Event Trends: Top Event Ideas of 2009
Discover the most exciting innovations to hit the market this yearby Lara McCulloch-Carter | Published in December 2009 event trends | Departments
Discover the most exciting innovations to hit the market this year
I’m not very good at anticipating the weather, let alone predicting what the masses will find all-consuming in the coming year. But, through my blog, I do have the pleasure of hearing about great new products, services, companies and concepts. Here is a list of some of my favorites – and what I hope will be incorporated into many an event in 2010.
Some of the best ideas are adaptations or evolutions of old ideas. Sweatshoppe, the brainchild of Bruno Levy and Blake Shaw, smashes “been there, done that” video with art, architecture and music to create a new category of entertainment called “video painting.” In their performances, they appear to paint images that move in synch to music onto virtually any surface. Suffice it to say, it’s hot. See them at sweatshoppe.org.
Before Oprah brought flash mobs to the masses, they were a way for off-center attention seekers to shock and awe – and they’ve been around for years. Recently, they’ve been adopted by innovative corporations seeking to create memorable experiences worth sharing. One such company is T-Mobile, creators of the T-Mobile Dance and the mass singing of “Hey Jude” in Trafalgar Square, both of them now YouTube sensations. This concept is easily adaptable to corporate events.
I could write an entire article on Twitter alone. In short, using Twitter (twitter.com) at an event can help extend the dialogue, allow your audience or guests to share their experiences, and expand the reach of your event beyond those who can make it in person. After you’ve created a hashtag (i.e., a # symbol followed by a keyword or short form for your event, such as #es2010 for Event Solutions’ upcoming Conference & Tradeshow), a plethora of tools are at your disposal. Two free tools that can be used at the event are Wiffiti (wiffiti.com) and Visible Tweets (visibletweets.com). Both let you share what people are saying about your event and display it to your live audience.
Be gone expensive handheld polling devices. Planners now have a free alternative in Poll Everywhere. I’ve used this myself in a number of presentations I’ve delivered across North America—it’s super easy, very fast and incredibly effective. All you do is ask a question and audience members respond by text message (Poll Everywhere doesn’t charge anything, although standard text messaging fees apply) or Twitter and results are updated live in your web browser or presentation! Learn more at polleverywhere.com.
The coolest new tool for the event designer, myPANTONE, for the iPhone or iPod Touch, lets you take your Pantone colors with you. The best part of this app is the matching system. Let’s say you walk by a Saks Fifth Avenue shop window and see a stunning display of haute colors. Take a picture and let myPANTONE tell you what the closest Pantone matches are. Oh, and if you like a specific color, myPANTONE will automatically generate harmonious color combinations! Learn more at pantone.com or go to the Apple App Store.
Inamo is a Japanese-Thai-Chinese fusion restaurant located in Soho, London. Revered for its delicious menu, the restaurant has achieved international fame for its interactive ordering system. Using touchscreen technology, guests control their dining experience. With the touch of a finger, diners select the mood of their table design, scroll through visuals of the food and drink menu, watch the chefs prepare their meals, discover the local neighborhood and even order a taxi…all on their tabletop.
Have a visual experience of the restaurant at inamo-restaurant.com.
I reported on the mobile trend last month, and Müvbox falls right in line. Essentially, it is a very chic looking traveling restaurant in a box. Created out of an old shipping container powered by solar energy, it opens in less than a minute and morphs into a dining experience. Since it’s a shipping container, it can be easily transported to anywhere in the world by land or water. Although not currently available by lease or rental, we’re hoping it will be one day soon.