13 Sizzling Event Trends for 2016

2016 Event Trends Cheers to the New Year. When the confetti settles, you’ve swallowed the last sip of champagne and the tux or little black dress is off to the dry cleaners, it’s time to look forward.

We don’t make claims to be clairvoyant, but with swiftly changing technology, geek culture going mainstream and two Pantone colors, 2016 is going to be a pivotal year in events.

Let’s get to our top 13 trends:

1. The Social Scape is Changing

Social media is here to stay, but the traditional status update about dogs and brunch may be put out of its misery.

More and more users are adopting messenger apps, such as WhatsApp or iMessage because they offer private communication and of course, the ability to send hilarious gifs.

According to the Pew Research Center, “half (49%) of smartphone owners ages 18 to 29 use messaging apps, while 41% use apps that automatically delete sent messages.”

There’s no getting around it. Organizers have to make social part of their events. Which brings us to:

2. “Your Audience has an Audience”

Snapchat is on the rise. No longer just for the vanishing selfie, the service offers live event feeds and is even hiring reporters to cover the 2016 election.

At the 2015 Seattle Interactive Conference, David Shing, venerated digital prophet relayed that brands should consider the experience of their audience’s audience—fans at home in their pjs watching their friends’ videos of a distant festival.

Bleak, weird, incredibly cool? We’ll let you make up your own mind about that.

Just don’t worry, because…

3. Happiness is Live Events 

It’s not just your live-event-lovin’ imagination. Research shows that shared experiences make people happier than things and that millenials are definitely into not-owning things, aka “nownership.” (They’re also into portmanteaus.)

What does this mean? Well, good news for you, because the event industry is booming. But it may also mean more competition as brands try to reach consumers through experiences.

Speaking of…

4. The Whole Experience

Remember the olden days, in 2012 when you would go out to dinner and then to a show? Or you would go to a show and then go out for drinks? Or you would go to dinner and then just go home?

That’s O-V-E-R. (O.K., slight hyperbole.) Food events are incorporating more performance elements and performances are including more food elements. And many of these dinner theater events are taking place in intimate venues, like a person’s home.

Event attendees want new sights, tastes and experiences. Bringing us to…

5. The Pop-Up Explosion

We reported on pop-up restaurants in last year’s trend list, but in 2016, pop-up will take all forms, from pop-up dinners, to flea markets to workshops, concerts and even the occasional dance off.

You’ve may have already noticed the pop-up phenomenon this past holiday season. Many creatives can’t front the hefty rents of a full-time store, so they’re showing their stuff at pop-up holiday craft fairs and bazaars.

These small-time markets definitely draw as the higher appreciation for handmade still stands.

Just don’t expect a lot of heavy drinking at them because…

BPT_NewYear_sq6. Mocktail Madness

Mmm. Welcome the rise of the mocktail: drinks that have all the ice-clinking, lemon-garnished delight of a cocktail with none of the spirits. Or regrets.

Studies like this one indicate drinking—especially among young people—may be in decline. Mocktails cater to the late-twenty or thirty-somethings looking to go out and socialize without getting sloppy.

The 2016 mocktails just might be pink and blue. Bringing in…

7. The 2016 Color(s) of the Year

You’ll see a lot of pink and blue this coming year (excuse us… Rose Quartz and Serenity). And not just at baby showers.

For the first time ever, color expert Pantone selected a duo palette for the “color of the year.” Like every year, the color (er… colors) will influence event décor.

But probably not at…

8. Geeky Events

mario-1 copy-bpt

Retro video games emerged from wood-paneled basements awhile back. But in 2016, they’ll move on up again from the barcade to the big time arenas. eSports viewership continues to rise dramatically with the first eSports arena opening in Santa Ana in October.

Live video game music is already a thing and there will be more shows in 2016. Musicians shred on instruments while an expert player battles the big bosses in real time level after level.

Intense.

Speaking of battles, we’re stoked about this prediction—in 2016, the U.S. will catch on to giant robot battles, already big in Japan. Hot tip. Start working on your giant robots now.

9. Art Shows Become Immersive 

2016 will make average gallery goers part of the show. No more standing around, sipping wine, pontificating about a piece. It’s all about interactive, motion-based artwork that changes rapidly and is controlled by the observer.

That’s kind-of cool, isn’t it? So are…

10. Chef-Driven Dinners

Perhaps fatigued with walk-around tasting events, foodies are requesting a more intimate experience. Our food event specialists report a rise in chef-driven tasting menus in both restaurants and as an event format. Event Marketer reports that patrons want to know everything about their food and trying to learn from chefs and servers.

And also, in Instagram Age, every dish must be picture perfect. But you might not be allowed to snap that photo because…

11. Phone Bans

We’ve all been there. Your favorite live performer blocked by a sea of tablet and phone screens and you just watch them on the tiny screen in front of you. Like you could be doing at home.

To ban or not to ban is a hot-button topic for event organizers. On one hand, social media promotes your performers and events. On the other, event attendees aren’t immersed in the whole experience as they’re counting likes and updating statuses. If you’re going to ban mobile use, take the high road and focus on the positive with your message.

“Please refrain from using your phone as we want you to be immersed in the experience.”

Speaking of the high road…

12. More Cannabis Gatherings

In 2014 and 15 in the wake of legalization in some states, marijuana shed its stoner image and went all upscale. Interest in herb will grow in 2016 with more marijuana events that cater to a crowd that wants to learn. Expect more cannabis events that emphasize healing (like cannabis and yoga), as well as workshops and food pairings.

Bringing us to our favorite trend:

13. Educational Events

School is cool again in 2016–there’s an uptick in workshops, symposiums and learning retreats. It’s no surprise, as DIY and handcrafting is hot, hot, hot. Our food and farm outreach specialist reports more forestry, farming and water conservation classes than in previous years.

What do you think 2016 will bring? Comment below or add your favorite event trend.

 

Event Tips >

Top 5 Event Fails of 2013

ES_EventFailsWe talk with thousands of event organizers all year. What are the 5 biggest event planning faux pas? We hope to save you time, money, frustration and ease you into 2014 by sharing these lessons learned. Want a smooth event? Plan and simplify. Avoid these trials and tribulations.

1. Complicated Pricing
Keeping pricing simple can save a lot of time and headache for both you and your attendees. While festivals and conference may seem like the perfect place to implement complicated ticket types and passes, event producers can achieve the same amount or more sales with intuitive and basic pricing. As you set your prices, avoid increments of a dollar such as $11, $21, $31. It’s too difficult to manage cash and change at the door or gate.

Tip: Clearly state what payment methods are available at the door of your event. Cash only? Cash and debit/credit? Avoid confusion at the box office by making this clear.

2. Lack of Staffing 
Having enough staff to be on-hand at events is crucial to managing a successful event. If problems occur, you want to have people ready to answer questions or concerns on the fly. As you allocate resources for your event, think about what categories will require more financial resource support than others (i.e., furniture rental, catering, staffing, electrical, etc.).

Everyone wants to run events with as little cost as possible. But if you have 200 people on the will-call list and expect 100-200 more for walk up sales, you need to have more than 2 people running the door sales and will-call.

3. Improper Box Office Management 
It’s game day. Is your door staff familiar with how to quickly access attendee information? Be prepared for people who forgot “print-at-home” tickets, lost their physical tickets or show up on the wrong night of a performance.

What do different delivery methods (physical vs. print-at-home vs. will call vs. mobile) you have chosen mean to your staff when admitting people to the event. How long does it take to verify each of those types of tickets at the door? Put a system in place to easily confirm attendee transactions for your door staff. Run a test for how long it takes to verify the different ticket types to move people through the door quickly.

Ensure your box office lead knows what authority they have to simply comp an attendee instead of bickering for 10 minutes (and holding up the line) over whether or not they actually purchased tickets.

4. Lack of Flexibility
Events can change. Months of planning can get ruined in a matter of minutes. Be flexible and put back-up plans in place if something does not go according to plan. Anticipate hurdles. Be in regular communication with your ticket buyers to set expectations. Maintain good relationships with your event registration support team—for managing refunds, a canceled event or other scenarios.

Have your cell phone on you at all times to quickly answer last-minute questions or put out fires.

5. Insufficient Market Research
Know thy audience. Are your event attendees technology-savvy? Active on social media? A mix of techies and non-techies? Do your events normally require cash payment? What will your patrons expect? Some ticket buyers are more familiar with walk-up sales and ordering tickets via mail. While online registration expands visibility of your event, make it clear other methods to buy tickets—include a direct link to your event page (in emails, on social media pages, etc.), list the phone number, etc. Communication is key.

What lessons have you learned the hard way this year? Words of wisdom for fellow event producers? Answer our survey below. Any questions or concerns about event promotion, operations, planning or marketing? Give us a call at (800) 838-3006 x5 or email Promo@BrownPaperTickets.com.

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The Mid-Week Beat: Rockin’ in the New Year!

imagesHappy 2014 everyone! I’m sure many of you are nursing some healthy hangovers today after last night’s festivities but the beat goes on. Why not start planning for your next night of musical festivities. Dick Clark may be gone but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a rockin’ new year.

2013 was a great year in music for Brown Paper Tickets. We ticketed a ton of shows featuring up-and-coming and well established artists, as well as a whole slew of great festivals, tours and house shows.

2014 is already looking like another banner year and today on the Mid-Week Beat, I thought I’d share some exciting shows that are happening in this first month of the new year. Doesn’t matter what kind of music you dig: folk, blues, metal, singer/songwriters, r&b, classic rock or ska; we got you covered.

Check these out, enjoy the tunes and then get back in bed. New Year’s day is all about recovery.

Saturday, January 4 I Ramblin’ Jack ElliottSan Francisco, California

One of the last direct links to the great folk traditions of this country, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is one of the legendary foundations of American folk music. In the tradition of roving troubadours Jack has carried the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next.

In 1950, he met Woody Guthrie, moved in with the Guthrie family and traveled with Woody to California and Florida, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters. Along the way he learned the blues first-hand from Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, the Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Jesse Fuller and Champion Jack Dupree. So it’s fitting that in 2011, he received a Grammy Award in the Traditional Blues category for his album, A Stranger Here. He received the National Medal of Arts award and was honored with a special dinner at the White House.

Recently the award-winning film The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack introduced a new generation to his timeless music and yarns.  SF Live Arts is honored to have this national treasure start their concert year.

Americana/country/rockabilly singer Vikki Lee opens the show.

Monday, January 6Keb’ Mo’ and Friends with Beth Nielsen Chapman, JT Hodges and Casey WasnerNashville, Tennessee

Keb’ Mo’ is a three-time American Grammy Award-winning blues musician. He is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter, currently living in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Robbie Brooks Moore.

He has been described as “a living link to the seminal Delta blues that travelled up the Mississippi River and across the expanse of America.” His post-modern blues style is influenced by many eras and genres, including folk, rock, jazz and pop. The moniker “Keb Mo” was coined by his original drummer, Quentin Dennard, and picked up by his record label as a “street talk” abbreviation of his given name, Kevin Moore.

Join Kind of Blue Music for an intimate night of music in the round to benefit the Abrintra Montessori School, hosted by Montessori dad, Keb’ Mo’ himself.

Other artists will be: BETH NIELSEN CHAPMAN, JT HODGES and CASEY WASNER.

Raffle will include a beautiful Bedell Acoustic Guitar signed by the artists.


Read More…

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Tuesday Tease: Happy 2013 Everyone!

Well, we made it to 2013. The world didn’t end. We survived the holiday season in one piece and we’re looking ahead to a new year and all the possibilities that it holds for each of us. I hope all my friends in the burlesque world are taking some time to relax after all their holiday shows and making plans to make 2013 the best year in burlesque yet. This has been the Tuesday Tease’s inaugural year and it’s been going great. We’ve featured some great troupes, recognized a few legends, attended some amazing events and can’t wait for another glitter-tastic year of burlesque magic.

We’re taking the day off to recover from our own New Years’ festivities but will be back next week with a healthy serving of burly-action for 2013. In the meantime, we give you this. Happy New Year everyone!

Arts >