Top Event Trends for 2018


Here are the top event trends that will make big waves for the rest of the year. Read up and choose which you can apply to your event planning practice.

Going back to basics. By basics, we mean complete basics. Next year, we’re expecting more and more companies to analyse whether their events are even worth running – let alone reviewing how they’re run.

Doing more with less. Budgets are undoubtedly important, and so are results. The need to demonstrate ROI and ROO is ever-present meaning making the most of your marketing. Doing more with less means thinking of new, interesting ways to generate better results with tighter monetary constraints. 2018 will be about event organisers employing a greater degree of creative thinking, giving their events impact and making them stand out in a crowded marketplace. The key is to do this without losing sight of overall goals, and keeping the holders of the purse strings happy. Learn more about doing more with less here.

Personalisation. With the right data as a starting point, it’s surprisingly easy to personalise multiple elements of the event experience, from comms to entry passes, social media to tailored programmes with very little spend. But with some serious investment, a fully personalised event experience for each delegate is an exciting possibility.

Fun factor. Consumer festivals get all the fun, but what about the business events? We think playfulness and interactivity will be front and centre for a lot of branded events next year. Be that treasure hunts, interactive games, polls, conversation, prizes, quizzes, whatever; gamification can engage an audience in ways that a talk or a sales pitch can’t.

Merging of digital and physical space. With stunning advances in augmented and mixed reality over the last couple of years, 2018 looks like the year it’s going mainstream. To date, AR has been lumped in with VR – a side show to attract a visitor to a stand providing a temporary wow factor but not much more. But AR’s true power is in bringing a space to life. Apps can now overlay vast swathes of information over a smartphone camera to give additional information to delegates. More than that, it can be used to creatively tell a story, or place characters into the real world around you. It’s no longer enough to have a meaningless demo at your event, but working with creative partners and collaborators, the event space in 2018 will make the leap to creating more memorable and meaningful AR experiences for visitors.