With the year coming to an end, we’ve started to think about what we may see within the industry in 2019. Here’s a list of our top five trend predictions!
Group Tech Experiences: Experiences such as watching movies and playing video games usually occur with someone sitting right next to you. However, these past few years, people across the globe from one another can share these experiences together, just as if they were in the same room. In 2019, we will start to see this concept played out so people can be a part of the same event happening live in another city or even country. It started with live streaming and online conversations, but it can be taken a step further with 360-degree video, live commentary from industry influencers and exclusive online programming featuring live interviews, tech-spotlight demos and virtual happy hours.
Chatbots: According to a report by Edison Research, 43 million Americans own a smart speaker. Smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home are used to listen to music and podcasts, set reminders, ask questions and more. With the increasing popularity, why not bring them out of the home and into events? These systems can be designed to answer attendee questions. It’s faster and the staff won’t get stopped multiple times with questions like “where is the restroom?” or “what room is this session in?” They can be connected to speakers so reminders can be announced throughout the venue for sessions, keynotes and breaks, as well as used for exit surveys to gain more meaningful information from your attendees!
Un-Themes: Themes have always been a way to be creative and draw in attendees and this year won’t change that! However, event teams will continue to think even more outside the box with “un-themes.” Un-themes focus an event on an emotion or feeling rather than a tangible concept. Concepts like dreams and empowerment can be brought to life through visual effects, color schemes and overall event design. For example, a dream theme could feature the different stages of dreaming and each room could have a unique atmosphere for attendees to experience. An empowerment theme could include rooms with images and videos of empowering figures and ways for attendees to express how they feel empowered every day through video, social media or some kind of interactive activation.
Mindfulness: These past few years, health and wellness have been a topic of discussion for organizations and events. We will start to see mental health become more prominent at events, just as it has in attendees’ lives. Mindfulness can be incorporated into event design, room layout, food and much more. Try ambient lighting to provide a calmer vibe at your event. If you’re playing music during sessions, breakouts or dinner, try music without lyrics to avoid distraction. Lastly, incorporate mental health seminars and discussions into the agenda.
JOMO: This is the year of JOMO over FOMO! JOMO, or the Joy of Missing Out, goes hand and hand with mindfulness and is something we will start to see at events to keep attendees energized and interested. Attendees may start to feel fatigue on day two and be dreading day three, this can be easily remedied by providing quieter seated areas and comfortable lounges with no WIFI where attendees can disconnect and unwind. Provide activities where attendees can work in small groups that are focused on sharing and exchanging ideas. If the space you provide does have WIFI, attendees are able to catch up on emails and with work that they may have missed while at your event!
We believe that 2019 will focus more on event tech and attendee experience and we can’t wait to see what other trends this year will bring!