Keeping up with the latest trends is essential to creating unique, memorable experiences for our clients. With the constant emergence of innovative technology, it is probably not surprising that the majority of 2017 trends in event planning revolve around the digital world and social media platforms.

Unconventionality, experiment, and customization seem to be the defining traits of this year's most popular choices within the event planning industry. We have selected four trends which are slowly but surely becoming the norm for most prestigious event planning companies worldwide.

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Personalized Experiences and Niche Audiences

More and more emphasis is being placed on carefully aligning the venue location, atmosphere, decor, music, entertainments and activities, as well as other central elements, with the attendees' needs and tastes. The demand for individualized, customized experiences has grown exponentially and this year, clients are requesting this type of events more than ever. With such a widespread preference for personalized experiences, organizers will inevitably have to invest more time and resources into setting up unique events for clients and their guests.

Biometric applications like fingerprint, facial or iris recognition are only some of the tools event planners are starting to use in order to enhance and customize attendees' experience, while artificial intelligence is also gathering momentum. By promptly providing information and acting as personal concierges, artificial intelligence assistants such as Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana are undoubtedly going to boost the success of any event. Introducing chatbots or other types of artificial intelligence into the event planning industry is bound to increase engagement and provide attendees with a singular experience.

Appealing to smaller, target audiences is another very popular trend in 2017 which goes hand in hand with the demand for individualized experiences, as organizing events for specific demographics is guaranteed to result in unique experiences and intimate settings. One thing is for sure - the one-size-fits-all approach is no longer the key to success in event planning.

Live Streaming and Digital Audiences

Considering the prevalence of live streaming video content via social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube or Snapchat, it probably doesn't come as a shock that this trend is slowly becoming a staple element of a wide range of events, from weddings to prestigious galas. By virtue of drones equipped with 4K cameras coupled with the live broadcast features of social platforms, people will be able to attend and experience events regardless of their current location. While some argue that remote participation will ruin attendance and engagement, most professional planners strongly believe that live streaming will become one of the most powerful tools in the industry by the end of 2017, bound to substantially expand event reach and increase awareness.

Augmented and virtual reality, courtesy of which digital audiences can enjoy a life-like, enhanced experience, are also predicted to become mainstream in the years to come. Groundbreaking technologies like Structure and Bridge are going to make participating to events incredibly easy and affordable for virtual attendees.

Meaningful Experiences and Leisure Activities

Catering to the emotional needs of participants and incorporating leisure activities into the schedule might seem counterintuitive or even inappropriate in the context of corporate events like conferences, meetings or luncheons. In fact, providing attendees with experiences and spaces such as recreational rooms or sensory lounges is actually very beneficial for the dynamics of a formal event, allowing people to unwind and socialize in a more casual, relaxed setting.

However, because each demographic has different needs, planners will have to carefully assess which leisure activities it would best to include in the program by taking into consideration factors such as participants' age, profession, and status, as well as the type of event they will attend. Local flavors can also be used to enhance attendees' experience and increase the success of certain brands and products. By bringing attention to aspects like location, culture or cuisine, people are more likely to remember the event, as they will associate it with positive emotions.

Unconventional Locations and "Pop-Up" Events

Casual places like lofts, coffee shops or rehearsal studios, as well as obscure locations, are slowly replacing traditional, upscale venues, while informality is becoming the norm. In 2017, it is not uncommon for important events to take place at a considerable distance from central districts. This entails a series of great advantages for both organizers and attendees, such as avoiding the hectic traffic and the typical bustle of city centers.

Another notable trend expected to grow in popularity this year is "pop-up" events. It refers to holing the event in a place which would not normally be appropriate, but which has been remodeled to suit the host's brand or mission. To have greater impact, these events are often announced shortly before they are due. If you want to surprise your audience and leave your attendees with a long-lasting impression, a "pop-up" event will certainly do the job.

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