Grahame Muir UK & Europe CEO comments: “This year I foresee more suppliers balancing fantastic value with service, flexibility and the delivery of highly creative, bespoke structural designs to help clients enhance the event experience for the end user. As a result, Arena’s new Spaceframe structure which was first launched at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed on behalf of Rapiergroup for the Renault stand, will be seen more throughout 2016’s top events.
Our combined service offering provides further value when incorporating our sister companies who also provide grandstand seating, interior design, furniture, scaffolding or temporary ice rinks.
The final key trend for our industry during 2016 is the continuation of championing sustainability, with companies placing greater importance on greener events. This is something we have built on year on year from the London 2012 Olympics, through our partnership with Green Element and throughout this year I foresee other companies following suit. Another area to expect seeing vast improvements is health and safety, especially with the introduction of CDM Regulations, and this can only be a good thing, with the industry working towards the same standards.
Adelaide Johannsen, Human Resources Manager at Blackout said “Earlier this year, we saw the government announce plans to support three million UK apprenticeships by 2020. This prompted forward-thinking employers in the live events rigging industry to join forces to launch the UK’s first rigging Trailblazer apprenticeship. From 2016 this scheme will be vital to the industry in supporting youngsters interested in a career within live events, by providing them with the confidence, skills and expertise to work on some of the world’s most exciting rigging projects. We foresee more companies following suit to nurture these apprentices and offer them valuable skills, developed by the very people who have shaped the Trailblazers initiative.”
Neil Hooper, Board Creative Director at Circle Agency predicts 2016 being the year of event technology. He explains: “The interface and tools people are most comfortable with are already in their hands, you just need to give them the reason to use it to spread the word. Brands should embrace self-creation and create opportunities for people to take their content, customise it and share it.
From ticketing to paying, to contributing and challenging, the device exists to do it, you just need to put as few barriers in the way to open the gateway to duel flow brand interaction.”
Eric Janssen, Chief Revenue Office (CRO) at Intellitix outlines: “2016 will see a surge in growth in RFID adoption from more music festivals across all genres, food and drink events, sporting events, conferences, expos, fixed venues and stadiums. Events of all types and sizes are turning to Cashless Payment technology for its proven benefits, while increasing brand sponsorships on-site targeted at millennials and their social media networks through fun and innovative RFID brand engagements. 2016 is the year of ‘Big Data’, as event organisers leverage the wealth of data and audience insight gathered from RFID technology to continue making improvements to their events and tailoring content to specific audiences.”
Kevin Thorborn, UK manager at Mojo Barriers UK says “This year we’ve seen a change of attitudes from event organisers placing more importance on the crowd barriers they choose. People understand the product more and there is a much more integrated approach with security, health and safety and production all working with us from the beginning. It’s not just front of stage now either; barriers are used as a safety measure across the whole site from lighting and PA towers to VIP sections. Throughout 2016 we foresee organisers placing greater importance on site layout and CAD drawings of barrier designs, analysing music genre, audience demographic and the actual science behind the barriers, to ensure optimum crowd safety.”
Will Poole, Events and Compliance Manager, states “We are starting to see an increase in budgets, which is a positive sign that the industry is becoming more buoyant. In 2015 we saw a rise in brands and event organisers taking over unused spaces to create pop up experiences and we imagine this will increase exponentially and as our attention spans get less and less, experiential will move into conferencing to give delegates an alternate experience and keep them engaged.
“In 2016 venues need to face the issue of Wi-Fi availability head on because everyone expects it these days. That and a special consideration to guests’ requirements and expectations will see the venues changing. In the UK, we need to look at the subject of Pounds vs Euros as we can’t always offer competitive rates compared to the rest of our European counterparts, which makes negotiating more difficult.
“Expansion plans for key London institutions, such as the O2 with its upcoming Intercontinental Hotel, will benefit the capital as a whole, with more options of places to stay outside of the centre increasing monetary activity in London and ultimately across the industry.
“Technology continues to play an important part in every aspect of the event model from registration to payment, through to communication at the event itself. How you engage with your guests, whether it’s through bespoke apps, social media or interactivity stations on the day, the customer or delegate journey now extends way beyond the event itself, so I predict content will reflect that, with secret elements and ways to unlock more of the experience stemming from these engagements.”
Neil Dickinson, Managing Director predicts, “A big trend of 2015 which we are seeing much more uptake and great use of is multi-touch screens with image recognition. This enables you to use objects such as discs, cubes, or bottles to pull up different product or marketing information depending on what is placed on the surface. We have been implementing this for a number of clients but the power of it for a personalised event experience is relatively untapped at the moment. It has lots of potential for next year.”
“The introduction of Virtual Reality headsets in the home through the gaming audience will be huge in 2016 and this will definitely become a more commonplace element for events, creating virtual environments instead of real life sets. It enables you to do virtual product launches and can transport you to anywhere in the world, as well as giving you an immersive way to tell a story. This will make technology event more central to event organisers in the next 12 months.”
Billy Smart, Brand Development Manager, “We’re seeing an increase in requests for contemporary structure designs that can be personalised and transformed from a sleek blank canvas into a branding and experiential dream.
“Clients that have approached us recently organising a brand experience or pop-up event are looking to extend audiences, bring the outside in and create a parallel experience come rain or shine. This is being achieved through the introduction of structures like Tubbo to the UK market. This is the only structure of its kind that features a transparent exterior, so the inside activity can be cleverly hidden through branding or left open so that passersby are encouraged to get involved.
“With so many experiential events now taking place, the location has grown in importance with places that would previously not have been considered an event site proving the best place to make an impact. With no fixed resources or space being guaranteed, structures that are modular and can be assembled to any size or shape are proving most popular.
“Due to the nature of pop-up events, timescales for the build are getting increasingly shorter so the design innovation needs to be combined with simple logistics and ease of assembly.”