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  • Katie

Trend Forecasting 2019: Events & Lifestyle

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When I was at university studying fashion and for a short time afterwards working in the fashion industry, a large part of my time was spent researching upcoming trends. Of course fashion is a few seasons ahead of real world time- everything must be prepared and predicted well in advance so how do these companies know what will be hitting the right notes and how do they become the influencers to then project these trends onto mainstream society?

There are several resources available who specialise in trend forecasting- my favourite is WGSN. Despite having been out of the commercial clothing industry for a number of years now I still can’t resist checking the journals and forecasters to see whats going to be happening in the future. After all, the forecasters influence the high end designers who in turn influence the high street which dictates (to an extent) the mainstream trends of the year. Of course this is relative to the fashion world… I’m now in the world of entertainment and event planning (maybe you are too?) so this year I tailored my research into more mainstream predictions. I spent my time searching for new resources relative to the events industry. From reading the thoughts and predictions of creative directors and established industry figures to looking for potential key popular culture happenings in the calendar which could in turn reflect on the event industry… I think I speak for all UK performers when I say that The Greatest Showman was without a doubt the hottest event theme of 2018.

So here are some of my findings- I’ve tried to break it down as simply as possible- I hope if you’re reading this you find them interesting and helpful, or maybe if they are correct you’ll remember this post later in the year. If they’re wrong then sucks to be me- but we can’t always be right! ;)

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General Trends

-So its safe to say 2018 was the year of the unicorn and the flamingo… step aside face painters nightmares and say helllooooo to………. The llama. Yep…. You heard me right. The alpaca’s less cute, taller cousin easily provoked to spit at people… maybe they’ll be glittery too?

-The mermaid trend is here to stay with more shimmering, iridescent colours.

-Frozen 2- the hit Disney princess movie is back- if it’s anything like the first brace yourselves to hear warbling sing a longs wherever you go!

-Animals! Wild animals are set to be a hit of 2019 with the release of the Lion King and Dumbo in the same summer!

-Flowers- especially floral arrangements- ok so I’m not sure I was following this- but it kept coming up! Apparently the old trends of ‘have a go’ crafts or pot painting, or t shirt making are old and the “try it yourself” activity of the year is set to be flower arranging… so rock n roll.

-Toys! Another movie release is predicted to send toys back into fashion- put the iPads down kids and pock up your action figures!

-Branded Everything! Whilst buying from independent stores and smaller brands is something I actively support it can’t be denied that the big brands are here to stay… Starbucks logo on a hoodie, Mcdonalds meme on your socks… big brands are still being out on everything you can imagine in 2019.

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So this is the bit that should directly affect me- these are the points that event managers and clients are predicting will be important when creating events in the future.

Journey- this is the absolute key term in events for 2019! Attending an event can no longer just be for a crazy night out- events need a larger purpose, they need to be an experience, they need to take the guests on a journey.

Wellness, mindfulness and confidence- Mental health awareness is becoming more important in the world today and with influencers and the millennials driving the trends of supporting wellness this will be a trend which transfers into the events industry. Events which give the guests confidence or encourage a positive mental attitude will be more popular.

Simplification- in some senses this is a tricky one- with the economic uncertainties of 2019 due to Brexit and politics it is likely the number of events will reduce to fit with more careful financial plans. However the events may be less frequent but are expected to be larger and with more atmosphere than before. As a result simplification is essential- provide quality over quantity ensuring programmes run smoothly creating a stress-free, organised and effective event for your client.

Green Events- we live in a world where we absolutely must reduce waste and this is as important in the event industry as any other. Many larger companies will want to encourage their events to be eco- friendly. This includes reducing single use waste, reducing food waste, recycling, buying sustainable products and adopting a more user friendly menu including options for vegans, using only organic produce and encouraging fresher, healthier choices.

Interactive experiences - to further support my first point- interactive experiences and immersive events are here to stay. These type of events have a wider purpose- they are more memorable for guests and encourage team building, social interactions and social sharing. Examples include having a beauty booth set up next to a photo booth to get guests ‘selfie ready’, using a venue with a story or related to the theme adding extra value or have a go style activities such as graffiti walls.

Offline- this one I have mixed feelings about. Its both an important idea and yet potentially so damaging to the event industry. The concept is simple- switch off your mobile phone, have a whole night of real life interaction and entertainment watched through your own eyes rather than through a camera lens and enjoy a night off social media. For some this would be bliss. The downside is that sharing events on social media creates more interest in the event and also allows memories to be recorded, so without it promoting events and getting valuable feedback via social media channels will be much more difficult. I guess we have to watch this space.

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Films and TV series often have an effect on the events industry- sometimes short lived and whirlwind-like and other times long lasting- I mean having the Ghostbusters turn up at your event has seemingly never grown old! Whereas for example Breaking Bad exploded onto the scene- took over everything then things moved on. So heres a quick list of just a handful of releases this year which might be a trend for your event- or for an event you’re asked to create!

TV sees the return of so many great programs, Victoria, Inside No.9, Poldark and Dr who… the list goes on, but I feel the main two which continue to influence the events industry will be Peaky Blinders (back for its 5th series) and of course the final season of Game of Thrones set to air in April 2019- its the finale- its gonna be huge.

Over in Hollywood Disney fans brace yourselves as theres the release of live action Aladdin, Dumbo, The Lion King, Frozen 2 and not forgetting Toy Story 4 amongst others! (And of course another Star Wars movie)

Other fun releases include the Downton Abbey film, The latest from the Avengers, The Joker, a new Lego movie and a Pokemon movie and we’re still in the all audience territory- though lets face it- all the best films are!

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In terms of marketing, analysts are suggesting similar to what I covered in the events section.

Their key terms are ‘Inspire action’ and “create feelings and emotion” -both of which any good event should do. Marketing also leans heavily towards the importance of fitness, mindfulness and creating a sense of unity.

Technology and outer space are as always progressively in the running. With constant technological advancements and progression in assistants such as Siri and Alexa the influence hi tech has is stronger than ever.

Influencers- influencers are one of those important things in modern life- influencers have the power to market almost anything, this should be a tool for success.

Journeys and experiences- reiterating the earlier prediction, the suggestion that events and marketing need to connect with clients on a higher level, creating an entire atmosphere, playing to all the senses.

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Imagery and Graphics

Creative forecasters predict new trends in imagery and graphics for 2019- so if you’re a creator or want to tailor your marketing to suit heres what they have to say:

  • Open compostion- less framing

  • 3D

  • Anti-gravity- floating elements

  • Vivid colours and dreamy colours combined

  • Metallic effects galore- golden, shimmer, iridescent

  • Fluid and liquid effects

  • Maxi and outline typography (I know- I haven’t done any of these)

  • Text with backgrounds

  • Realism and flat mixes

Also- if you hadn’t guessed the colour of 2019 according to Pantone is “Living Coral”

So in summary I think its clear to say 2019 is predicted to be much different to 2018, its already shaping up to be an action packed one- we’ve never had a January so busy! I think events will expand in size but require more attention to detail, if Frozen 2 is a success I would expect that to have a relatively large influence on the events sector and I’d suggest maybe this is the last year for Game of Thrones entertainment… but we shall see. Bring on the next 11 months!


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