What will events look like in the year 2025? As the event industry has undergone a large makeover during the last years, the question regarding the future is coming up at every turn. This is not only due to the increasingly fast development of technological trends, but also the change in society, which also reflects back on how tomorrow’s events will be organized. What will “Millennials” require for a successful meeting? How will the current food trends play into the big picture? When will the first conventions happen in AR, VR and AI?
For the last five years, the industry has been focused on two trends impacting the meeting design strategy above all else: The rise of event technology and the emergence of the Millennials. During the Berlin edition of this year’s first Praxisfrühstück various people from our industry, including event producers, agencies, DMCs and Corporates got together to take a look at what events will look like in 2025.
To answer this question, we went way back in time to our childhood days and used Lego. All those hours we spent building worlds and living adventures with these colorful interlocking plastic bricks. But who would have thought we would be able to predict the future of events with them? Well, we did and here are three key findings of this very entertaining morning.
Technology will increase, but it will remain our continuous nemesis: What technology is worth having and is created to stay around? Although tech offers many advantages like bringing in speakers and others remotely, presenting content in a more exciting way, connecting people globally, etc., the human and face to face communication will always stay in the spotlight. As long as we cannot download ourselves to the meeting room, there will always be a need for human interaction.
Meetings will move outdoors. Despite the evolutions of the last centuries, outdoor events still give organizers the shivers, as they seem so very dependent on the only force we cannot control: The weather. It can be very pricey to move an event inside last minute, just to realize, that the dark clouds and initial raindrops move past and the sun comes out again. Bummer.
Nevertheless, outdoor events are on the rise and due to a shift in the behavior of today’s society – more sport, healthy food and fresh air – the demand is steadily increasing. Here are a few tips for a successful outdoor event:
- Go inside out. Outdoor events don’t have to necessarily result in a loss of comfort or living room flair. On the contrary, traditional living room furniture used outdoors is a growing trend in the industry. How about using leather couches for seating and a stylish table lamp in order to create a unique environment and atmosphere?
- Step up the venue game. As beautiful and sometimes practical as beaches, lakes, gardens and fields are, it is time for creativity. Why not use the runway of a disused airport, as seen at Berlin Tempelhof? Or a trashy trotting track as found in Frankfurt and Berlin? Alternatively, it can be a rooftop – not necessarily of a hotel or public building, but maybe a yoga studio or a private apartment.
- Be creative with a tent. Using a tent can be a must, especially in unstable climate areas. One big disadvantage: Tents often do not look very glamorous and they disturb the view. But luckily enough there are many suppliers nowadays who are able to offer open, see-through or stylish tents for a good price. Often it is worth thinking out of the box and looking at more “unconventional” events, such as music festivals, to see the newest trends in tent technology.
- Have a plan “B”. “Better safe than sorry” definitely applies to outdoor events. Never trust a cloudless sky and always have a quickly accessible indoor option available. Being in a tent during a thunderstorm can disrupt the atmosphere.
- Light the way. Proper lighting is important not only for ambience but also for guests’ safety. As atmospheric candles and torches can be, they sometimes do not survive a strong wind gust. If you do not want to renounce the ambience, why not go with some fairy lights, especially if you are in a park or garden area with trees?
Transparency. While the competition is getting stronger by the day, agencies and DMC’s have to find a way to shine. Individuality and transparency are key factors here and ultimately create trust within our client. Specific processes, such as venue finding, are more dependent on trust, as we work on a commissionable model and our clients need to understand what he is actually paying for.
Transparency is also becoming increasingly valuable in terms of sustainability. Not only the environment, but also you and your client can benefit from being more environmentally responsible. Often, organizations are making positive changes and leaving a lighter footprint on the planet but are not telling participants what is happening on their behalf. This is a missed opportunity. Why not promote your initiative with a blog entry, including a quote from your CEO or sustainability manager?
Many more trends and sneak peaks into the future of events were mentioned and discussed that morning. Vegan and seasonal/regional healthy food will become an even bigger topic, while convenience food will become frowned upon. Generally, the whole topic awareness and how guests absorb an event will be a challenge. In connection with this, individuality seems to be a key element to success.
We want to thank all other participants for their great input and a very interesting session.
About the Author
Oliver works as a conceptioner and project manager in the creative department of Conference & Touring. Based in Berlin, his passion for the event industry and his past experience contributes to his articles on industry related topics, new trends and innovations.