While it’s true that some event planning trends have withstood the test of time, what’s popular today is not always going to be desired tomorrow. 2015 saw the rise in some interesting trends, such as Farm to Table Décor on the front end, and Big Data for behind-the-scenes planning and strategies.
But as with most other people-centered industries, event planning industry trends do more than just go with the ebb and flow of what business leaders and attendees are looking for.
Most event planning experts also try to look at trends with an eye to the future. This can sometimes be a risky venture, but it’s always in an effort to predict what will be taking the industry by storm. After all, being ahead of event industry trends is far better than trying to play catch-up during the last gasps of fading interests.
In saying so, we’ve turned to some of the industry’s most well-respected experts in order to gain their insight on upcoming event industry trends to anticipate for the remainder of 2016:
Q: What are some trends in event planning that you have heard a lot of buzz about, or have seen become popular?
I see a trend of “less is more.” Over the years many events especially those that have been held in more industrial venues have been over dressed.
For example, we hold an exhibition in a building called the Truman Brewery, a very old converted building with bare walls and a concrete floor. With the event being an exhibition, the tendency would have been to carpet the whole floor and to include dressing and shell schemes—none of these added value to the visitors or exhibitors so we decided not to include these and embrace the buildings character instead. I have seen this at many events that I have attended over the past 6 months.
Q: How do you think event planning will evolve in 2016?
I believe that the tight economy is pushing event planners to evolve. We’re going to see planners consolidate and move into deeper niches to keep their marketing tight and reach a targeted audience. Planners will continue to pursue education and technology to stay relevant and to grow their businesses over the course of 2016.
As people are looking more and more to calculate their event ROI, they’re focused more than ever on collecting, analyzing and sharing data. The trouble is that it’s not an easy task and planners are looking for some great tools to help them do this. I think we’re also going to see a lot more talk about mobile payments for events – registrations, fundraisers, etc.
Q: Are the trends that were predicted in the start of the year still relevant?
Dahlia El Gazzar
There are several trends that were predicted that are very relevant, and gaining more recognition and ground within our events. For example, people are looking up from their mobile apps and seeing more of the event buzz up on screens and projections – a strong trend that affects meeting design in a big way.
But then there are those that were not on our direct radar so to speak. Artificial Intelligence will be all around us, a trend that was not on the prediction list. Call it invisible technology, AI is not for the movies anymore. AI and machine learning is going to be huge especially for our forward thinking event tech partners. The experience will get more personal.
Q: Are there any significant trends you’re seeing now in 2016 that weren’t previously foreseen?
Q: What are some past trends that are dying that you didn’t like?
Mobile event apps with two-step verification are so passé. The average person has an attention span of 3 seconds. Planners shouldn’t make participants download an app on-site, remember their confirmation number, go to an email to obtain the number (even if it is on their badge), verify it and then, finally, get in the app. Whew! That is time wasted and causes angst among participants. By the time they get in the app, build their agenda and figure out how to get their CEUs, they have no bandwidth to network with other participants.
Written by: Daniel Johnson