The champagne has been quaffed, the crudité ignored over cookies, and that uncle has explained with authority (but not brevity) why your politics are all wrong. Happy New Year! There is much to celebrate, because you’ve also managed to survive the obligatory flood of predictions for the 2019 experiential market. Here’s our succinct take on the most valuable trends to dig into for 2019, straight from one of our own.
David Welle, a senior Event Producer with Group Delphi, boasts over 25 years of creative experience. The man simply knows how to put on a fantastic show. Recently, we asked him on a cold morning to walk us through exactly what goes in to producing a top event in 2019.
Building Interaction Between Participants
“It’s all about community this year,” says David, speaking into a cell phone as he rushed between airport gates en route to an event. “Companies are looking for an event environment which encourages people to come together, and not just about companies interacting with customers. I’m seeing a trend towards communal enterprises where attendees are encouraged to work together.”
Examples? David goes on to explain that it may be creating an interactive media presentation and handing it to multiple participants simultaneously on different screens. It could be facilitating quick asides in the hallways. “The point is that you want your attendees to get more out of each other,” says David. And consequently, they get more out of your event. Customer mutual engagement enhances customer loyalty.
So how does one bring the world together?
Create Opportunities for Interaction
It’s actually quite simple: if you want to create a communal experience at your events, you need to create the space for this kind of engagement. “Take an open source exhibit,” David explains. “Conceptually, you want to think about a design that will allow people to engage not only with you and your product, but ultimately, with each other.”
What’s the best way to get people to engage with each other?
Highlight the Hygge
Events can be overwhelming to the senses. All of us have attended events where we end up sitting on the venue’s front steps, eating a gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free cookie (it’s just air) in place of a real lunch, all the while scanning desperately for a source of caffeine.
“You want to give attendees down time,” David says. “So, create more opportunities for this. It could be side-spaces, like a room for yoga, a quiet room to catch up on emails and phone calls, a maker space for creative outlets, as well as locally-oriented hospitality. We need to recognize that people wear out at conferences, so planning for time to decompress will not only make you a favorite, it will give your attendees time to process your message.”
And speaking of spaces…
Provide Attendees Non-Traditional Spaces
We’ve already talked about adaptive reuse in events, or upcycling spaces. That’s because it’s also a top trend for 2019. “Clients are looking for non-traditional spaces,” David shares. “And for a company like Group Delphi, with our roots in the theatrical arts, this is great. We look to bring people together in smaller groups, say a meeting room at a baseball stadium where attendees break to check out a game. Or, creating mini street fairs complete with food trucks and performance stages.” Really, the opportunities are endless.
Ultimately, the hottest trend in 2019 might be the most sincere. “You just want to find a way to bring people together in a collaborative environment,” David shares. “Make it casual.”