Event Trends We’re Loving Right Now

We always joke that Pinterest is an event producer’s best friend and worst enemy. On one hand, it is a database full of amazing ideas out there to inspire creativity and serve as a starting point in the planning process. On the other hand THERE ARE SO MANY IDEAS! How are you supposed to pick the best ones? What do I do when I client goes Pinterest rogue and wants to match pastel florals with jewel tone linens and a modern looking stage set?! Well, luckily our RJ Whyte Team has become experts at sorting through the noise and identifying what trends are worth following and which can be left on your Pinterest boards. Here are the top trends we’re looking forward to in 2019:

(photo from:  @impatrickt )

(photo from: @impatrickt)

1) Neon Signs: Raise your hand if you’ve taken an Insta pic in front of a neon sign, in a bar, on a greenery wall, that reads “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” or “Good Vibes Only” (If you live in DC, I see you! I know you’ve taken that iconic pic at 801). There’s a reason why these signs have become a staple on our social feeds: they’re FUN! Whether it’s a wedding hashtag, a positive affirmation, or a company logo, a neon sign evokes a sense of nostalgia and literally brightens up a room. They’re also becoming easier to customize and order. We love the things coming out of Brightly Ever After’s workshop, but you can also find lots of other options on Etsy!

2) Virtual Reality Experiences: It’s one thing to transform a space to make guests feel like they’ve been transported somewhere else and it’s another to be able to do so virtually. Over the Summer, our team visited Carne y Arena, an immersive experience meant to simulate what it is like to cross the border from Mexico into the United States. Compared to hearing speeches of other’s accounts of the journey, our simulated experience was much more impactful and deepened our level of understanding. While this experience was rather solemn, other virtual reality experiences can transport participants to remote and exotic locations, simulate various professions, and even bring imaginary worlds to life.

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 10.50.43 AM.png

3) Social Media Stations: Some of the best organic advertising comes via social media. We love concepting new activations specifically designed to pick up  some traction online. A social media station is a low cost and effective way to publicize an event and make everyone wish they had been a part of it. We have seen this implemented in a variety of innovative ways. This includes anything from a step and repeat with fun signage, unique and engaging photobooths that create gifs, to a DIY station that encourages guests to design something and then snap a photo of their project.

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 10.42.27 AM.png

4) Upgraded VIP Experiences: We have always been proponents of *exclusive* VIP experiences. That is to say, less than half of your ticket sales should be VIP. But how do you make up for the revenue you’d make by selling extra VIP tickets? That’s where hyper-elevated VIP experiences come into play. Gone are the days of a VIP gift bag and a better bar package; we’re talking about roaming oyster shuckers, one of a kind interactive experiences, and creating a real feeling of exclusivity. When you create an elevated VIP experience, you can charge more for tickets and make a real impact on guests.

5) Shorter programs: Our clients the mission of their organization must be at the forefront of their events, but this can result in an extensive program. In 2019, the goal of event programs will be to incorporate this mission without a lengthy speaking program. Whether it’s more interactive stations that allow guests for a small group experience, or creative touches like custom cocktail napkins with messaging on them, we’ve found that peppering an event with more subtle touches of messaging than a long program can better capture an audience’s attention. Have something that you just have to share? Video pieces can be a great option that limits the amount of people on stage and helps to keep an event running on time.