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10 Event Trends for 2018 [Free Report]

By Julius Solaris

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Staying on top of what happens in the event industry is a priority for all event professionals. 

This is why we promise you will love these event planning trends for 2018. After all, this is the most accurate global meetings and events forecast you will get in 2018.

Over 10,000 event professionals downloaded a copy of our event management trends for 2017 report. That tells a story. In an industry where every single outlet and supplier puts out their meetings trends for 2018 piece from as early as August, we are proud to be the report every eventprof actually wants to read.

You will find many surprises in this edition:

  • 10 Event technology trends for 2018
  • 10 Event Marketing trends for 2018
  • 10 Event Design trends for 2018
  • 10 Event Decor trends for 2018
  • 10 Upcoming trends for Destination Management Companies
  • 10 Venues and Destinations trends

A total of 70 trends, to give you a roadmap to follow in 2018.

Lat year 10,000 event professionals got a copy of their free report. In a week time from publication, this report has been downloaded already by 4,000 event planners that want to stay on top of the current trends in event planning. Get your copy.

10 Event Trends for 2018 [Free Report]

Valuable Trends to Make Your Event Successful

The major difference in the way we create this report is the analysis of the trends and also selecting the right people to write it. Crystal balls do not really work, experience does. This is our seventh edition of our report. We stepped it up last year introducing new categories. We decided to add even more this year, to bring you ten trends across seven categories.

We want to save you the time reading marketing fluff, advocated by those who have marketing, as opposed to educational objectives, in mind. We asked those we feel are the best-of-the-best right now in their sector to share what is now, what requires your attention and what is trending.


EventMB Insights

That wasn’t enough though.

We decided to update you on a monthly basis on the trends you should keep an eye on. This is why we started EventMB Insights - a community of senior event professionals with large portfolios or high profile shows where you will get access to:

  • A monthly executive summary with the trends to watch
  • A quarterly webinar with a trend update
  • Free to attend events with the most innovative content and speakers

You can request to join here.

All the event planning trends you need to know for 2018

As anticipated, we introduced new categories to our report. Let’s have a look at what you’ll find in the free to download pdf:

  • 10 Trends in Event Technology
  • 10 Trends in Venues
  • 10 Trends in Event Marketing and Social Media
  • 10 Trends in Destinations
  • 10 Trends in Event Experience
  • 10 Trends in Event Decor and Styling
  • 10 Trends for Destination Management Companies (DMCs)

Another introduction this year is a special section of the report discussing mega trends, intrinsic and extrinsic forces influencing vertical trends. These are very important items to consider for senior level event professionals who care more about the bigger picture. As we notice the evolution of the event planning profession in a more strategic fashion, we thought to give the strategists of our industry the necessary intelligence to dominate 2018.

As always we haven’t discussed anything that is too futuristic. This is a report about next year, not 2068. No need to waste your precious time on items that, while enjoyable to discuss, do not help you to get things done next year.

Let’s take a high level look at what is happening in 2018. If you want to dig deeper, get examples, case studies, technology tools, marketing tactics, meeting design inspiration and much more, grab the copy of the report here.

Find out:

  • How to maximize last-minute event registrations
  • How to wow your sponsors
  • How to check in attendees quickly
  • How to choose destinations that support your event ethos
  • How to work with micro-influencers and harness dark social
  • How to succeed with a premium-tier ticket pricing offer
  • How weird venues can propel your event to another level
  • How to rethink event delivery and harness the hive mind
  • How event planners can use bleisure to their advantage
  • How to recognize the hottest hues, textures and event styles for your event
  • How to get extra feedback from attendees, without extra staff resources
  • How to bring destination inspiration inside your venue

10 Trends in Event Technology by Julius Solaris

The recent announcements by Apple to regulate templated apps in the app store has a strong and direct impact on event apps, one of the most popular technologies adopted by event planners. The combination of the rise of AI and facial recognition will dramatically change the eventtech marketplace over 2018, with more acquisitions, mergers and capital investment, but also companies shutting down.

An interesting trend also to follow is how smaller players are getting together to offer more integrated services. While it is still to say whether such initiatives are just marketing stunts or real attempts to integrate niche services, keeping an eye on these initiatives is definitely key.

There is growing pressure on tech providers from the event planning community to create services that deliver. There is no more time for fluff, sales talk and overpromising. The market is now mature enough to know exactly where to spend money. Event professionals are growing tired of being taken advantage of and are not up anymore for marketing talk.

This is highly reflected in the type of services that are being adopted over the last year and that will be adopted over the next few months. Copycats, me-toos and low-value products have even lower chances of succeeding. Starting up an app company because of two or three clients is not a viable strategy. The products that will succeed have a strong value proposition, solve very pressing problems and rely on solid industry knowledge.

Download your free copy of the report.

10 Trends in Venues by Pádraic Gilligan

If it were possible to video the events industry over a five year period and then review the footage in time lapse it’d be much easier to spot emerging trends. In the venues sector, the evolution of trends is often glacially slow as venues are bricks and mortar constructions that cannot easily be altered without official planning permission from local authorities and bagfuls of cash to make it happen!

Thus from one year to another the advancement of trends can be slow. What was a vague murmur in 2016 might be a more consistent whisper in 2017. By 2018 it might be a distant voice that only becomes a real, discernable statement in 2019. That’s what we’re seeing as we look over the threshold into 2018. Lots of murmurs and whispers from previous years gathering momentum, some from earlier years again building to a crescendo and others becoming mainstream, the new normal.

As we head into 2018 we could have listed again many of the trends that featured in our 2017 report. However, we’ve shortlisted the 10 below from a much wider choir of voices that we’re hearing out there. We feel the trends below best represent the year to come.

Download your free copy of the report.

10 Trends in Event Marketing and Social Media by Becki Cross

We are not only event planners, we are event marketers. Whatever your official job description, every single person that is involved in creating an event has a vested interest in making it successful, and therefore has some part to play in the marketing strategy behind it.   

In event marketing and social media, 12-months is a long time. Since the last trends report, the landscape for event marketing has matured and become more sophisticated in many ways, with lots of exciting developments.

Looking ahead, there are many new opportunities for event marketers on the horizon. We discuss the top ten trends we expect to take notice of in 2018 and, most importantly, tricks to include in your own event marketing strategies, right away.

Download your free copy of the report.

10 Trends in Destinations by Julius Solaris and Pádraic Gilligan

Destinations, by virtue of their nature, will be buffeted by many breezes, many originating way outside the events industry. Destinations will be shaped massively by the external winds of geo-political realities but there’ll always be internal gusts of pure local character that make their mark too. On our 10 trends for destinations in 2018 you’ll find ample evidence of both.

Surveying the universe of cities, regions and countries we’re seeing an extraordinary increase in purposeful destination marketing as cities and countries compete with each other for foreign direct investment, talent and overseas tourists. We’re also seeing an intense focus on Business Events, Congress Tourism, Meetings & Events, MICE (choose your term of choice) as the sector that brings destination visibility across the entire spectrum - business, leisure, education, cultural exchange.

The events industry has never been as interesting to nations and cities as it is now - let’s enjoy this new found notoriety and use these 10 trends to dialogue meaningfully with destinations in 2018.

Download your free copy of the report.

10 Trends in Event Experience by Roger Haskett

The underlying current that flows through almost all of the trends in event experience is a further embracing of the human side of the event world. Recognizing that the people at events really are the event and that their issues and their internal world should be of paramount concern.  

We dive into the ten trends in event experience and meeting design we can expect to see in 2018.

Download your free copy of the report.

10 Trends in Event Decor and Styling by Kate Patay, CPCE

2018 continues to evolve in events with the focus being on the customization and branding, while creating experiences that every attendee can relate to and feel connected with. Every element of the event, from the moment of inception, will tie into the story that you tell and the journey you bring the participants on. Having a thoughtful and mindful approach to every element of design and decor will help you to achieve the perfect event that guests will appreciate being a part of.

Unique, experience, and personalization will be some of the key buzzwords you hear surrounding how clients would like their event to be received by attendees. Being able to make each event feel like a one of a kind, memorable affair will set you and your company apart as a thought leader and set the bar for the future of the industry.

Many of the trends we are seeing are an evolution of previous styles. Taking a look at what has been done in the last few years and putting a fresh, new spin on it will assist with moving forward from the cyclical work that haunts the industry. Laser cut lace overlays on decor vs. traditional frilly lace or oversized, multi-hue bows in place of a chair tie are great examples of evolving design trends. These top event styling and decor trends to consider in 2018 will help you stay ahead of the competition.

Download your free copy of the report.

10 Trends for Destination Management Companies (DMCs) by Cindy Y. Lo, DMCP

We have ridden the wave of volatility from 2017 into this upcoming year. A calm tide awaits us. But is it as smooth as it seems?

We explore what 2018 means for destination management companies (DMCs). The desire to stand out has never been stronger, the thirst for constant differentiation and a laissez-faire attitude of “less is more” boldly greeting destinations upon first meet. This year begs the question: How much customization is too much? And how do we continue to prove our ROI to meeting planners that prefer using DMCs?

In reverse order from 10 to 1, we have the top trends with respect to DMCs working with meeting planners in 2018.

Download your free copy of the report.

In Conclusion

We are not afraid to say this is by far the most comprehensive trends report for the event industry you will find out there. With in depth, expert insight from the leaders of our industry, we present you with a free to download report that will contribute to the success of your events in 2018. We also introduce a new way to stay up to date through the year on trends, EventMB Insights, an invite only community for senior event professionals. We are sure you will love it.

about the author

Julius Solaris
Julius Solaris is the editor of EventManagerBlog.com, he is an international speaker, author and consultant.
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