Last week I attended the GoWest 2018 Conference in Edmonton, Alberta. It was an amazing experience, and well-attended by 350 industry professionals from across Canada.

A constant flow of speakers was featured over the two days including David Merrell of AOO Events in Los Angeles, Shannon Boudreau of The Lazy Gourmet (Vancouver), and Derek MacDonald of Boom Goes the Drum (Calgary). Innovation and inspiration was the common thread among all.

For anyone working in the events industry, it is important to be able to recognize and foresee social and cultural evolution. This helps planners operate in the direction that will be most innovative and impactful for their clients. Being able to anticipate what trends will happen in the next year or two, is what puts an event planner at the top of their game. This can be achieved through research into the fashion, interior design, and technological industries.  Events should go further than getting people together for yet another boring conference or gala dinner. They should be experiences that reach beyond that moment and leave attendees with a fantastic memory, a learning experience and growth, or new interest in a heartfelt cause.

Event planners are in the business of attention. We can capture a group of people together and transmit emotions or ideas, stimulate their senses, and influence thought. The usual “20 rounds of 10 with breakfast, lunch and two breaks, plus a screen and projector” is dead in the water before it even happens.

Mass culture is a thing of the past and sub-cultures have become the norm.  There are new behaviours and new challenges that come with these emerging communities.  They want experiences and worthwhile information. Events in 2018 must be intentional, mindful, purposeful, and transformational by design.

Please leave me a comment on where you look to get inspiration and find upcoming trends… would love to hear from you!

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