, we caught up with Alice to find out why she decided a career in events was for her, how she gets creative in her free time, and how playing in a steel band has allowed her to travel the world.

Hi Alice! You joined the team back in November, what have you been working on so far?

I’ve joined the team at a really busy time of year, and as a project co-ordinator my role so far has been to support the event teams to deliver their busy programme as we come up to the end of the year – I’ve been involved with everything from awards dinners to Christmas parties and it’s been really eye-opening to see the level of detail that goes into each one. One of the first major projects that I supported was the Dynamites Awards back in November and next year I’m looking forward to being part of the team delivering TechNExt24 when it takes over the region again in June. The tech sector is completely new to me and already I’m enjoying the complexity of the types of businesses that are involved and how the planning for the festival is developing.

Tell me about your career before you joined BeaconHouse Events. 

I studied architecture at Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow and came back to Newcastle to work in a practice in the Ouseburn Valley. Glasgow School of Art is Mackintosh’s most celebrated building and has international significance, so getting the chance to study there was fantastic and I met some amazing people.

I enjoyed working in the practice, but to be honest my heart wasn’t really in it and during that time I went to deliver an architecture ambassador programme in schools where we led workshops and I loved it. After that revelation, I started to focus on what I was passionate about and pivoted my career into community arts, including working with a community events space in Newcastle City Centre. I really valued the opportunity to be more creative, and ultimately I combined everything that I enjoyed about working with people and organising opportunities for them to connect and share ideas with my understanding of the architecture space and joined the team at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

I think architecture and events are quite similar, to be honest. With both sectors, you see the finished, shiny product and don’t always appreciate the months of planning, skills, and detail that go into making it robust and fit for purpose.

What made you decide to join the team here at BeaconHouse? 

I enjoyed my role at RIBA, it was a really wide-ranging job where I looked after everything from running member events, supporting member communications and relationships, recording podcasts, and organizing student mentoring  but I felt like it was time for a change, and wanted a new opportunity to work with colleagues in a collaborative space every day I saw the role at BeaconHouse advertised and did some research on the culture of the business and it was exactly what it said on the tin! The team has been so supportive while I’ve been settling in and the culture is exactly what I was hoping for. It is fascinating to listen to the conversations going on in the office and see how everyone’s range of expertise and experience all fit together and how everyone supports each other, I’ve never felt like I was asking a silly question or didn’t have something valuable to add.

You are very creative both in and out of work – do you think that is important in the events sector? 

Creativity is really important to me. Coming from an architecture background I was used to drawing a lot and having a creative outlet. In lockdown, I started a small arts business called Cards of Kindness where I make North East themed cards and paper gifts that I hope will make people smile. All of my designs are hand drawn and then digitally coloured, and it gives me a chance to switch off and do something just because I enjoy it.

I think space for creativity and innovation is incredibly important in the events sector, it isn’t just the “nice to haves” or the stuff that looks pretty, creativity in the planning process is how to avoid stagnating and creates those moments of surprise or ease that brings an experience together. Recently I saw some of the signage for an upcoming event arriving in the office and the level of creativity and thought that had gone into a relatively small detail was amazing, that attention to detail and creativity is the difference between a delegate having a meaningful, positive experience or not.

What do you think is surprising about the event industry? 

I know other people have mentioned this, but I hadn’t appreciated the length of time or the percentage of research and desk work that goes into making any event happen. It is the skill and hard work of the team that makes it look easy!

I think it is important to remember that it isn’t all about big ideas too, there are lots of things to consider with the creative elements, like the client brief, the budget, the space available, and the delegates, it is much easier to have lots of great creative ideas but it takes a skilled team to achieve them, that takes a lot of strategic thinking and attention to detail.

You play in a steel band outside of the office, tell us about that! 

I’ve played in North Tyneside Steel Band for almost 20 years and it is a huge part of my life. I play steel pan and I came up through the youth band and now I sit on the board of trustees for the charity. I have been lucky enough to travel around the world performing, including a number of trips to Trinidad to play with the Panorama Champions Renegades Steel Orchestra which was the most indescribable & amazing experience.

I started playing in middle school – they had a set of pans and at lunchtime, I’d stand and watch the school band rehearse through the window! I hadn’t ever even seen a steelpan before and I still feel really lucky that my school even had a set of pans. I started playing shortly after that. At first, it was just a weekly session on a Friday evening after school but then my tutor recommended that I join North Tyneside Steelband who were/are the local community band. I’ve been playing ever since and got involved with tutoring in schools as a younger leader from being 13 with ‘Steelbands North.’ It’s the best thing I’ve ever been involved with and it’s influenced so many aspects of my life.

Who would your dream client be? 

That’s a hard question! Like I say, I love music and I would love to create a festival-type experience which celebrates lots of cultures and different types of music here in Newcastle! I do think that there is an opportunity to bring inspiration from these vibrant events to the kind of experiences we create at BeaconHouse and I’m a big advocate for the power of music to create something really special.

To find out more about how BeaconHouse Events can support your business to deliver events with purpose in 2024 and beyond, email

Our twelve local businesses of the year


  1.  For the Love of the North 

Based in Spanish City, For the Love of the North has an incredible selection of cards and gifts celebrating the people and places that make the North East so brilliant. The team has supplied cards and gifts so our delegates can go home with a little piece of the North East post-event and we have a particular fondness for their St Mary’s Lighthouse Christmas tree decoration….

  1.  Suzie Winsor Studio 

Step into Suzie Winsor’s colorful world and you’ll be delighted by brightly designed cards, prints, and the much-coveted worm draft excluder. Susie creates perfect gifts for bookworms, “soil” mates, and anyone that wants to add a little colour to their life. We’ve used Susie’s cute card designs this year as the perfect, environmentally-friendly keepsake.

  1.  Cards of Kindness 

Alice, the creator behind Cards of Kindness, is a talented illustrator inspired by North East life for her paper-based acts of kindness. Cards and prints are available, all featuring scenes from across the North East which are perfect for proud Geordies on any occasion. Oh, did we also mention Alice is a project co-ordinator right here at BeaconHouse Events? #proud.

  1.  Big River Bakery 

We’re obsessed with these ‘Make Your Own’ Stottie kits from Big River Bakery – perfect for left-over sarnies on Boxing Day. The bakery is based in Sheildfield in Newcastle and is aiming to change the world, one loaf at a time. They have a whole range of baking-themed gifts on the website and we’ve loafed (sorry) working with the team on some brilliant corporate prezzie ideas this year.

  1.  Lines Behind 

Lines Behind’s tea towel collection takes the pain out of washing up at this time of year. Our delegates loved these kitchen accessories with Geordie twist – a practical and useful item to remember an event here in the region. Come on pet, ye wash and al dry.

  1.  North Chocolates 

We have a serious sweet tooth in the BeaconHouse office and we can’t get enough of the North Chocolates luxury bars. We love to surprise and delight our delegates with something a bit different, and North’s seasonal and unusual flavors do exactly that. We always partner with businesses who share our commitment to the environment and all of North’s wrappers and foils are made from recyclable material – even sweeter!

  1. Bels Flowers  

Bels Flowers has created unique and eye-catching displays that bring a touch of glamour (and the perfect Instagram photo op) to the venues we work with across the North East. The styling of a space can have a huge impact on how people feel when they are moving around the event, and Bels Flowers pulls out all the stops when it comes to bringing our brief to life.

  1. Belly of the Beast

Just thinking about Belly of the Beast has our tummies rumbling. The team’s motto is ‘Say No to Bad Sandwiches’ – and as an office of foodies that is a vision we can get on board with. We have worked with Belly of the Beast to deliver their selection of delicious, fresh-baked Italian-style subs to client meetings, break-out events, and round-tables. After all, no one solves big problems on an empty stomach.

  1. Fenwick

To mark Carers Week 2023, we worked with Newcastle Carers to bring together 50 carers for a luxury event to say thank you for their vital, often unrecognised service to the North East community. Hosted in Arthur’s in Fenwick, the team kindly gifted each carer with an exclusive, hand-picked goodie bag with gifts from the store, adding to the true VIP experience!

  1. Full Circle Brewery  

You can’t get any more local than Full Circle Brewery – they are our neighbours right here in Hoult’s Yard. We have partnered with the team to make sure that guests stayed refreshed at parties and awards-dos this year. Not only do they craft delicious beers, but Full Circle Brewery infuses sustainability into every facet of its decision-making process. They are aiming to set new industry standards and inspire positive change, leaving a lasting mark on the sustainable future of brewing. Cheers to that!

  1. Souvenirs Upon Tyne 

Souvenirs Upon Tyne is tucked at the bottom of Dog Leap Stairs in Newcastle, just under the railway arches on Dean Street, and is a treasure trove of present ideas from a range of talented creators from the North East and beyond. We just had to include their North East inspired magnets in some of our delegate goodie bags this year and if you pop into the store you’ll be bound to find some quirky gifts and cool designs that you’ll have to take home. Make sure you give shop dog Oscar some scratches from the BeaconHouse team too!

  1. Marlish Water

If you’ve attended one of our events this year, chances are you will have spotted products by Northumberland-based drinks company Marlish Water on-site. We want to make sure that our delegates stay healthy and hydrated for the whole event, and as we stay away from using single-use plastics, Marlish canned water is the perfect partner. We want to make sure that our food and drink options don’t travel too far to reach our events and Marlish water is canned at source in Northumberland, locking in the unique taste of Northumberland.

We’d love to hear from you about bringing your team together in a meaningful and fun

way next year. To speak to our team contact or call 0191 6913456.



Unwrapped: What does the corporate Christmas party look like in 2023?

Over the last few weeks, we’ve loved bringing festive celebrations to life for our clients Opencast, CF Fertilisers, and Groundworks, partnering with their teams to bring on the Christmas cheer, celebrate their hard work in 2023, and say thank you to their talented people. The Christmas party has changed a lot and, in recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in the festive trends as people look to end the year with more unique and diverse experiences beyond the traditional boozy night out. Companies are increasingly focusing on creating more inclusive, mindful, and memorable experiences for their employees during the holiday season. Here are just some of the trends that are shaping the work Christmas “does” this year…


  1. Alcohol-free Fun

Over the last year, there has been a surge in demand for spaces and experiences that aren’t centered on booze, and the corporate Christmas party is no different. Whether it is for health reasons, driving, recovery, or simply because they don’t fancy the hangover, there are lots of reasons why some colleagues might not be drinking. This year we’ve seen more companies shift the focus away from alcohol by offering delicious mocktails that are just as fun as the real thing, having food as the focus of the event, and hosting the event in an unusual venue where alcohol wouldn’t be expected (think art galleries, museums, and even ice rinks!).

  1. Sustainable Secret Santa

The Christmas party is a hotbed of single-use plastics and Secret Santa presents which will probably end up in the office bin come January. With more companies taking their ESG commitments seriously, there has been a rise in investment in sustainable decorations that can be used year after year, carbon-neutral activities, and gifts that don’t cost the Earth. Our favourites recently have been sets of beautifully boxed up, locally sourced sweets that guests could take up and enjoy with their families.

  1. Ditch the dodgy playlists

As much as we love him in the BeaconHouse office, do we need to hear another Michael Buble song? Businesses are upping the entertainment value at Christmas parties with everything from live bands to professional DJs for the night owls and even midnight karaoke booths. At the Opencast party this year we enlisted the help of the Guacamaya Latin Band to get people up on the dance floor while a 360 photo booth captured the best poses of the night, just like on the red carpet.

  1. Unique experiential activities

Christmas only comes around once a year, and more businesses are exploring unique experiential activities that offer employees the opportunity to create lasting memories over the festive season, rather than the same old, same old. This could be anything from cooking classes, craft workshops, escape room challenges, or outdoor adventures that encourage team bonding and creativity!

  1. Ban the beige buffet

We’re on a mission to banish the soggy turkey sandwich and cold quiche and give employees a real treat. Street food is a great option for people can enjoy while they mingle, and there are some fantastic options to choose from in 2023. Think artisan pizza vans, midnight fish and chips, or waffle stalls, we’re spoilt for choice here in the North East.

  1. Reflection

This year has been tough for businesses, and their people. With the cost of living crisis, supply chain issues, and rise in energy prices, there have been some real challenges to navigate over the last twelve months. Rather than the office awards that would make David Brent blush, this year businesses have been opting to reflect on the year past and say meaningful thank you’s to their teams for their hard work and perseverance. This could be through a video round-up of the year’s highlights to remind everyone of what they have achieved or a surprise for the team to say a real heartfelt thank you.

  1. Giving back

Businesses are at the heart of local communities, and the Christmas party has become an opportunity to focus on corporate social responsibility during the holiday season. Alongside traditional get-togethers, organisations are opting to organise volunteer activities or engage in charitable giving as a way to celebrate the festive season. This might involve initiatives such as organising a company-wide volunteering day at a local charity, conducting a donation drive, or supporting a community cause, creating a sense of purpose, and giving people that warm fuzzy feeling that we want at this time of year.

  1. Inclusive and diverse experiences

Our workplaces are becoming more diverse, and we have to take into consideration the wide range of people who want to have a good time with their colleagues at Christmas, without feeling like the odd one out. This could mean starting the celebrations in the afternoon so working parents can still join in before bedtime, recognising other multicultural holidays as well as Christmas and incorporating traditions from other cultures, or letting people customise their experience around their preferences instead of making the whole event mandatory from start to finish.

In short, we’re seeing that alongside the opportunity to let their hair down and celebrate a busy year, clients are opting for festive celebrations that reflect a broader shift towards more inclusive, mindful, and diverse experiences that prioritise employee well-being, social responsibility, and individual preferences. By embracing these trends, we can create meaningful and engaging events that resonate with everyone in the business and contribute to a positive and inclusive workplace culture across the whole year.

We’d love to hear from you about bringing your team together in a meaningful and fun way next year. To speak to our team contact or call 0191 6913456.