INDUSTRY INSIGHT: EVENT TRENDS 2016

LAST WEEK, WE VISITED INTERNATIONAL CONFEX 2016 - AN EVENT FOR EVENT ORGANISERS. AN EVENT WHERE WE COULD ENJOY BEING THE VISITOR AS WE IMMERSED OURSELVES IN THE LATEST TRENDS, TECHNOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS THAT WE CAN EXPLORE THROUGH FUTURE IDEAS.

Taking place at London's Olympia, this grand venue was the perfect setting for the multiple stands and exhibitions that sought to grab our attention. Here are the top ideas that caught ours:

RFID (RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION)

If RFID technology had the final say, then the traditional invitation would be extinct. Growing ever more popular, RFID technology enables you to engage with your target audience with one easy tap. 

Visitors can collect interesting content, great rewards, take their photo, engage interactive kiosks, gain entry to attractions, post to social media or even spend money by simply tapping their RFID tag.

While they are interacting event organisers are gathering data and intelligence to understand and enhance their experience. All in real time.

For us, the exciting part lies in where we can merge RFID technology with the event experience and how this could look creatively. The possiblities, it would seem, are endless...

EXPERIENTIAL EATING

Heston-style dining shows no sign of disappearing any time soon. And we're delighted about this. From edible mist to lickable fragrance, experiential eating is only growing more weird and wonderful as food designers become increasingly experimental; tailoring sensory experiences to individual events and briefs.

Taste is an essential part of the visitors' journey throughout an event, as they take in the sights and smells of their surroundings - bowl food and traditional canapés simply will not cut it, especially when the focus is food. So, we're set to get our thinking caps on and explore how some of the culinary geniuses we met can help us bring our own ideas to life.

BRANDED POP UPS

Of course, the pop up is nothing new but we just love how you can literally get any kind of transport branded today. From vintage piaggios to coffee trikes and bus bars - we are always looking for that extra addition to create even more of a talking point. And when they're serving up delicious coffee and treats too, what more could an event goer ask for!?

PHOTO BOOTHS

The traditional photo booth has come a long way in the past few years. From moving image (GIF) to The Flash Pack's 360 degree capture, bespoke booths are a must for all event-organisers. Social sharing is essential, as is enabling choice; whether that's offering a choice of back drop, printed overlay or props for people to pose with - the photo booth's purpose at each event is strategically thought out.

From magic mirrors to unexpected booths placed in camper vans and artificial living walls - the future of photo booths is to keep adding a new element of surprise and whilst ever these are being developed, we are keen to use them to their full advantage.

VIRTUAL REALITY

Allowing us a moment of escapism, technology gurus caught my personal attention when passing a digital screen that instantly morphed my head into Darth Vader's. Inviting visitors into games where they were the on-screen characters, we identified this as a trend throughout the tech floor.

Meeting gaming developers who were keen to create an interactive game based around individual event concepts, this made us wonder how this could work on a larger scale and what the future of this technology might hold.

ECO PROPS

Here at WLT, we love to re-use and recycle anything and everything. So when we saw these amazing 'Go Green' life-size props, we squealed with excitement. Sustainable, practical and lovely to look at - these cardboard beauties have only made us more eager to love what we do whilst being kind to our planet.

Jenna x