A trend, big or small, has an effect that changes the way we see or do something. Here are five that are on my watch list for 2014. What are some of yours? Leave a comment below.
1. Using events and festivals to tell a larger story.
One big trend in events is finding new ways to engage with the audience be it social media or education, or both. There are many of examples of this, but here are two recent ones that I’ve seen. The first is the Long Beach Arena’s roll out of its new Pacific Ballroom and second is the Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas.
To showcase the results of a $10-million renovation, the Long Beach Arena created a day of events. It began with a social media campaign months before that rewarded the top influencers with a trip to the arena’s rollout event. That day, an educational program generated more outgoing messages about the space and that evening, the postings were hot and heavy during the actual event in which a larger crowd was invited to see the new space and the innovations it had installed to be able to customize the arena into a more intimate space. [Note: Watch Event-solutions.com for more on this event].
And at the Life is Beautiful Festival in downtown Las Vegas this past October, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh brought new attention to an underdeveloped part of Las Vegas with an event that was the centerpiece of his Downtown Project. The festival was an urban Coachella that went beyond just the five music stages to also incorporate street art, learning programs, notable speakers and sponsor integrations that engaged the audience.
2. Expanding the conversation with blogs (such as the Design Dawgs blog), social media, in realtime at events and online.
A big trend will be something we don’t really see, but something we share. This week Upworthy.com announced it reached 87 million visitors. They did it by creating interesting content that their readers want to share. We can take a lesson from this. Keep this in mind as you craft your blogs and posts – are they shareable? Are they of interest to a wide range of people? Are they timely and relevant and not just all promotional but informational? To that end, I’ve been working behind the scenes with my team to retool Designdawgs just so that can happen more. We are expanding the conversation of event design into more areas, with more voices and more reasons to share.
3. Seeing your world through international colored glasses.
Your market is now a lot bigger than just your geographic region. At IMEX, we hobnobbed in Columbia, chatted with Vancouver, peeked into Dubai. The amount of companies represented there underlined the fact that our connections are everywhere today. We are all only a click away from one another.
4. Collaborations between brands and event professionals.
Collaborations between brands and event professionals have been around but as the event industry and lifestyle worlds such as interior design continue to meld, we’ll see more of this. Already #CSES2014 Keynote Speaker David Stark’s collaboration with the paint company, Benjamin Moore, has yielded creative results at events such as DIFFA. And in 2014, watch for yours truly to be rolling out something new in collaboration with a brand.
5. Adding services
Finally, I’ve noticed a trend among design and production firms of taking more services in house, floral design being a main one. It’s an important element of the design of an event and with it being in-house, the company can maintain more control on overall design. And it’s not that anyone is taking business away from floral designers, often the companies are incorporating well-known designers who come with their own brand, style and clientele.
In 2014, its all about collaboration, sharing and creating a bigger conversation in which everyone is involved. So as I said at the start, please leave a comment as to what trends you see in 2014.