If it feels like events are happening more frequently and require more complicated logistics than ever before – you would be right! Event experts agree the demand for face-to-face events and meetings is continuing to grow. In fact, in an event marketing survey, 52% of survey respondents said that event marketing drove more business value than any other marketing channel. As technology has improved, companies are now able to see insights into their event ROI and events are once again taking the forefront as lead and relationship generators across the globe. According to CWT’s 2019 Events and Meetings Future Trends Report, demand for events will grow by 5 to 10 percent in 2019 alone.
What does that mean for you, dear event planner? It means there will be more requests for venue space than is available, and more attention to event engagements and enhancement details in order to beat the competition. The motto for 2019 is: Get Help, Plan Strategically and Plan Early! So, without further ado, let’s look at ten event trends that will make your brand magical and memorable in 2019.
10: SWAG Activations
Coming in at number 10 on our list is everyone’s favorite: SWAG (Souvenirs, Wearables, And Gifts or Stuff We All Get). No matter what you call it, everybody loves taking something home. SWAG activations are king in 2019. A SWAG activation is a unique interactive experience that also provides your attendee with a take-home gift. Whether it is wine glass etching, a custom cowboy boot sizing station, or designing your own perfume – make sure the way your SWAG is handed out is as memorable as the SWAG itself.
9: Kicking It Old School
Maybe it’s because we’re close to the roaring 2020’s or maybe it is society seeking to reminisce in by-gone era’s, but vintage themed events are what is happening in 2019. Whether you immerse your employees in an event staged to represent the era of your brands humble beginnings or it is just an all-out 70’s lovefest with hip polaroid camera photographers and girls on roller skates, don’t miss your chance to take your event down memory lane.
8: Giving Back
Giving back never goes out of style, and in 2019 the trend will grow by leaps and bounds for private and social events. Events as small as 10 to as large as 10,000 are planning charity initiatives as part of their town halls, concerts, annual client conferences, holiday parties and sales meetings. Event planners and CEO’s have said it is important to their company to not only celebrate their employees and clients but to instill the value of community in their meetings and events. By infusing CSR initiatives into their events, a company and its customers can help to address the real social and economic needs of the communities in which the event is hosted. It’s a win-win for everyone!
7: Bleisure Travel is On the Rise
A recent study conducted by Expedia Media Solutions and Luth Research revealed that 43 percent of business trips in the U.S. are bleisure trips, with 70 percent of business travelers adding extra days to their trips at least once every two-to-three months.
While this sounds amazing for hoteliers – what does it mean for you, dear planner? Well, 43% of those bleisure travel survey responders said they were traveling for a convention or corporate event. So, meeting planners, use this new data to your advantage in 2019, and ensure that your event has high attendance with prospects and customers by adding on a “sight-seeing” pre-event, a family/spouse track, or even after event tour options for your event attendees to enjoy. Marketing your event for both the business and leisure minded will ensure high attendance in the coming year.
6: Pop-Up Marketing Events
Imagine your prospects walking down the street and stumbling into experiencing your brand with all their senses. In its simplest form, pop-up events are temporary brand environments in unusual and unexpected spaces. The events often need skilled event planners to help navigate city license requirements and logistics to ensure everything moves seamlessly once in motion. Though these events may cost a little more, a pop-up event is not just a great face-to-face customer generator, they also tend to captivate social media so the return on investment for your brand can sky rocket. Savvy event planners are seeking out event consultants who can help them build these events into their 2019 strategic event plans.
5: Off the Beaten Path
The unconventional venue is becoming an important part of selecting an event location. Corporate event planners are looking to rev up the engagement in their events by taking their guests to unique and awe-inspiring locations around town. Imagine your event in a venue like a natural cavern, a historic school house, a turn of the century ranch, or an airplane hangar. These are all backdrops, many with blank canvases, that can help you craft memorable themes, food, entertainment and brand experiences that will keep your guests talking for the year to come.
4: Safe and Secure
2019 will bring emphasis on safety and security planning for events. Ensuring that there are contingency plans as well as emergency plans will be on the top of event planners to do lists. New developments in technology, like facial recognition, and badge location are transforming the safety of our event landscape. Ensure that your event consultants can provide your event with coordinated emergency plans and evacuation information.
3: Make it a Mini-Adventure
With customization and personalization of events on the rise, we are seeing trends in events planned with multiple mini-events inside them. These designs ensure attendees take a “journey” through the event, getting to experience for example – a jungle in one room, a French café in another, and an electronic disco in the next room. Each stop on the guest’s journey lets them enjoy new flavors of foods, new experiences and varied textures and sounds, but allows the guests to get to build their own experience spending time in the area that feels the most comfortable for them. These mini-adventures are memory worthy and make for a great night!
2: Augmented Reality
In augmented reality, event attendees engage with computer generated overlays in real world environments – and augmented reality (think Pokemon Go!) and virtual reality are reaching the top of event trend lists for 2019. How can an event planner use augmented reality for an event? What if you could give attendees glasses with facial recognition that display name badge information as two-people are talking, or if you could provided heads-up turn-by-turn directions based off the attendee’s itinerary. What about a sponsorship scavenger hunt finding hidden icons inside your event or a hologram keynote given by Einstein? With augmented reality the possibilities seem to become endless!
1: The Secret Event
As everyone from our President to our families share more and more on social media, we’ve embarked on a society where there are almost no secrets anymore! So, topping our list for 2019 is the rise of the secret event! Marketing groups and event planners are harnessing the power of the secret event to help create buzz and loyalty for their marketing events this year – from the creation of a secret party inside a trade show booth, to an event at an underground bar, or a recreation of the famous Diner en Blanc, the secret event provides mystery, exclusivity, and just the right amount of dazzle to keep your guests talking about you and your brand long after the event is over.
Innovatx Events is a global full-service event planning and design firm, that can help your marketing, sales incentive and internal events sizzle in 2019. We have team members who specialize in pop-up event creation, incentive trip planning, multi-day conference design, and trade show event planning. If you are looking for consultation or support in implementing any of these event trends into your 2019 strategy – give us a call!