Transparency & Authenticity
In an ever-expanding economy, it’s easy for consumers to feel like they’re in the dark about where the products they buy are coming from, how they’re made, and whether the companies they support with their dollars reciprocate by supporting the consumer’s values. More and more, companies are breaking down the walls to give consumers insight into who they are as brands and offer the transparency those consumers want.
Tip: Your attendees want your event to reflect their values and ethics, so talk about what you’re doing to support them.
Be mindful of what your audience cares about and be up front about the ways your event aligns with those passions. This way, your buyers can feel good about their ticket purchases.
If your audience is passionate about supporting local businesses, have your t-shirts printed at a local press and give them a shout out.
If sustainability is important to your audience, choose a catering company that uses compostable dining ware and include this information on your event page.
Make it simple for your buyers to support a cause by donating a portion of your ticket sales to a charity of your choice.
Fun & Comfort
Food trends evolve just as much as everything else, and they’re a big part of setting the tone for your event. This year, think about these ways to play with your food:
Instagrammable menu items: Think colorful milkshakes with edible glitter or impossibly-cheesy Impossible Burgers.
Plant-based comfort foods: Things like convincing veggie burgers and oat-milk lattes that you can’t tell apart from regular lattes.
Having fun: After you’ve snapped a photo of your food, put the phones away and be present with your dining companions. Enjoy live music, roaming interactive entertainment (roaming magicians?!), or play board games right at the table.
Tip: This trend is a chance for you to create a world for your attendees to get lost in and forget their troubles for a moment--and feel good about doing so.
As we’ve mentioned
before, making your event Instagrammable is a great free promotional tool. Put some thought into making the food you serve both visually stimulating (remember rainbow bagels?) and fun to eat (Pop-Rocks, anyone?).
Make mealtime about more than just the food. Cultivate connections among your attendees by providing activities for the table like board games or cards with icebreaker questions you’ve written.
Stand out from the standard fare and serve plant-based comfort foods instead (or just in addition). We’re not saying you have to go totally vegetarian, but food technology has come a long way in recent years and ethical eating has never tasted so good.
Incorporating design trends is a great way for your event to feel new and different without having to resort to extreme measures. Here are some trends we’ve noticed:
Color gradients: Moving from paper to screens, color gradients shift away from flatness to add depth and make designs feel more natural and real.
“Un-professional” stock photos: Think photos that look like they were taken by a friend with their phone rather than by a professional photographer with a fancy camera. These photos feel instantly familiar and approachable.
Open compositions: “Frameless” images that feel like they expand outside the edges of the page or screen they’re being viewed on, allowing the viewer to insert themselves and imagine what lies beyond.
3D: Images with such dimension and depth that you want to reach out and touch them.
Tip: While you probably don’t want to take cues from all of these trends at once, they can be a great source of inspiration when designing your event page and other promotional materials. For authentic-looking stock photos we love Unsplash
. If you’d like to explore color gradients or other trends we’ve mentioned, you don’t have to hire a designer. Snappa
is a great free graphic design tool, or get started with one of Canva’s many templates
Also keep these trends in mind when thinking about the physical space of the event. The color gradient you used in your promotional materials might make the perfect color scheme for your venue (or vice versa), and will bring a sense of cohesion in addition to just looking great.
AR (“augmented reality”) for immersive experiences is quickly becoming an important part of all types of events. It makes nearly anything possible, from shopping in a virtual pop-up shop to riding a rollercoaster without leaving your chair.
Chatbots: whether you love them or hate them, it’s clear that these automated response programs aren’t going away anytime soon. The good news? Since they’re customizable, they can be a valuable tool for everything from sales to event day FAQs.
Cybersecurity concerns increase as technology advances. These concerns are nothing new, but they’re not going away anytime soon. Event organizers will have a plan in place to ensure they comply with standards like GDPR, the Data Protection Act, and PCI DSS.
Tip: If having all of the latest technology at your event seems outside of your scope of expertise (and your budget), don’t worry. You don’t need gadgets to create an immersive experience. An attention to detail is all you need to make your attendees feel transported. Set up a chatbot on your website to automatically respond to common buyer questions about things like scheduling and other event details to save yourself time and keep your customers happy. As for cybersecurity, make sure you’re using two-factor authentication for all of your event data (anywhere you type in a username and password), and data encryption for your event’s WiFi.
In an era of neverending news, trust can seem hard to come by. When anyone can post an online review or Tweet their opinion, it’s difficult to discern what’s genuine and what isn’t. In their search for reputable sources of information, consumers are seeking out experts to help them make informed decisions about their purchases. If they want to succeed, businesses must now position themselves as experts by providing their customers with data, evidence, and unique insights. This helps build a truly trusting relationship with customers, gives them a sense of autonomy in their spending, and leaves them with a positive feeling about the experience.
Tip: Stand out to your audience by positioning yourself as an expert. If you have years of experience in your field, share your best insights. If you’re still relatively new, find a way to attach someone to your event (like a really smart guest speaker). If a special guest isn’t right for your event, reach out to a trusted industry publication for a write-up. Even great photos or videos from one of your previous events can serve as evidence that you’ve done this before, and you know how to show people a great time.
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