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Event Trends 2017

For events in 2017, expect more excitement and innovation than ever before. Events are challenging their audience’s expectations, and this unpredictability is creating a truly vibrant and groundbreaking industry.

Meaning there could be some big and exciting things to look forward to in 2017. For DMN, we’re expecting to see a lot more:


Events are no longer simply something you attend; they’re something you experience. Grabbing attention is no longer enough, you need to hold it. This is leading to more and more focus on the story (or message) behind brands.

Then this “story” is told through the event. Giving audiences a ‘taste’ of your brand and what it stands for in person.

Integral to your stories success is ensuring it’s compelling and immersive but in an entertaining way. However, remember to always leave room for the audience and their experience.


No longer is a big space and catering enough to attract the right people. To get the right audience, you need the right content for them.

Relevant speakers, thought leadership and beyond. More and more events are becoming focused on what they are offering to ensure they are attracting the audience they want.

Niche is nicer

General interest isn’t interesting enough. You have to drill down on your content led events, as people want greater focus and detail on exactly what interests them. The key then is to offer exactly this, no matter how niche. In fact, the more niche it is, the better; people are willing to spend more for the right event.

Personalised and customised

Taking the niche to its extreme is the idea. It would tailor all aspects (or as many as possible) to the attendee. Meaning they can focus their time and attention on the elements of the event that interest them. Doing this makes for a better experience every time.

Early days still for this with not many events doing it yet. However, things are moving in this direction, especially as technology prices continue to fall and understanding of big data make such an approach more scalable.


The sensation of the last few years is only set to grow in 2017. With predictions that it will flourish into a full ‘experience economy’. Moving this beyond a single event to put experience at the heart of brand strategy. Helping to appeal to the massive growth in demand for unique brand experiences.


Disruptor (or challenger) brands like Uber and Airbnb are turning industries upside down, by questioning accepted norms. Is it time for something different in events?

The reality is that this is already underway, with the continued rise of events incorporating more tech, social and experiential elements. But what’s next? Expect to find out in 2017.

So long silos

Stand-alone (or siloed) events are dying out. More than ever events and all other activity are becoming part of a single strategy. Your events can’t stand alone; they need to slot together with other channels to complete your brand picture.

Growth of live streaming

Live video is nothing new, but interacting with it is. From Facebook and Instagram’s new live offerings and beyond the possibilities and opportunities are enormous. However, live alone isn’t enough, it needs to fit in with the entire brand story and experience. Think beyond the confines of the screen.

Ever more social

Social media at events is par for the course these days. However, there’s still room to bring the two experiences closer together.

Look past social as just an optional “add-on”. Instead, make engagement integral to the experience by building it into the event from the ground up. This level of integration will make any experience of your brand more holistic and in turn more personal to those using it.

Reinventing space

It’s always about the experience, so the same place for the same event time and time again might not be the way to go. But a new location every time is also a tough ask for some events. So finding new ways to reuse or repurpose spaces to make them more interesting will be vital to reinvigorating many brand events.

Where your event is or how it looks is down to you and your imagination, there’s no rules. Realising this helps keep things creative, it also helps you manage costs, grow engagement and make your storytelling more relevant. It’s simply about understanding you are free to create spaces that speak to audiences, instead of following the rules.

Gamification and Apps

Make your experience as interactive as possible. Gamification can let you make things fun, but also allow you to gauge engagement directly. It’s also worth saying this doesn’t have to be online. Gamification can be a live experience too; it’s simply down to how inventive you can be.

Apps help further the reach of your brand at the event and beyond. You simply need to create something simple and engaging. Although this is a lot harder than it looks, the rewards are incredibly exciting.

VR and Augmentation

Taking Gamification and Apps to the next level, these exciting technologies let you offer experiences beyond the event. VR isn’t just for games; there’s also the prospect of virtual events. You can create anything, and be in two places at once. Who says you have to be there to be there?

Big Data

This rise in technology at events also has meant an increase in data. Meaning events are becoming smarter by using this data to understand what their audiences want and how to offer it to them. And as the technology gets smarter, capturing and using this data is only becoming simpler.

Take the event to the audience

Doesn’t just mean doing things virtually, although that’s no bad thing either. What it does mean is using tech and innovation to remove barriers between you and your audience.

Make engagement less convoluted and on their terms. Try mini-taster events or appearing in unexpected places or interacting directly with them through apps before the event.


After such an uncertain and tumultuous 2016, with Brexit and beyond, a key focus across almost every industry will be reassurance. Businesses will be looking to tell people they aren’t just still there, but they are better than ever. But also to try and let people know it’s business as usual and that everything will be okay.


There’s always something. That’s just the way of the world. No one can say what it will be with any certainty really, but every year they appear. Whether it turns out to be interactive food or some Pokemon Go hunt or whatever, it will happen. It’s also what makes events so exciting.