Like all areas of marketing, a lot can happen in a year. In this blog, we’re looking ahead to 2019, and some of the top trends for events that we think are in store. Some are experimental, some you might already be trying out, but whatever your event – whether it’s for business or pleasure – we’re sure there will be something new for you to try out.
- Refreshing content
Social media has had a massive impact on the way we process information – the quicker the better – and events are set to follow suit. Interaction and innovation including group discussions and learning activities, rather than lengthy speeches, are a better way to improve audience retention. We recommend short impactful value video which the algorithms love.
- Engage influencers
Brands have already bagged the influencer marketing game, but events are slightly behind. Look for people who are interacting with your audience, no matter how well known, as they’ll have more sway when it comes to helping with your ticket sales and attendance.
- Events with purpose
We’ve all walked out of an event wondering what was the point. Sometimes you might feel inspired for an hour or so, but ultimately, it hasn’t changed your outlook. Make your event a real experience for guests, and they might still find themselves talking about it days later.
- Disrupt the hive mind
In 2019, try to encourage discussion and debate. Not only does this open up a topic for diverse and potentially more interesting interpretations, it might spark new conversations beyond your event. Start a conversation and listen to critiques. You never know, you might make your next event even better.
- More public, less private
Sometimes there is a need for events to be private, but if more events were open to the public, they might in turn see more engagement, an increase in audience diversity, and a better understanding of how brand messaging can educate and bring value to more people.
- Say what you mean
It seems obvious… but if you aren’t innovating, don’t say you are. If you aren’t thought leaders, don’t say you are. Be honest about what your event is and what you can deliver, and your guests will leave feeling satisfied that they got what you promised them.
- Stay sustainable
It’s been a massive topic in 2018, but now anyone who has uttered the word is expected to practise what they preach. For events, that can mean anything from sustainable spaces, or working with local companies, to reducing plastic waste, and keeping catering orders down to avoid food waste.
- Exciting spaces
Speaking of sustainable spaces, why not try somewhere exciting for your next event? Sure, your office has a boardroom, but with the rise of networking and coworking, cities are no longer falling short on interesting event spaces. Branch out a little in 2019.
- Cater to your audience
Don’t underestimate the importance of good catering at your event. If it’s a breakfast meeting, have a varied spread and don’t scrimp on the caffeine. If your event is running from 6-8pm, be aware that most people eat dinner at that time, and stock up to keep your guests happy rather than hungry. You don’t want your poor selection of canapés to be what people remember of you.
- Set a theme
Don’t force it… but if you can, go all out with your theme. This is the social media age, and the more people who are sharing photos and starting conversations from your event, the better. So if that means ordering everything pink and filling the place with Instagram walls, then do it! Your guests’ followers will wish they were there too. (And don’t forget the hashtag.)
- Set the scene
Themes aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set a certain ambiance. Find the right mood lighting, consider whether you need music, decorate with branded colours, and most importantly, plan your layout. If your bar is at the back of the room and your podium at the front, how likely is it that people will come forward and listen? You can create your own captive audiences with some simple feng shui.
- Secure a sponsor
Event sponsorship is commonplace, but why not think a little more carefully? Sure, you need someone that can help you cover the costs of running an event, but do they align with your values? Are they useful to your audience? Will you be able to facilitate opportunities together in the future?
- Get digital
The options are endless: share experiences in VR; use AR to give your guests a deeper dive into the features of your event; host live video streaming to reach wider audiences; try interactive workshops to increase the value and learning your guests experience…
- Size isn’t everything
Events aren’t always about how many people you can get through the door. Sometimes smaller, more personal events, like workshops and intimate speaker sessions, can bring more value to you audience, and in turn make them feel more values themselves.
- Try drip feed marketing
Audiences are pretty wise to advertising now, so if you start spamming them with newsletters or popping up in their promoted posts on social media, you might be ignored. Stop the sales patter, and get down to business with the key benefits of attending your event. Building relationships and focusing on your key selling points will pay off in the long run.
- Pop up appeal?
Not all events are flashy affairs with exclusive guest lists and twelve month marketing campaigns. The trend for pop ups (shops, cafes, nightclubs) doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so why not try it for your event? Hook in to existing events with a temporary stand, make it instagrammable, and maybe even use it to promote your upcoming calendar.
- An immersive experience
If people have travelled to attend your event, don’t leave them hanging when the doors are closed. Most cities have a lot to show off to tourists, so why not create an experience for your guests – a guidebook, an overnight package, or even a tour?
- Buddy up
You don’t have to go it alone. Try partnering with likeminded organisations on your next event. Don’t be competitive, and focus on learning from your event partner. At the very least, you’ll be widening your target audience.
- You’ll need an app for that
An app for your event can help you keep track of your attendees, share insight into your brand, open up augmented reality opportunities, and keep the conversation going once it’s over.
Phew! Hopefully there are some tips that will keep you ahead of the curve when planning your 2019 events. Not sure how to do it alone? The OggaDoon Events 90 package will help make your event a sell out.