2018 in 5 Words: Event Pros on the Best and Worst of the Year

From single-use plastic bans and increased diversity to security concerns and widespread wildfires, event pros discuss the highs and lows of 2018.

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In 2013, we asked event professionals to break down the best and worst of the year with one limit: using only five words. The unfiltered answers were a snapshot of a moment of time, with answers such as "Gatsby themes: amazing but overdone," "government shutdown caused needless uncertainty," and "event technology, helpful as ever."

Five years later, we thought it would be fun to revisit that prompt and see how the event world and its priorities have changed. Here's a look at what industry pros think were the best—and worst—things about 2018.

Best: "Collaboration is becoming more widespread."
Worst: "Stale trends will not die!"
—Brian Worley, director of design, Bold Catering & Design, Atlanta

Best: "Speed, global, digital, multi-sensory, Instagram."
Worst: "Speed, imitation, digital, over-exposure, Instagram."
—David Stark, chief creative officer, David Stark Design and Production, New York

Best: "My current project in Mumbai."
Worst: "Pinterest mood board RFPs."
—Ira Levy, creative director, Levy NYC, New York

Best: “Acceleration toward single-use plastic bans.”
Worst: “Untapped value from strategic sustainability”
—Brett Blumberg, sales and sustainability manager, Kilowatt Events, San Diego

Best: "C.M.O.s loved themselves some experiential."
Worst: "Firm launch date, spongy deadlines."
—The team at Manifold, San Francisco

Best: "Increased diversity in festival lineups."
Worst: "Treason, Racism, Underpaid-workers, Massacres, Police-brutality."
—Rehan Choudhry, founder and C.E.O., A Beautiful Perspective, Las Vegas

Best: "Increased awareness of dietary needs."
Worst: "Hotels devaluing meeting-planner partnerships."
—Tracy Stuckrath, president, Thrive! Meetings & Events, Greer, South Carolina

Best: "Authentic experiences in curated environments."
Worst: "Narcissistic, look at me social."
—Dan Mannix, C.E.O., CSM LeadDog, New York

Best: "Collaborating becoming easier than ever."
Worst: "Keeping information secure is not."
—Matthew King, audience engagement specialist, Glisser, New York

Best: "Innovation, growth/strength, community, authenticity, opportunity."
Worst: "Waste, timing, transitions, budgets, fires."
—Alexandra Rembac, principal and creative director, Sterling Engagements, Studio City, California

Best: "Meeting tech is getting better."
Worst: "Staff budgets being slashed dramatically."
—Eugene Malone, owner, True Blue Connected, Ridgewood, New Jersey

Best: "Creativity truly knows no bounds."
Worst: "Safety/security concerns plague us."
—Tyra Hilliard, professor of hospitality and tourism management, College of Coastal Georgia, Brunswick, Georgia

Best: "Creative, supportive, thriving, collaborative, driven."
Worst: "Unpredictable (weather), overwhelming (everyone wants their events in the same time of the year), demanding, exhausting, working-round-the-clock."
—Danielle Gibson, owner, Danielle Gibson Events, Napa, California

Best: "The year is almost over."
Worst: "Only 30 days lead time."
—Matt Stoelt, C.E.O. and creative director, Stoelt Productions, Los Angeles

Best: "Couples being true to themselves."
Worst: "Easier for vendors to deceive."
—Joe Rogers, founder, Contagious Events, Boston

Best: "Innovative, stupendous, creative, informative, fun."
Worst: "Downsizing, budgets, miscommunication, tardiness, sleeplessness."
—Sylvia Wildfire, C.E.O., On Call Medic, Thousand Oaks, California

Best: "Increased budgets and collaborative partnerships."
Worst: "That this year is ending."
—Eyal Simko, creative director, The One Up Group, Los Angeles

Best: "Too creative to be stressed."
Worst: "Why friends always want discounts?"
—Armina Hicks, event planner, AJ Hicks Events, Hyattsville, Maryland

Editor's note: Some of these comments were shared on our social media networks. Join our discussions on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

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