We see these 12 trends dominating the events canvas in 2014:
1. Engaging audiences
Customised theatrical pieces - from bespoke, functional, corporate pieces to experiential interaction - are high on the priority list. As in all communication, audiences are crying out to be heard and want be involved. Tighter budgets will continue to mean that some talent will be drawn from employees, as opposed to 3rd party performers.
PowerPoint is dead and any speakers worth their salt are moving away from this into presentations on multi screens with multiple content sources to make the presentations constantly engaging and interactive - the emphasis always on new ways to present. The ultimate of this is taking content into 3D mapping.
It costs. More than a little. But the effect is brilliant, it is engaging and the big spenders are wanting more and more of it.
Information overload has led to emails being systematically deleted without as much of a skim, so invitations get lost. SMS is the way to go.
We're all going digital and it reaches everyone everywhere. Event-orientated apps are in huge demand, used for getting messages across, audiences interacting and for sheer entertainment pleasure. At this year's Oppikoppi festival, beers got delivered via mini chopper to app-active festival goers, who were geo-traced via their smartphones.
5. Customisation and personalisation...
Continues. It's all about 'me, me, me'.
Interconnectedness will grow as a sub-theme and networking opportunities will be facilitated to the point of social seating selection via customised apps.
6. Everyone's a gourmand
Not only have tastes moved way beyond finger foods and clever kebabs but event organisers are paying immaculate attention to detail when it comes to food - from plating to content. Everyone is food savvy now (thanks, Masterchef) and criticism flies fast and unbound. Appearance, taste and entertainment value all count. And this gets coupled with...
Drama and entertainment extends to food presentation - canapés served by an acrobat, singing waiters, dancing desserts. Nothing is ordinary anymore.
8. Social media
Build-your-own-reputation is the smart way to go. One slip and a tweet later - and your reputation can be gone. Specialist communicators will ensure that the right words reach all the social platforms, dictating the outputs and impressions of your event.
9. Home sweet Home
Budgets as well as busy schedules mean events are happening - no less glamorously - closer to home.
10. Team Building
Yawn. Done. Dusted. It's all about employee engagement. Team building doesn't nearly have the effect on productivity that creative employee engagement and brand integration have and eventing builds on both.
11. Green, green...
An ongoing trend. Sustainability - for many corporates - has moved from buzzword to non-negotiable.
12. The passion formula
Blah blah to-a-recipe event offerings are passé. The market is going to want fresh, innovative eventing that is delivered by suppliers who genuinely love what they do.