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Top 4 Event Trends - Squaremeal V&E 2016


trends, trade shows, tradeshows, squaremeal

There was no shortage of inspiration, innovation and fun at this year's event. These top four trends are ones to watch!

On 21-22nd September event organisers, venues, caterers, and top hotels gathered at Old Billingsgate Market for Squaremeal Venues & Events Live 2016, one of the biggest event tradeshows in the UK.

Off to Work team members were there to greet and help guests with directions and support the seminar sections, signing up guests and serving cocktails and champagne during various drink receptions on both days.


We also had the chance to walk around, talk to some of the exhibitors, and see what’s trending in the events world!

Here are the top four tradeshow trends we love from Squaremeal V&E 2016:

1. Bespoke food and gifts

Whether it’s a bespoke cocktail or a tailored gift for your guests, it’s the personalised experience that leaves a lasting impression. Giving something tailored to your guests or clients is a way to be remembered and to encourage ‘word of mouth’ around your brand. We met the girls from Biscuiteers who were decorating starred biscuits with words suggested by guests. We took the chance to get our very own Off to Work biscuit - it was something simple that made us smile!



But it didn’t stop there: We took pictures of our personalised biscuit, showed it to our colleagues, and shared it on social media - that goes to show that personalised gifts can have a massive impact on your brand’s organic reach. We didn't even need a Biscuiteers business card because they gave us an experience to remember!

Personalised objects leave a lasting impact that feel personal, attract attention and are share-worthy. It will not only result in the customer returning, but creates explosive 'word of mouth' publicity for your brand.


2. Experiential

Experiential brings brands to life with a sensory experience you can see, hear, taste, smell and touch. None of the senses should be forgotten if you want your brand to be remembered. An event is more than a party for socialising and sipping cocktails. Guests expect an experience. They expect to try something new - something they can talk about long after the event.

If you went to Squaremeal V&E Live 2016, you must remember the ‘Lick Me, I’m Delicious’ installation. Guests enjoyed everything from liquid nitrogen ice cream to edible mist, to instant logopops and candyfloss whizzers, with everything enhanced by magical coloured neon lights.


And as they say, if it appeals to the eye…


3. Social - TechPower (Social Media and Technology for your event)

From Twitter walls to wearable technology, it seems events are increasingly becoming technology friendly and it’s a trend you will need to embrace if you want to be connected to your guest and the world.

Events are now all about real-time feedback, so as an event organizer you should be interactive with your guests. Hire a Twitter wall or an interactive banner, create a short and obvious official hashtag for your event, and let social media work its magic.

Your guests will become your best brand ambassadors, providing you with access to their networks by talking about your event on their social media channels. When it comes to great ROE (Return of Engagement), make it as easy and enticing as possible for your guests to buzz about your event!



4. Innovative Technology

The use of wearable technology and virtual reality technology is another hot trend we love. Technological advancements have forever changed the event industry. Imagine being fully immersed in an idea, a product, or a company's cause, all while remaining in a central location. Virtual reality makes this all possible, and allows brands to re-imagine how they communicate their message.

It puts prospective clients, including planners, into any physical location—without viewers having to be physically present.

The Marriott Group was giving out a carton oculus that turns your phone into a 3D device. We tried it and it worked! How cool is that?!

5. Entertainment

Your guests need to have fun if you want them to come back for your next event. FACT. So how do you do it?

There are several ideas we loved at Squaremeal V&E 2016:

  • Themed events  still seem to be pretty popular (we took information ourselves at the ‘Making of Harry Potter’ booth #sorrynotsorry). However, the newest way of entertainment forms make the most innovative and fun use of technology.
  • There is nothing like a photobooth. Guests love them because they deliver great engagement and the booth itself could entertain them for an entire night. Modern photobooths, along with classic props (wigs, sunglasses, hats), can provide slo-mo videos, gifs and even wind machines. Plus, most allow your guests to upload or print their favourite pictures and this, once again, will boost your ROE!
  • Live Event Printing and Digital Graffiti  is also a very cool way to entertain your most creative guests. We had a demonstration at the Luma YR Wall booth and it’s something that must be experienced! Using a digital spray can or touchscreen technology, guests can use the wall as a canvas to create art, customise photos, sign into events, or leave feedback. Inspire and excite guests with the large interactive screens, use custom templates and enable social sharing and live event printing to amplify your event.


Thanks to Squaremeal and all the trailblazing event companies that entertained us, wowed us, and inspired us for the year to come. 

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