It is hard to believe that we are almost done with 2017, and winter is coming fast and furiously. Throughout the year, we have seen trends hit many Twitter and Facebook pages and some were hot, while others were not. Let’s take a look at what is still trending and that event planners should pay attention to as they wrap up this year.

Political Landscape

The beginning of the year left a lot of people in the United States on edge with the changing political hands. Now that the US has its President, the people are still adapting responses to different political outbursts. In addition, there are many groups and protests that still happen as a result of different decisions that are being made. Planners have to be ever listening to what is going on in this political landscape to really anticipate what types of changes will be occurring with the events that they plan. We also have to anticipate new events as a result of the changes that we see.

Drones are here!

Personally I get the heebie-jeebies around drones. Especially when they are in my neighborhood and floating around my home. However Drones for events are certainly in! Not only can they give you a perspective of an event from a far, they can also be a companion to incentive trips and documenting really great views! There are many industry leaders that are passionate about the drones space, and would love to see more people talking and planning events with them.

Suppliers still have the upper-hand

Suppliers are still trumping planners with the upper-hand. Room rates are still on the rise. Although planners’ budgets can support the meetings, suppliers still have a choice of who to give their space to and the planners really have to get creative. The demand for hotel space is certainly intense and isn’t stopping any time soon.

Social Media is STILL profound

Social media is still rocking it. Instagram, Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Periscope are all heating up and making an impact socially for events. Planners have to consider the social elements that they would like to incorporate into their events. Décor elements in event spaces are now being judged on if it is Instagram-worthy. Hashtags have to be perfectly planned so that they are easily tweetable. Not much has changed as far as social media being a trend. It’s just getting better.

VR & AR Technology

I have seen virtual technology pop up in different conferences, and it seems to be taking off – but is it? There have proven to be many uses for virtual technology at events. Augmented reality technology continues to spread in events in some very unique ways. I’ve participated in a virtual game of soccer with a room full of 500 participants. With these same conference attendees, I also helped land a plane. Incorporating virtual technology at events can have a huge impact if you find the right way to implement it with your event. Give it a shot!

Craft Cocktails are back

Last year we saw craft beers really rise up out of the dust. This year craft cocktails are coming back with a fight of their own. So many different cocktails using rum, vodka and presented so nicely that people will pay just for the presentation. Nothing is like putting a creative twist on an original cocktail – which is something that will always grab the attention of your attendees. My personal favorite this year? Cucumber-lime margarita!

Mobile App Technology – gotta have it

I remember when no one wanted to think about mobile apps. We have now arrived to the point where attendees expect an app at their meeting. Not only do they expect it, they expect everything about the meeting to be on that app. I mean everything. Mobile app technology continues to be a trend and its capabilities are only getting better. As the increase in those individuals with a mobile phone has risen, also have mobile apps. People no longer what to be attached to their laptops and desktops. As has always been, having their information at their fingertips is what works. Especially for conferences. Add in that they can take notes on the app and email it to themselves, or see the slides form their phone – and you’ll have an attendee for life.

Hybrid Cuisine

Many have predicted that hybrid cuisine would rise this year, and boy are they right. There have been so many different infused cuisine types that I’ve seen this year, that I think I’m missing out on the fun of creating these delightful dishes. Really allow your chefs to get out of the normal and create something interesting at your event. We are living in the age that the food can be what people remember from the event – and nothing is wrong with that.

All attendees want to experience something different in each event that they attend. Staying on top of the trends will just help planners deliver that unique experience that their attendee is expecting.