5 Event Trends in 2018
Anyone in the event world knows that events, like everything else, are a sign of the times. Current values on Unique Venues, Going Local, Creating Memories, Going Green, and Technology are here and are taking the event world by storm. Halfway through 2018, we are seeing these 5 trends emerge and everyone should take note of them when planning their next event.
Trend #1: Unique venues
Forever gone are the days when events were confined to four walls. The demand for non-traditional spaces has grown and a hotel or traditional conference center is no longer enough.
Ideally, venues should make an impression immediately, even before one sets foot on the location. We hear all the time that people are attending an event because they haven’t been to a specific venue or seen a certain space.
To get guests excited about attending your event, choose an unusual setting that also reflects the personality, values, and purpose of the event. These are those venues that integrate an experiential aspect to events. These include unique places like castles, museums, and boathouses.
For a list of utterly cool and unique venues, check out our Top 10 Event Spaces for Rent in Austin blog.
Trend #2: Going Local
- Making sure the location is part fo the event’s attraction. Consider guided tours, dinners, receptions, and more to showcase the best of the event’s locale.
- Supplying gifts and souvenirs which are characteristic of the location and made locally where possible.
- Allowing event goers the opportunity to document their experiences as a memory and send some “wish you were here” messages to those who could not attend.
- And, then there is the food. Where possible it should be sourced locally, prepared by a local chef, and be authentic to the event location.
Trend #3: Creating Memories
Providing an amazing experience that is memorable may seem like an obvious goal for any event, but it can never be overstated. Attendees need to come away having had a brilliant time and in no doubt as to why they were there.
In order to help attendees create more memories, consider customizing your event for each guest. Digital photo walls with real time photo displays, Tweet walls, LED displays, crowd-responsive lighting, etc. Or, varied activities and amenities that will appeal to guests differently. These things can help ensure each guest has his or her own unique take-aways from the event.
Another sure fire way to create a lasting memory is to give each guest a gift from the event. A photo booth picture, a prize won during an event game, or a bottle of local brew. There are really no rules, just something to ensure guests remember and hopefully cherish.
Trend #4: Going Green
With all the negative effects of our unsustainable practices are now coming back to haunt us, sustainability on the upward trend.
One of the most common ways to foster sustainable events is to go paperless. Use digital replacements like apps and emails instead of sending out paper invitations or handing out paper materials such as brochures, schedules, and more. If you just can’t avoid using paper, think about using recyclable, recycled or reusable materials instead.
Social responsibility doesn’t stop with simply becoming eco-friendly. You can also include the following activities when thinking about creating a sustainable event:
- Support local businesses by using them as suppliers for your events. This generates job and income for locals and can help with the mission to “Go Local”, too.
- Integrate charitable activities into the event, and give back to the local community this way.
And, just to bring the whole “going green” point home, consider green foliage as a backdrop for your event. The trend to decorate with foliage has been around for a few years now and has never disappointed. So look out for stunning garlands, walls and even hoops. We have a feeling it is going to be big and sticking around for a while.
Trend #5: Technology
Technology can be used to both ease and enhance the event experience. Used well, technology can help accomplish all of the aforementioned trends: enhance engagement by creating unique experiences, bringing in local experiences and flavors, creating memories, and making the event more sustainable.
It can also help connect people, create common ground, and shape the course of an event. Imagine an event where people from all over the world come together. Handing out name badges and wine really isn’t going to get the party started, but, you can use technology to encourage interaction. Apps, gamification, RFID, and virtual reality activities are all ways to do this.
Other technology trends that have been around but that are becoming increasingly prevalent are:
- Virtual speakers at a corporate event, or virtual toasters at a wedding. While we already do this to some extent with screens, a 3D visualization adds a certain depth to the speaker’s virtual presence.
- Live footage of the event allowing those who could not attend to feel like they are part of the party or event.
- Host digital hangouts that add a new dimension to networking and interaction. These hangouts can be accessed at any time during the event to engage other participants, speakers, and virtual audiences right from your device.
So there you have it, these are the 2018 event trends which are pushing the industry forward and changing the way we think about event planning. If you are planning an event, be an innovator of the industry by taking a close look at each of the above trends and see which ones you can implement to make your next event as memorable and impactful as possible.