2019 will be a big year for events: customers are on the hunt for more authentic and inspiring experiences, and event agencies and production companies are willing to deliver. What are the event organizing trends 2019?
1. Business goes artsy: Festivalisation of business events
‘I would say that there are three big event organizing trends for 2019,’ says Mika Roiha, Account Director for ROOF Productions, a Finland-based brand experience company. ‘Festivalisation, location and empathy.’
‘Festivalisation is already a big trend for business events in the US, where events such as DreamForce, or South by Southwest gathered thousands of people in 2018 by combining business with culture, music, great speakers and good causes. Business events become interactive and exciting. They are something to look forward to, which will provide experiences that will last for life. The events are also an opportunity for attendees to bond and connect making true human relationships,’ says Mr Roiha.
In countries such as Singapore, one of the event trailblazer capitals in the world, festivalisation is big: take the words of Martin Donovan, editor of Mix, Asia’s Creative Meeting Magazine for it: ‘Transforming business events into festivals is one of the innovative steps shaping Singapore.’ He is echoed by Mr Aloysius Arlando, CEO if SingEx Holdings, who noted: ‘All experiences are morphing together. Conferences add concerts; meetings add new styles of collaboration, trade shows add consumer elements.’’
2. Location, location, location. Why does it matter now more than ever?
Event planners need to remember that the creating the right environment is crucial to make memorable events. Event venue shapes the character andambience of the event and helps the event leaving long lasting memories in the minds of the attendees. Location becomes a fundamental for people to decide whether to attend the event or not. ‘Locations need to be exclusive, surprising, unusual, engaging, even unthinkable. They could be beyond what people are used to or are expecting,’ remarks Mr Roiha. ‘Take the launch of the new Opel Astra: an incredible marketing operation, a stunning location in the middle of the desert, unexpected and special, which is in line with the new direction that the company is seeking.’
3. Humanisation of events, creating events with more heartfelt activities with good cause. Because your attendees care
Creating festival-like environments, with notable speakers and artists in out-of-this-world locations, is complemented by a third trend; ‘Designing the events with Empathy at its heart, the third keyword for 2019,’ Mr Roiha points out. Companies need to bring their message across through ‘humanisation of events’ providing an opportunity to create authentic human connections, design the programs with real causes and touching common values.’
Emotionally intelligent events focusing on the ‘soft side’ get growing attention, as attendees want to be part of something meaningful. Event organisers need to keep that in mind when designing events in 2019 with and for their clients.
Companies are doing well by doing good – Dreamforce 2018, opening keynote
Events need to awaken empathy. A fun and straight-forward human-friendly example comes from Austin, Texas where a tech conference partnered with local shelter ‘Austin Pets Alive!’ and brought in dogs and puppies that were up for adoption. The group attending was a mix of locals and non-locals and they all bond over this memorable experience.