Industry Trends

Meeting Industry Trends - What's New and What's Hot!

Part I of a Two-Part Article to be continued in the
May/June Issue of OnSite.
by Carol Malinky, CMP  
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I had the opportunity to find out from Meeting and Event Professionals what is happening in the industry in the areas of social media, technology, decor, food & beverage, apps., meeting experiences, promotional items, meeting activities, production, and Trends in Healthcare -The Sunshine Act.   
  David Adler , CEO & Founder of BizBash starts us off by providing an interesting overview on:  "14 Trends That Will Keep You Current and Will Impress Your Boss"...      

1. Traditional PowerPoint is Dead - Look to things like PREZI and other tools to get the point across to your teams and your audiences.

2. Talk in 140 Characters - The way people communicate is changing. Have your speakers make their points clearly so an audience member can extend the reach through social media. 

3. Decor is Social Media - Make sure that you spend the money on decor for attendees to capture via Instagram or Vine.

4. Think Hybrid- but Present Meetings Still Rule - Not everyone will be able to attend your event, so learn about streaming. Ustream, Skype or Google Hang Outs are great ways to virtually connect with participants. Beware though, unless you cater to the hybrid audience they may just clean their desks and not pay attention.

5. Strategic Marketing Design - Forget the concept of “Sell and Tell”, it's now about “Ask and Engage” according to Meeting Design Pro Mary Boone.

6. Collaboration Is Cool - Always create ways for people to build their social capital by giving plenty of time for the "Serendipity Effect" in the hallways or at lunch and breaks. 

7. Understand Their Brain is Different Than Yours - Paying attention is no longer what you think, multitasking is a huge part of today’s society. Even though they aren’t looking at you, they are still paying attention. 

8. The Game Layer is Everywhere - It’s not just fun and games, but "Game Dynamics". When you think that your school report card is just a game, it changes the way you think about it. Engagement counts and game dynamics help.

9. Edu-core Helps Redefine Décor Budget - It’s much easier to get a budget for an educational message than a flower arrangement. Be creative with your signage and position it as an educational element. 

10. The Event Organizer is the "Mayor" of Their Ecosystem - Think holistically.

11. Don't Be Afraid to Give Up Control - Many of the new collaboration techniques may take an event where planners don't necessarily know where they are going. Polls, self-documenting events, tweet walls and other new tools make everyone nervous. 

12. Experiential is Out, Transformational is in - With attendees getting more sophisticated, they have seen and heard everything. Surfacing approaches are no longer acceptable, attendees want to be moved and transported. 

13. Charging Stations and Wifi Make People Happy - Companies like Brightbox have recently created charging stations to drop off your cell phone in a secure compartment to charge for minutes, or hours, while you explore the trade show.

14. Build Your Own Intellectual Capital - Secret Power of Going to Conferences - Conferences activate reward circuits in the brain and the neurotransmitter—dopamine—that is essential for motivation.  For people to feel a part of a group, they need to experience being in that group. 
Food & Beverage  
  I had the privilege to find out from one of New York's top chefs, Geoffrey Zakarian, Chef/Partner of New York City restaurants The Lambs Club and The National about the latest food trends.  Chef Zakarian is established as America's favorite judge on Food Network's Chopped, and emerged victoriously in the 4th Season of The Next Iron Chef earning him the title Iron Chef.  
1. At The Lambs Club and The National, what type of menus do you recommend for upscale dinners?  Well we designed both menus with options. Those wanting a sit down menu experience from the chef can join us in the dining room where we have both a la carte and prix fixe options to those wanting more casual can join us in The Lambs Club Bar upstairs which serves with lighter food and also the full menu.  

2. What is your favorite food/wine pairing? Rose and Cuban cigars.
3. Which of your restaurants would you recommend for a luncheon and which for a dinner for 100 people? I think they are both ideal, depending on your crowd. The Lambs Club is known for their power lunch, though! The National is perfect for dinner. There are private dining rooms upstairs which can be set to satisfy the needs of any event planner.

4. What appetizers are most popular right now for cocktail reception/parties? Anything fried with cheese as well as anything raw with shaved cheese.  
 Event Design and Decor
Debra Roth, also known as Pink Deb is a Creative Director and Designer with history in Tension Fabric Structures and Performance Art.  She is exposed to some of the greatest and most prolific visual design work going on in the world today. Debra is responsible for a variety of product lines, all informed by her vast knowledge in Event Design and Live Experiences.
In addition, Debra’s work in experiential and live marketing, as well as show production combined with her expertise in technology and social media marketing, truly allows her to add a special and unique creativity to all her projects.

Debra shares some of her design tips and observations for 2013...

Emerald is Pantone’s Color of the Year 2013
.  In addition, we see bright colors, gem tones, gold, silver or white with bright accent colors.

Focal Points in the Room - Focus your money in one area – Create unique visuals using fabric. There are many rental products in the marketplace that will keep you in budget. Products available run from stretch fabric to inflatables and curtains and/or draping = big impact.  
Also in fabric - SEG - Silicon Edge Graphics, fabric or other substrates combined with printing brings you simple and clean lines. And don’t forget your entryways – you only have one chance to make a first impression! 

Lighting LED -  Don’t forget your lighting, it creates ambience!  All kinds of LED’s are available now - screens, lights, and moving fixtures. The technology keeps advancing, bringing more power and less expense!

Video Projection Mapping - Technology and Content combine to create an amazing effect!  We have seen amazing projects on buildings, but don’t forget small areas and stage sets are also GREAT for Projection Mapping! (Content is still KING; we also need content for LED screens!)

3D printing!  Today this is becoming more a reality as desktop 3D printers are here!  Get ready to print in three dimensions from 3D photo scans or models generated in 3D computer programs. These printers render in a variety of materials. It works similar to a 2D printer, but carriage goes around in different dimensions and deposits the material to create 3D sculptural form.  

Recycled & Repurposed Materials - DIY  "Do It Yourself" Everybody is doing it!  But remember we are still the professionals!  Many materials considered "craft" before, are showing up as décor at meetings and events!  Paper, Neoprene or even Flowers are being used in a different way, being sculpted into 3D forms using frames, manipulation, at times suspended, and combined with techniques like Crocheting, Knitting and Knotting!  

Natural Materials – lots of wood, branches (what is with the birch?)  Still en vogue, farm and communal tables, shabby chic, vintage and antiques.  Now, there are more vintage rental available than ever before!    


Multiples of: light bulbs / cups / watches / umbrellas! REPETITION!
  As Bob Russo of VDA Productions calls it the "cubic foot rule" - Get enough stuff in a an area it will create an impact! Often used as Ceiling Treatments or Chandeliers  


And finally - Gatsby is coming (again!)
 Get ready for more lawn parties, 30’s deco, swing, roaring 20’s, flappers, big bands, speakeasy, specialty cocktails, and mixology. Think custom cocktails!  

Meeting Experiences  
I had the opportunity to see speaker, Howard Givner, Executive Director of the Event Leadership Institute present an insightful discussion on "New Thinking on Content Delivery & Engagement".  
Howard has some interesting concepts and has shared some of his ideas on meeting experiences...  

1)  Involve the audience - "Tell me, I'll forget, Show me I'll remember, Involve me, I'll understand".
2)  Facilitate Interaction - have reserved tables, by topic or interest groups.  

3)  Varying the seating format - mix seating styles (couches and table/chairs) and allow attendees to choose their seat.  Those with iPads don't need a table to take notes, while others may prefer a table and chair.  

4)  Meet the Experts - scheduled and/or unscheduled opportunities to meet several experts in one room and one-on-one opportunity for attendees.  

5)  Add Kiosks/Genius Bars - when not everyone needs to hear certain topics.  

6)  Add a huge chalk board or sign where attendees can answer a question like... What is on the top of your bucket list of things you want to do in your life?  

7)  Interactive Exhibits (museum style wall) for attendees to interact and learn.  

8)  Flash learning mobs - Good for adding an element of surprise and buzz:  Alert attendees through event apps., and utilize informal, unconventional locations.  

9)  Polling - low vs. high tech - Digital responses for confidential tally's vs. no tech with plastic clickers or standing up. 

10)  Pre-event and Post-event - use video clips and photos pre-event to create buzz and post event to share highlights from the event.  

To learn more, visit
 Public Relations / Social Media
  I asked PR guru, Inna Shamis Lapin, CEO/Principal of AvantGarde Communications Group how social media is helping PR..  
Inna said, "Social Media has significantly changed the landscape of PR, and more importantly, how to build brand awareness in today’s marketplace. For that reason, I always suggest my clients integrate social media initiatives in order to: ·        

Leverage their overall PR initiatives.

a vibrant community of followers.

their online brand visibility.

more clients/customers.

their web traffic.

a competitive edge in their respective marketplace.

In the May/June Issue of OnSite we pick up with Carol’s 2-part article on Meeting Industry Trends and learn about Mobile applications, Technology, Team Building, Trends in Health Care Meeting Planning and more.

I would like to thank the contributors of the Meeting Industry Trends, Part I for their updates.  

Carol Malinky, CMP
Event Director C.A.
Malinky Communications 
P: 201.232.0110