What Event Trend Will Take Off in 2017?

Planners share the ideas and trends that will impact meetings and events next year.

(Pictured, left to right): Christina Goldstein, Darren Kerr, Christopher Delgado
(Pictured, left to right): Christina Goldstein, Darren Kerr, Christopher Delgado
Photo: Gary Tyson (Darren Kerr), courtesy of readers (all others)

“Stage-to-audience digital interaction has slowly started to emerge. Using the attendees’ personal devices to interact with the presenter, group, or company will bring instant education, brand awareness, and real-time results.”
Evan Weissman, president, Armstrong Lighting, Los Angeles

“More experiential elements and gamification. I think we’re all looking for ways to move out of the conventional learning environments at conferences to something more engaging and interactive to encourage networking.”
Julie Mandarano, event planner, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

“Planners understanding that event childcare will increase attendance and participation at events. As more women are taking on official roles and responsibilities, they need support if they happen to be mothers of children. We are seeing an uptick in business because clients are understanding this and responding to those around them who ask for childcare.”
Lisa Werth, owner, NannyTainment Event Childcare, Reston, Virginia

“The realization that live events are an integral—if not more important—part of the marketing mix will enter the mainstream. More marketing dollars will be taken from that wide net of TV and billboards and used for up-close and personal communications.”
Robert Rogers, event designer, Events Man Asia, Hong Kong

“Gamification at conferences. C-suite executives are looking more for ways to improve attendee engagement. Apps with gamification will be the next big trend in the event industry.”
Christopher Delgado, events technology coordinator, In-N-Out Burger, Irvine, California

“A churro action bar. You can keep them traditional and have toppings galore or stuff them for added sweetness. Churro cones or bowls can [be used when] serving ice cream, or you can make it high-end and serve churro bites in a demitasse filled with hot chocolate sauce. No one will be missing those mini dessert stations.”
Christina Goldstein, conference and events planner, University of South Florida, Tampa

“Live events attract large numbers of people in one area on specific published dates—they are now, sadly, targets of interest. Considerably more effort and resources than ever before will be diverted into ensuring live events are as safe as possible and that audiences will appreciate visible improvements before becoming frustrated with processes if not managed artfully. The outcome will be possibly more smaller invitational events staged within the corporate event sector.”
Darren Kerr, Asian events specialist, Factor168 Creative Event Company, Hong Kong

“More engaging speakers that unite a room so the audience is comfortably networking with each other. Networking is why people go to events, and the more comfortable we make the event to network, the better education will be transferred to audience members, as well as networking possibilities for the audience.”
Kevin Strong, C.E.O., Real Life Advantage, Las Vegas

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

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