Event Birdie’s 2019 Event Trends, Tips and Predictions

Here is it is folks, our thoughts on what you need to add to your events, meetings and functions in 2019. 
We’ve scoured the Interweb for days, piecing together the most note-worthy trends to mention. We’ve also added in a bit of our own insight gathered from years of experience, client meetings and numerous Facebook groups we belong to…. A.K.A Hard Core Research. 
So, without further ado, it’s time to present what we think are the Top Event Trends, Tips and Predictions for 2019.


1. Have Fun with Colour – Be Bright!

By now you must have seen on Instagram that Pantone’s Colour of the Year is ‘Living Coral’. 
A deeper version of the popular blush pink that was widely used in event styling last year, we predict you’ll see… more of the blush pink again (it’s close enough that hire companies won’t go changing their stock that quickly).
However, we also predict that event stylists will use Living Coral as inspiration to use some deeper colours in general across their event designs. 2017 was all about whites and greens, last year it was metallics and blush colours… This year it’s time to have more fun with colour – be bold, be bright and embrace interesting colour combos: pinks, yellows, blues, greens, oranges and purple. 
So, steer clear of “dead coral” [dull and grey] and take inspiration from the designers at Gorman, KipandCo and  LittleBigBell –  who are all using Living Coral with lots of other bright colours to create fun, modern designs that will translate beautifully to an event space.
2019 Event Trends | Colour Inspo

2. Go Wild! 

This prediction is in fact from a florist we used to work with back in London, Hayford and Rhodes. We’ve always loved their use of colour and in a recent post on Evolve Events, Hayford and Rhodes predicted that floral arrangements will be a little “wild” this year. 
Again, we encourage you to use bold colours and lots of them! Arrangements with “messy” combinations that include flowers and foliage of different textures, sizes and varieties will be on trend for your smaller arrangements. For the big show-stoppers… well, how about going wild with something like this?!

2019 Event Trends | Flowers Go Wild

2019 Event Trends | Flowers Wild


3. Sustainability is here to stay…

Sourcing sustainable products and resources for events continues to be one of the most common calls for help on several of the event Facebook groups I’m involved in. The other day an event freelancer wanted a sustainable transport provider (that’s a new one!). And there are common requests for venues, audio visual suppliers and caterers to provide their sustainability statements during the proposal process.
If you want to get those big gigs, remember corporates care a LOT about choosing sustainable, ethical products and services – get on the sustainability train in 2019.

4. Guests expect to be secure…

Whether you’re attending an event, flying to an event or simply registering for an event online, delegates have an increased expectation in regards to their privacy and personal security. 
Every step of your involvement with the client should be considered – from registration (entering their personal data), to purchasing a ticket (handing over their credit card), to when they arrive and take part in your event. Better to be safe than sorry…

5. Be clever with your merchandise

Branded merchandise handed out at events = a lot of landfill. Not all of it of course, I still have a strainer in my kitchen cupboard from Gastronomy that I was given at an event about 5 years ago – and I use it all the time because it’s super useful!
However, if you’re keen to nail our #3 tip, then creating more landfill isn’t ideal. So, our prediction is that companies will need to be much smarter about what they give away. It needs to be useful or worthy of keeping. 
And, as much as you really might want to plaster your logo all over the gift, sometimes being a little less obvious can make your gift far more memorable (and ultimately, ensuring your brand is remembered is better than it being thrown in the rubbish). 
Check out the little “branded” gifts we sent out at Christmas time this year – no logo at all, but totally on brand and we’re pretty sure the majority of our clients will remember us at Christmas time for at least a few years to come. Plus we got loads of lovely thank you notes which made us feel great. 
2019 Event Trends | Clever Brand Merchandise


6. Food & Drinks: Fresh, Fun and… Sustainable

The desire for fresh, tasty and sustainable food at events is still a big deal. The trend of serving menus that are Paddock to Plate, has now been joined by the Farm to Table ethos – caterers and restaurants are now sourcing their ingredients direct from their local farm producers (or in many cases, their very own market gardens). 
While we are all thirsting for nourishing, good food that makes our insides feel better, in addition event attendees are also crying out to be entertained by the food experiences at events. 
Interactive, theatrical and exciting food and drink experiences have come to be expected at large scale events (festivals and conferences) and smaller bespoke functions and events as well. So, choose a great caterer to work with and make your menu a talking point.  


7. Make more videos

We’ve been talking about the use of video at events for a few years now and honestly, it isn’t going anywhere. It’s the most consumed type of content online (which makes it great in terms of selling your events and for highlighting your post-event recaps), but it’s also the quickest and best way for people to consume information at your event too. 
Read more about incorporating video in your event here:
Video Production: a must have addition to your event
Video marketing for the events industry


8. Use AI to improve your guest’s experience and make your job easier

There is a lot of talk about AI, VR, tech, tech, tech, etc, etc. But what should you be doing with the idea of using AI in your events? AI is (very simply) technology designed to help enhance a particular task. 
Look at your event planning process… what are you struggling to get done? What is taking up too much time? What are you not an expert in? Well, the simple answer is: “There’s an app for that” or better put, there will be some AI that could help you do the job better. 
Here are a few ideas:
1. Speed up pre-event registration by using an online registration platform that marries up with an electronic registration kiosk to speed up the entire arrival process of your event (check out Sprintr by AV1 for this). Collect that data on the day and use some more tech to inform F&B how many people are onsite, report back to exhibitors on attendance, send post-event communications to delegates, and so on and so on….
2. Help convert delegates visiting your event website by adding a chatbot to your website. This will allow potential attendees to ask questions quickly, rather than scrawling through your website for the information they need. 
3. Use technology pre, during and post event to analyse the data you’re collecting. Get a better understanding of your delegates and adapt your event to accommodate what they need quickly and efficiently.  

9. Source speakers who will inspire and educate

Another common request in the Facebook groups and on Linkedin by event managers is for suggestions of excellent speakers. Event Managers and their audiences want someone fresh, but who has been tried and tested. They want speakers who have something interesting to share and a lesson for audiences to learn. Importantly, this is not necessarily someone from the industry the guests are from. People want to seek knowledge from outside their circle and be challenged to think differently. 
If you have the conundrum sourcing this type of speaker, check out our tips here and keep posting in the Facebook groups – there are always lots of great suggestions from members.


10. Add a VIP experience

People LOVE to feel special and by implementing VIP elements to an event it can go a long way to creating very happy guests. Whether you choose to create a VIP event or provide VIP experiences within a larger event context, you will find better engagement when you take the time to be thoughtful, generous and make someone feel special. Take note of that last comment… “make someone feel special” – it’s worth noting that “VIP” doesn’t need to be something dripping in gold, but something as simple as a dedicated hostess who knows in advance what the guests appreciate most will make a big difference. 

Final note

2019 is a year to be B O L D – both in your event stying and the experiences you create. Delegates and guests have high expectations when they attend events and they want to feel, see, taste and learn something new. So, turn up the colour and let’s see a year of bright, bold events!