We recently read this great post about 10 corporate event trends, and it really got the wheels turning as we shared it amongst our team. Our always smart and insightful friends over at Event MB have pinpointed some great trends, and we encourage you to take a look at the full post for yourself. With us being us, reading through the post naturally got us asking questions and brainstorming ideas about some of the different trends and topics mentioned in the world of corporate event planning, and in the spirit of continuing the conversation, here’s some food for thought from our team about some of the trends highlighted on Event MB’s list.
ONEquestion: Who is your audience, and which app are they tapping?*
We’ve definitely seen livestreaming making more and more regular appearances in our social media feeds this year, and it’s a natural fit for events. What creates more FOMO than seeing something you’re missing out on when there might actually still be time to not miss it? Even if the livestream ends up being viewed some time after actually being live, there’s still a sense of modernity, agility, and behind-the-scenes transparency that social users love.
Reading Event MB’s thoughts on the trend definitely got us thinking about not just Facebook Live, but other options as well. While Facebook is certainly still a major social player and might be the right fit for your brand, don’t forget that Instagram has a Go Live feature that is potentially more popular, depending on the crowd you’re trying to reach. Periscope, owned by Twitter, is another option which exists specifically for live broadcast. Knowing who you’re trying to reach and which apps are most popular with your audience will help you to choose where to livestream.
*Yes, we know that’s technically two questions.
ONEsuggestion: Create content specifically for livestreaming.
Depending on your event, there are any number of cool ways to use livestreaming, from your keynote speaker to a pop-up musical performance. But in addition to livestreaming something that’s on the event agenda, we love the uses that go beyond this to create content specifically for livestreaming. A great example of this that we’ve seen this year just happened to include one of our very own, when our founder and Managing Partner Dustin Westling, CSEP did a Facebook Live interview at ILEA Live 2018, following the ILEA Canada win for Affiliate of the Year. Watch the interview here.
Trend: Virtual Activities
ONEquestion: Can virtual activities and virtual reality be used to unite vs isolate?
During the height of the Pokemon Go craze it wasn’t uncommon to happen upon the somewhat disconcerting sight of a group of people milling about with their eyes locked on their smartphones, looking somewhat like a group of “walkers” on the The Walking Dead. While the concept of virtual reality and other virtual activities is definitely exciting, we’re most curious about the ways this technology can be used to bring people together to participate as one or on teams vs solo. This can be especially relevant at corporate events, where team building is often an objective.
ONEsuggestion: Think about other trends or technology that you can capitalize on for your event.
In addition to virtual activities, there are lots of other tech trends and trends in general that might be a fit for your event or brand as well. Some great examples can be found on this list, like Oreo’s 3D printed cookies (based on trending flavours on Twitter), or HBO’s escape rooms designed around three of their most popular shows
Trend: Personalization via Data Collection
ONEquestion: How do you collect and use data responsibly?
We all saw Mark Zuckerberg sweating it out in front of US lawmakers earlier this year after Facebook’s privacy failings landed the company in some pretty hot water. This situation together with the rising trend for personalization in events prompted us to gather our thoughts on responsible data collection in this post.
ONEsuggestion: Try using data to bring people together IRL.
As a culture, we might all be a little tired of hearing about algorithms, but the fact of the matter is that, when used for good, these complicated and somewhat nosey computer programs tracking our every online move really can make our lives, and our events, better. We saw that firsthand at C2 Montréal, where algorithms were used to match like-minded people or those looking to explore and learn about similar things while at the conference. The algorithms were used to set up ‘brain dates,’ giving attendees the chance to sit down and connect with people they may never have bumped into otherwise.
Trend: Embracing the Softer Side
ONEquestion: Can emotional intelligence be part of the entire process?
We love the ideas that Event MB mentions for bringing mindfulness into events, and think the approach opens up many great ways to be more inclusive and more personal for every guest. This corporate event trend got us thinking back to our #ONEbuzzkill series where we got honest and real about industry buzzwords like authenticity. All that to say, emotional intelligence can be applied not just to different aspects of an event itself, but to the entire process of planning and executing the event, and to navigating partnerships as you go.
ONEsuggestion: Incorporate wellness into your event.
Corporate events have a unique opportunity to address the issues that face employees, and to show corporate sensitivity to these issues. Consider how you can include topics like work-life balance or healthful, productive, and courageously creative workplaces into your event, and/or include wellness classes, activities, and spaces at your event.
Got your own questions or thoughts about these or other top trends that you think we should be talking about? We’d love to get a conversation going on Facebook or Instagram. And of course, if all this talk about big ideas has you wondering what we can do together, check out our Services section or get in touch. We’ve got ideas – we’d love to hear yours!