For 2018,, a popular meeting and event website, has compiled a list of this year's best trends. Visit the link below to gain insight into new event technologies, event styling and decor, and marketing trends. 
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2018 Trends


Also for this year, say goodbye to mason jars and burlap, rustic design is on its way out. Say hello to cool chairs, metallic and geometric designs. Also, think about how your food can be a part of the event design. Talk to you caterer, perhaps the chef can add garnishes to match colors in your décor or the servers wear a particular outfit to match the décor.


We are in an age of increased threat, unfortunately. Event guests should not have to worry about their safety. Academic institutions are soft targets for any type of threats so it is important to be well versed in understanding event security, whether large or small.

We are lucky to have resources on campus to help us develop an emergency event plan. Even if your event is small, off campus, or during the day, please register your event with GTPD and speak with Emergency Preparedness to develop an emergency plan. If off campus, work with the venue’s staff to adapt their procedures to your event. Additionally, plan a walk through with the venue staff or volunteers to ensure everyone is on the same page, in the event of an emergency.

If your event is outside, keep an eye on the weather. If inclement weather is predicted, what are the triggers to move the event or even cancel? Developing a comprehensive contingency/emergency plan may take some time but once a plan is developed, you can adapt the plan for any event and any situation that may arise.

Food and Beverage

Our favorite topic…according to the National Restaurant Association, some hot food trends for 2016 are ethnic spices, condiments, and bread. Also, elevated “peasant fare,” including sausages and meatballs may be fun for an appetizer or passed hor d’ouerves. For main courses, alternative red meats like goat or bison may be a menu item. Desserts may include homemade artisan ices or gelato or classic pastries like a profiterole….yum!

For beverages, you might see more craft/artisan spirits, local produced wine and beer. Also, a trend for 2016 is offering non-alcoholic mocktails, gourmet lemonades and artisan soft drinks…great for events with students present.


Tech Trends of 2016

Images and videos will dominate social media channels at events.

According to Twitter’s engagement blog, a tweet with an image or video is 25 – 35% more likely to be retweeted. Also, Instagram and Snapchat have doubled and tripled users in the past two years. Streaming video apps like Periscope or Meerkat allow real-time video postings. Event planners should prepare for greater wi-fi and cell phone bandwidth usage, as well as copyright challenges. Opportunities include encouraging remote engagement and participation and video streaming also gives a sneak peek of the event to those who could not attend.

Venue Hunting

Think Airbnb or Uber for event venues. Companies like Headbox and VenueVortex are new platforms for venue hunting.
While they haven’t made their way to Atlanta, we might see new platforms pop up within the next year to search the southeast.

Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Any event professional should be ready for any situation, especially an emergency. Some technologies offer solutions to event professionals by improving communication, making it more accessible, sharable and effective, like InitLive or Triber App.

Digital Swag Bags

Goody bags, swag, gifts – sometimes the toughest decision to make during the planning process. How do you surprise your guests and give them something relevant without creating unnecessary waste? Companies are offering digital goody bag solutions like Virtual Event Bags, Event Baxx, and Zoliro. These days, consumers are embracing online gifts, virtual coupons, etc. so why not utilize them at evens? Also, you can track your analytic opportunities throughout the event and use the data for potential sponsors for the next event.