2017 is finally here and, while many of us are just breathing a sigh of relief that 2016 is over, the event world can anticipate some exciting changes in the new year. Trends in events are always informed by trends in pop culture. 2017 will be no different, but thanks to the digital world we live in, we can expect changes to come faster and be more dramatic than ever. Here are a few event forecast predictions for events in the new year.
1. The Star Wars Syndrome - Practical High Tech Event Features
One of the most iconic images from the Star Wars films is the hologram R2D2 projects of Princess Leia saying "Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi! You're my only hope!" Hologram technology may not have come far enough for every day use, but it is popping up in some of the most unexpected - and sorely needed places.
You may have seen a video of this or other hologram airport attendants who greets customers before they pass through security giving helpful tips on how to move through as quickly as possible.
This technology has existed for a while in the event world. Companies like Musion are bringing hologram technology to events all over the world. Here's a video of some of their work.
Essentially, these are videos projected onto nearly invisible acrylic surfaces. This kind of technology opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to speakers and celebrity appearances, who don't even have to be in town to attend your event and give your keynote address. On the less practical side of things, the design implications boggle the mind. Imagine a holowall with a live forest, underwater, or city scene.
2. Entertainment Tapas
I once read that the average adult attention span is 8 seconds, which is the exact attention span of a gold fish. People get bored pretty easily and we never, NEVER unplug. It doesn't matter how dynamic your entertainment is, if your guests are seated for more than 20 minutes in row, they will be taking out their phones to check their email. The solution? Ditch the single stage acts and have floor (or low stage) performances happening in different areas of the event. Draw guests through the event space using strategic entertainment pockets or herd them toward or away from certain areas using entertainment as a draw. Keeping them on their feet and moving around will keep guests engaged and awake.
3. Bye Bye Banquet Tables
Following in the vein of keeping frenetic attention spans occupied, bid goodbye to the banquet seating plan. Even weddings are moving away from the seated presentations. High boy tables make great way stations. Instead of plated dinners, choose hand-passed hors d'oeuvres to allow guests to be more social.
4. Go Viral at Your Event
It seems like there is another viral trend every week, but look for opportunities to capitalize on social media crazes. Getting your guests involved in helping your event trend on Twitter will get them emotionally invested in your event's success and keep them talking and sharing event photos long after the event is over. One example of such an activity is the 2016 Mannequin Challenge...
While events of the past several years have been aimed at getting attendees to unplug long enough to actually attend the event, this year will encourage guest to pull out their devices to engage with their surroundings on a deeper level.