We’re seeing some definitive trends when it comes to corporate and private events alike. Unlike fads, these trends are proving to reflect a prevalent desire in both event attendees and organizers. If you’re planning to hold an event, no matter how big or small, take a look at some of the most important current event trends you shouldn’t be ignoring.
It’s kind of like an event-ception – ensure that during your event, there are activities, attractions or entertainment that is a “you had to be there” experience. By creating the feeling of exclusivity, not only does it create the likelihood of repeat attendance for future events by creating anticipation for the next event, it also piques interest in other people who don’t want to miss out. Think an interactive installation like a shadow-wall puppet, a special meet-and-greet with a famous celebrity impersonator, etc.
This shadow-wall puppet was implemented during 2015 Easter break. Definitely makes for a "had to be there" experience!
You can play with the exclusivity in different ways – by discouraging attendees from taking photos or sharing it, you create the mystery of an experience only shared by anecdotes and stories. Or, you can take the opposite approach, and allow your guests to share as much as they want – use them as a free way to promote your events, then change it up the next year to keep things fresh.
Speaking of keeping things fresh, there is also a marked rise in event catering that focuses on health and freshness, as well as being thoughtful and welcoming of different cultures and lifestyles.
When thinking of catering for your event, focus on a variety of diet options, and include as many healthy choices as possible. If you’re holding a party for close friends and family, then perhaps you already know what kind of food they can eat, and would prefer to eat. In these instances, it's about providing delicious food that keeps them happy - but you should still consider providing healthier options, especially if your guest list might include health-conscious parents with small children.
However, if you’re holding a large scale corporate conference, gala night, or otherwise mixing a whole group of people, you’ll need to be able to cater to various tastes and preferences. You may be tempted to draw in crowds with fashionable food trends, like food-trucks, but also give attendees alternative options.
Non-alcoholic drinks don't have to be water, or soft drinks. Refreshing fruit-based beverages can be a huge hit.
So ensure that you have a good delicious variety of food that are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian/vegan, kosher, Halal, etc, as well as other basic choices. Not only would doing so present your event as well-planned, multi-cultural, and thoughtful, you can avoid on-the-night issues of not having suitable catering for your guests.
More recently, there has been an increased demand for healthier, fresher alternative options. For example, if you’re offering non-alcoholic drink options, it’s important to think of more options than water, or sugary soft drinks.
While we’re on the topic of health, it’s important to note more and more events have been pulling focus on mental wellbeing and detoxing. If you’re holding a conference or an information-heavy event, it’s important to give your attendees opportunities and spaces to relax and engage their minds in an alternative environment. Great examples of this include a quieter, mellow corner with a fortune teller and/or tarot card reader, and let guests wander over when they want to take a break from the main event. How about a corner for guests to receive a quick and relaxing massage? The idea is to give the brain a break for a little while.
A fun and charismatic fortune teller can be a great chill-out zone at any kind of event.
The key to this trend is to take away the digital leash. There’s nothing wrong with having mobile phones at events, and often the ubiquity of technology at events is what makes them so immersive nowadays. But give your guests a chance to detox from it – the best way is to give them entertainment that fully captures their attention to the point where they’ll put down their phones and just be entertained.
For example, an iPad magician where the focus of the event is actually in the performer's skill and sleight of hand, and attendees may be fixated on a screen, but they're experiencing it as a group and engaging with it outside of their own headspace. Despite there being a screen present, this entertainment is actually a mental and digital detox aided by technology.
Time to do a complete 180…the importance of event technology. For example, there has been a noted increase of event geo-filters for Snapchat in 2016, for all sort of events ranging from professional conferences to festivals and so on. The geo-filter taps into the exclusive event feel, and encourages interaction from attendees. Other similar services include Instagram stories and Facebook Live, so make sure you have an easy to remember event hashtag and encourage attendees to use it. When including tech at your event: keep their focus on your event and entertainment, let them use technology temporarily to engage with your event more.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as you can leverage tech to enhance your event, social media engagement can be a positive influence
Don’t force a technological trend where another option might be better – a spot of roving entertainment or a photo booth, for example - event technology should be aiding and complementing your event, not taking it over.
This one isn’t so much a recent trend, but an important ongoing consideration you must always take on while planning your event.
The best sorts of event experience starts from the attendees receiving an invitation – whether it’s in the form of a traditional invite, or a webpage/Facebook event. Use your invitation to promise and set expectations for the event in order to draw more RSVPs. A great way to do this is with a video invite that emulates the sort of style and atmosphere of the event you are inviting them to, as well as provide a teaser for more to come.
This is an example of a video invitation that we created in preparation for a special event with Norton Anti Virus. This sets the tone for the rest of the event. Learn more about the event here.
Other aspects of an event that can be overlooked is the pre-event welcoming and the periods of time between key attractions like speeches, food service, etc. Roving performers fill up these gaps with eye-catching acts and skills that guests can be engaged with for as long or quickly as they want. Roving performances rarely require a stage set aside for them, and can cover most of your venue many times over during one night.
If you haven’t been addressing these trends in event management and organizing, you definitely should start. These trends aren’t just fancy fads that go away after a while – they speak to the growing need to nurture events into experiences. Start revisiting your event plan and try to pinpoint options where you can change things up to provide a more immersive experience for your attendees.
Are you looking for more creative ideas and solutions for your event entertainment needs? Start exploring the website to get inspiration, or call 1300 261 545 and enquire about your next event! It’s time to build your event experience.