Also for this year, say goodbye to mason jars and burlap, rustic design is on its way out. Say hello to cool chairs, metallic and geometric designs. Also, think about how your food can be a part of the event design. Talk to you caterer, perhaps the chef can add garnishes to match colors in your décor or the servers wear a particular outfit to match the décor.
We are in an age of increased threat, unfortunately. Event guests should not have to worry about their safety. Academic institutions are soft targets for any type of threats so it is important to be well versed in understanding event security, whether large or small.
We are lucky to have resources on campus to help us develop an emergency event plan. Even if your event is small, off campus, or during the day, please register your event with GTPD and speak with Emergency Preparedness to develop an emergency plan. If off campus, work with the venue’s staff to adapt their procedures to your event. Additionally, plan a walk through with the venue staff or volunteers to ensure everyone is on the same page, in the event of an emergency.
If your event is outside, keep an eye on the weather. If inclement weather is predicted, what are the triggers to move the event or even cancel? Developing a comprehensive contingency/emergency plan may take some time but once a plan is developed, you can adapt the plan for any event and any situation that may arise.
Food and Beverage
Our favorite topic…according to the National Restaurant Association, some hot food trends for 2016 are ethnic spices, condiments, and bread. Also, elevated “peasant fare,” including sausages and meatballs may be fun for an appetizer or passed hor d’ouerves. For main courses, alternative red meats like goat or bison may be a menu item. Desserts may include homemade artisan ices or gelato or classic pastries like a profiterole….yum!
For beverages, you might see more craft/artisan spirits, local produced wine and beer. Also, a trend for 2016 is offering non-alcoholic mocktails, gourmet lemonades and artisan soft drinks…great for events with students present.
Top Event Trends of 2015
The industry’s top trends and some predictions for the future.
This trend has officially shifted into event staple. Making an event green can be a theme or a planning strategy, which also requires planners to practice versatility in execution.
As companies go more green, the events that represent them need to share the charge. The most common side effects of green events are less paper, locally sourcing items, and choosing venues that are energy efficient.
The use of events apps to engage audiences is higher than ever. Depending on your app, you can poll your audience, share profiles of attendees, provide schedules, or start a chat room.
Unless you are hosting a large event over multiple days, many of the apps could be overkill for your needs. You are also requiring your guests to have a smart phone and download another program that they have to learn.
The industry may never turn away from the large plated meal, but food presentation is changing. Meals are becoming more about bites and interactive with chef stations that allow people to customize.
To provide more options, caterers and planners are looking at having smaller portions so guests can choose their favorites. More samples means it can be easier to meet various dietary needs and flavor preferences without calling attention to those individuals.
Tech Trends of 2016
Images and videos will dominate social media channels at events.
According to Twitter’s engagement blog, a tweet with an image or video is 25 – 35% more likely to be retweeted. Also, Instagram and Snapchat have doubled and tripled users in the past two years. Streaming video apps like Periscope or Meerkat allow real-time video postings. Event planners should prepare for greater wi-fi and cell phone bandwidth usage, as well as copyright challenges. Opportunities include encouraging remote engagement and participation and video streaming also gives a sneak peek of the event to those who could not attend.
Think Airbnb or Uber for event venues. Companies like Headbox and VenueVortex are new platforms for venue hunting.
While they haven’t made their way to Atlanta, we might see new platforms pop up within the next year to search the southeast.
Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Any event professional should be ready for any situation, especially an emergency. Some technologies offer solutions to event professionals by improving communication, making it more accessible, sharable and effective, like InitLive or Triber App.
Digital Swag Bags
Goody bags, swag, gifts – sometimes the toughest decision to make during the planning process. How do you surprise your guests and give them something relevant without creating unnecessary waste? Companies are offering digital goody bag solutions like Virtual Event Bags, Event Baxx, and Zoliro. These days, consumers are embracing online gifts, virtual coupons, etc. so why not utilize them at evens? Also, you can track your analytic opportunities throughout the event and use the data for potential sponsors for the next event.