Get Ahead of the Game

event planning trends Conceptual hand writing showing What Lies Ahead question.

Get Ahead of the Game

Event Planning Trends for 2019

In the event planning industry, with its constantly shifting expectations, thinking ahead is an integral part of your success. A seasoned event planner knows that looking forward is the best defense to prepare in order to catch and embrace the waves of event planning trends coming at you. Of course, planning events requires creativity and organization, but the ability to look into the future with an eye on building from past events is where planners give their clients real value.

The event professionals at Omnience™ know from experience that using the data and information available to them to create bigger and better events is a hallmark of smart, efficient event and meeting marketing, design, and execution. This means staying on top of trends and using them with precision. Here are some of the top trends you should be injecting in your events, and some tips for staying relevant in this industry built on change.

Seamless Tech Integration

Woman using machine for check in the airport

Obviously incorporating technology into events isn’t anything new, but how guests expect to interact with it is. Instead of occupying their attention, they expect AI to enhance their experience by solving their problems. For any obstacle you have, from long lines at check-in stations to lags in speaker translation, there is an answer in the right kind of technology—and guests know this. They expect their needs to be met with the help of some high-tech strategic event planning that smoothly connect them to your content.

Facial recognition software can make check-in a breeze, alleviating waiting around in lines and increasing time with your sponsors. Give international guests the gift of easy translation with in-time audio straight from their phones, allowing them to focus on your event speaker’s message as it unfolds. Chatbots are increasingly showing up as an event planner’s best friend, since they can be programmed for everything from following up on leads to customer service responses. We predict chatbots will become even more integrated into event experiences, answering attendees’ questions at any point of their event experience. Embracing these solutions connects your attendees with your event more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

Location, Location, Location

Outdoors next to the barn Napa California

We have seen a rise in creative and offbeat event venues, and we predict this is one of the event planning trends that will continue to grow. With a focus on creating memorable, interactive experiences, meetings and events that choose venues beyond the standard will drive attendee engagement. In the upcoming year, unconventional meeting and event venues will pique interest, build buzz, and create unforgettable memories, which will translate into a huge return on investment if executed correctly. From pop-ups in parking lots to luncheons in artist lofts, taking on the task of transforming an unexpected space will add loads of value to your event.

Offline and Online Experiences Converge

Now that social media is a staple of meetings and events, the real work comes in creating powerful experiences that work in tandem with a great social media campaign. Direct your creative energy toward building truly memorable moments that organically lend themselves to snapping photos and sharing the experience. It isn’t enough anymore to simply offer a step and repeat banner; develop meaningful, surprising, beautiful, or even shocking experiences that your guests just can’t keep to themselves, and they won’t!

You can’t simply leave these opportunities to chance, however, but rather employ some strategic event planning and marketing. Identify these shareable moments and create some buzz. Push hashtags ahead of time that builds the suspense, and contact industry-specific influencers to help your campaign. These influencers, and even micro-influencers, can help you tap into what your attendees will share, which means they are the ultimate resources for event planning trends.

Explicit Focus on Unique Voices and Messages

Businessman with virtual reality goggles

It is no longer enough to plan an event around a sales pitch or a stale message. More than ever, attendees need to experience meaningful stories and take away valuable content. Whether you are providing fresh educational resources or thought-leading subject matter, your event should offer substantial value.

Corporate event attendees protect their assets, so getting them to dedicate themselves to your meeting or event means providing something worth their time, money, and attention. Leaning on event optimization tools to discover what your attendee demographic will respond to is a crucial factor in planning ahead for success.

Tips for Planning Ahead

It isn’t helpful to harness trends for the next year if you aren’t working to optimize your upcoming events. The best way to stay ahead of the game is to use what you have to inform your decisions for next year. This means looking at your key performance indicators (KPIs) for guidance. Previously this meant detailed data crunching across multiple platforms, but with event optimization tools like Ontrac™ you can see every point from all of your event management platforms on one screen. Use actionable data points to plan your upcoming year, and learn from your hits and misses.

Contact Omnience™ for an in-depth look at how Ontrac™ and our event professionals can help you with event optimization and strategic event planning for the upcoming year.