corporate events

Event industry trends. How to create a trendy event

The major trend now is an accent on staff training, teambuilding and making events beneficial to the company. Those formats have replaced the regular “let’s get drunk and relax together” parties.

An event concept should not only be consistent with the company standards, it should also be creative and original. It’s worth it to also consider how your concept is up to with the modern trends. Especially if we are talking about impressing your partners or the mass media. However, the best course of action is to create your own solutions, improving your company’s image. To be ahead of the curve, you have to be aware of the modern approaches.

So, what was trendy in 2017, and what will stay trendy in 2018? The major trend now is an accent on staff training, teambuilding and making events beneficial to the company. Those formats have replaced the regular “let’s get drunk and relax together” parties. In this article we are going to consider the hottest trends of the event industry.

Seasonal dependence

Corporate events are subject to clear seasonal changes. The high season starts in the summer and lasts until the New Year. The tenders for the New Year celebrations start in the summer.  An agency should be very aware of the modern trend, to be able to offer something that is going to be fashionable during winter, in summer. The corporate New Year celebrations take place in December-January. In summer the hottest offers are for quests, open air events, sports competitions.

Major trends

Benefit to the company

The general trend is away from traditional corporate parties with alcohol and toward spending time beneficially for the staff and the company. Team-building, training, business tours are particularly topical today.

The most popular events are:

  1. Quests: those can take the form of interactive games or tournaments taking place indoors, or even inside the office. The props are handed to the participants, who have the rules explained to them. Another option is a quest that takes place place in a specially prepared room or a facility, with decorations tailored for a specific concept. Also very interesting are the real life quests, when the organizers equip several sites at a specific location especially for the game.
  2. In the area of theme games, it is possible to develop some knock-offs of the “Mafia” or the “Monopoly” games, or use another formats somehow related to the company’s operations.
  3. Business trips: that means trips to training workshops, conferences, partner meetings.
  4. Sports competitions: they are ideal for young staff. You may hold something similar to the Olympic games, or think up of some kind of a relay race.
  5. Culture tours: you could choose an interesting historical landmark, or visit a museum together.

For PepsiCo top managers we organized a field quest together with a tour around Tuscany in vintage Italian cars

Unconventional venues

The commonplace banquet halls with stages are becoming outdated, just as traditional wild parties. You can organize corporate events at unconventional venues. For example: yacht clubs, train cars, factories, military firing grounds and bunkers, creative spaces, i.e. the places, which haven’t been even considered in the past as possible venues for celebrations. Then you think about original concepts and ideas tailored for those venues.

Global concepts, where the event idea covers more than just a single venue: on-line and to off-line spaces, such as parks or retail outlets are popular currently.

New technologies

Corporate events are becoming high-tech. Of course, it’s hard to wow modern people with artists’ performances or stage tricks. Interactive displays, videogames, VR headsets are commonplace at nearly every large event. Usually, they are used as an additional element to entertain the guests at reception or during breaks in the main program.

You may use the following technologies in your concept:

  1. VR/virtual reality, for example, VR attractions, helping the guests to be carried away in a topical action or horror environment. Video games and VR headsets should not be more than an addition to the main program: the people meet together to communicate and mingle, not to find themselves in the virtual world.
  2. AR/augmented reality: the difference from the virtual reality is that in the AR virtual objects are transposed over the real world. For example, you can install an AR display, where guests would be able to take photos of themselves in various images, trying virtual costumes on. Alternatively, you can set up a virtual quest similar to a hit game Pokemon Go.
  3. MR/mixed reality is a hybrid between the virtual and the augmented reality. Instead of simple transpositions, as in the AR, this technology is able to create completely new objects based on the input data. A special headset allows a person to control the things they create via hands and voice. A person sees the real world and the holograms at the same time, hearing the sounds from the game and from the real world simultaneously. As a result, we get the most realistic simulation.
  4. Interactive displays and gadgets/dynamic interactive installation help you entertain your guests. You can set up a music recording, painting displays, a photo display and various others.
  5. 3D mapping and video mapping are projection shows involving creation and projection of 3D images on tridimensional, sculptured surfaces: people, cars, buildings, specially designed structures, virtually on any static or moving objects. These technologies differ from traditional light shows in that they use 3D images and use projectors instead of lasers.
  6. Using artificial intelligence at an event. i.e. virtual aid/hostess, receiving the guests in the welcome area.

The new technologies are also used to record the event. Panoramic 360 degrees photos, go pro, drones: you can use every technology created by humanity lately to enhance photo and video recording. That’s how you get beautiful photos and video reels, which are impossible to record with regular cameras or while shooting indoors.

Nike has built a 200-meters sprint track, which looks from above as a sport shoe print. Guided by LED displays installed along the track perimeter, the participants can compete against each other for the fastest time. That was a way for Nike to promote the new shoe line

Combining online and offline events

The tendency is to digitalize the corporate events, by combining online and offline activities. The old formats go along well with digital solutions. Live broadcasts from events are popular, as well as live streaming technologies. They help impressing those absent from the event: clients, partners, potential employees; all that improves the corporate image as a whole.

Before the start of an event we often see online engagement of visitors, for example, through internet competitions, special site developed for the occasion, e-mail newsletters. Later, one web site or a social network group collects all the videos, pictures, written reports, so that the event participants or anyone else can browse those materials.

Interaction technologies

Many large scale events use certain technologies to make the guests’ interactions easier. Those technologies can come up particularly handy if employees, who don’t know each other, for example, if they work in different departments, or even in different cities, attend an event. The MeYou app makes getting to know each other and communicating with each other at events and conferences easier for the guests. It allows the guests make contacts with each other and introduce themselves. The app service lists the guests, their competences and contacts.

The interactions between the event organizers and the guests may be also set up in real time. To do that, you can use survey services, which display results immediately after the guests enter their answers.

Immersive stage plays and interactive movies

Immersive stage plays and shows are different from the regular ones in that during the former the spectators are completely engaged in a play, and even participate in it. The actors mingle with the guests, and the latter become actors themselves. The only factor limiting use of these plays at corporate events is that they are difficult to prepare and impossible to organize if the number of guests is high. This format is ideal for small audiences, for example, it can be used at events held for top managers. It is advisable to hold them at a specially prepared custom venue. The performance itself can be a stage play or an absorbing quest.

The high point of the guests’ engagements with the performance is reached if a guest is the main character of the event

Interactive movies are akin to videogames. The guests may control the characters’ actions, and influence the narrative. A movie like that helps engaging the employees with the proceedings, and may facilitate communication between the guests. For example, the guests may select where the hero is going to go, or what he is going to do, through voting or team discussions.

Interactive movie shot for Raiffeisenbank

New possibilities to analyze the events’ interactive content

Now we have more opportunities to gather statistics and analyze the guests’ engagement. For example, we can use e-mail and social network surveys, interactive polls to assess the staff’s engagement and satisfaction level. We also have the ROI calculation systems - the return on investment factor, which allow for a long-term assessment of how effective the investments in corporate events are. Right now, it’s hard to tell how the technologies are going to develop further, but that direction looks promising indeed.

Immersing the agency into the client’s business

In the past, the interactions between a company and an event agency were simple: a client hired a contractor to create a concept, which, while it might have been creative, was usually detached from the company’s business. Now, more and more often we encounter complex solutions with the event organizers being deeply engaged in their client’s business and its features. The agencies make efforts to understand how the client’s business processes work and which type of an event would be more suitable for this particular company.


To summarize, the trends for 2018 are distinguished by the following;

  1. The shift in focus from the employees’ entertainment to the benefit for their professional and team working growth.
  2. Use of the latest technologies, from the intellectual intelligence to the virtual reality.
  3. Use of unconventional venues and creative concepts, events going online, digitalizing.
  4. Shows and performances with maximum engagement of the event’s guests in the proceedings.
  5. Deeper immersion of event-makers in the client’s business, when they choose the best concepts, taking into account the company’s specifics.

Now you know how to choose your concept and what is going to be trending this year: that information will help you choose the agency, which is the best for you. In our next article, we are going to discuss how you can interact with the event agency you have chosen, while organizing your event and how to control their work, so that everything goes smoothly.