What are the newest event trends?
The event industry is evolving quite fast, and more and more event organizations become the pioneers of new event trends. During conferences, the goal is not only to deliver content to participants, but it is to engage them during the event and allow a lot of interaction. Networking, debating, matchmaking, receiving feedback, exchanging knowledge, all of this can be done in a basic and normal way during classical conventions. But what if you could do it in an outdoor scrapyard or in a dark-neon style convention center? What if you could actually go beyond the conference boundaries and rules, and create an event that will mark the spirits?
After studying three European events – the two tech conferences Pirate Summit and Slush and a teambuilding activity of Moon events – I noticed that four trends clearly stand out.
Shaking the elementary meeting rules
The moment they step foot in an event location, participants confront elementary meeting rules that are definitely different from the traditional convention rules. Modern conferences take place in unique and off-beat locations to shroud the participants in the wanted atmosphere and impose new rules. For example, at Pirate Summit there are no house rules because you’re on a pirate ship. During Slush, you enter a convention center surrounded by pink lights and colorful lasers, beating at the rhythm of electro music: that’s the concert for the welcome ceremony. In this kind of place, you feel more like in a nightclub than in a conference. Therefore participants will not behave the same way as in a classic convention and new synergy will take form.
Marking the spirits
The ending of an event is very important, it’s the moment that marks most the participants’ spirits. It’s through difficult and fun activities, like a musical teambuilding with only one hour and half of rehearsal (organized by the French company Moon Events) at the end of a normal convention, that you can send a strong message. Assisting to a music concert after listening and exchanging with speakers, relaxing in a sauna after meeting with investors, these kind of out-of-the-context activities can be another reason for your participants to come back to your event.
Engaging the participants
When studying today’s events, we can notice that the planners managed to create a theater play that generates a different mood and a different outcome according to the environment: location, lights, and activities, and also according to the participants’ level of involvement. Each place stimulates, in its own way, participants to interact with each other and with the speakers of the conferences. This is realized with a clear program and workshops that leave no option for participants but to exchange. At Pirate Summit you have to pitch your startup on a wooden plank or, at Slush, it’s in front of thousands of people. Plus, the 480 participants of the teambuilding activity had no choice but to participate to the music band in the end. Therefore, there is a constant interplay between the participants, the agenda and the environment.
Finally, we can clearly see a desire of innovation in the event industry through the organization of events taking place in unique locations and animated by spectacular shows or activities or games of lights. The way these elements are coordinated allows participants to stretch the limits of their imagination: feeling like a pirate during the Pirate Summit, enjoying electro music or sauna before meeting with investors, or becoming a music artist in a 480 people band. Would this be the magic of events?