Whether you've been producing events for 2 years or 20, you may notice the landscape has changed. If you're looking to cruise into the new year with a failsafe experiential activation, consider putting these 5 trends in the driver's seat and enjoy the ride.
- Make Customization Key
From start to finish, give consumers what they crave. Make sure you break your audience into subcategories and do the research to put a plan in place to please the toddlers and the teens. Give guests a VIP option, different timed entries, and freedom to choose from a menu of activities. Include an activity or area that stresses self-care and wellness and let your attendees become masters of their own experience.
- Create Sustainable Environments
Be mindful of your environmental impact. Create an event space and footprint that stresses sustainable practices and make that a cornerstone of your messaging. Give young people agency to control their carbon footprint at the event by using biodegradable products, having recycling bins clearly marked, and encouraging energy efficiency.
- Give AR the Mantle
VR has been dethroned, and AR is on the rise. From registration to event execution, use customized apps and AR to seamlessly engage your audience while also collecting data that can be passed along to your clients. Optimize AR with interactive maps or entertainment with gaming elements for the whole family, enhance your physical environment with integrated tech, give grownups and kids an opportunity to network with their peers, and push your narrative past the event with additional content.
- Scale Down and Keep it Interesting
Events are downsizing, but this by no means limits your potential reach. Just as audiences crave customization and personalization in their event programming, they are looking for event spaces to feel authentic and inspired. Pull your brand into a larger community festival with your own breakout event footprint. Narrow in on a specific target audience and choose an intimate space to stage your activation. Take over a local bookstore, museum, botanical garden, or amphitheater. Create visual appeal with dramatic signage or unconventional seating, or bring the outdoors inside. If your physical space captures an air of exclusivity, or excitement, this enthusiasm will feed digital anticipation and fervor for subsequent partner events and activations.
- Incite Participation over Passivity
Gone are the days where a clever hashtag and a slick step and repeat marked the hallmark of an event for social sharing adults. With kids and parents alike losing attention spans at a dizzying rate and screen time claiming a tyrannical share of waking hours, the real success of an event comes when sensory engagement causes everyone to put their device down. Build an event with at least one activity that requires full participation and you'll find the strength of this shared experience will elicit more brand currency than a social share.