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The top event trends for 2019

The meetings and events industry is ever-evolving, with innovations and advances coming from both within, as well as outside the industry. But with so many exciting new trends, how can you spot the one which is likely to have the most impact on your business and events? Four keynote speakers from the upcoming IBTM World 2018 offer their thoughts on the top event trends for 2019.


Andy Johnston (top left), Business Development Director, Corporate & Events, PRG UK Ltd

“Using live video mapping and drone and camera technology which feed directly into media servers for immersive presentations are set to become the next big things in event tech. These presentations can completely surround audiences, or 270-degree presentations can also be used, to achieve an impressive immersive effect.

“This tech turns passive spectators into participants in a speaker’s presentation. No longer are they simply watching the presentation, instead they become part of it. So, it’s easy to see how the message being delivered becomes so much more powerful when immersive technology is in use.”


Danny Stevens (top right), CEO, fielddrive

“In 2019 the main change will be the way in which event organisers manage event check-in using facial recognition. Already this year we have noticed that event organisers are interested in this technology and eager to try it out at many events. Facial recognition for events is the fastest check-in method. It’s secure and it ‘wows’ attendees from the very beginning of the event. It minimises attendee actions in a queue (for example looking for print-outs, or e-receipts on a phone) and is the best way to speed up admission of attendees. No confirmation emails, tickets or barcode are needed. Attendees just smile at a camera. Facial recognition technology has great development potential, and fielddrive is now integrating facial recognition with HoloLens for further applications in security and access control.”


Corbin Ball (bottom left), Founder of Corbin Ball Associates and chair of IBTM World Tech Watch Award judge’s panel

“I think that the top event technology trend for 2019 will be significant advances in data integration and analytics from the event technology providers. Major player such as Cvent and Aventri are making substantial advances in integrating their wide range of products, while smaller, cloud-based companies are putting effort into interoperability and analytics with other event tech companies and with CRM systems such as Salesforce. The result will be that the attendees likes/interests before, during and after the event can be precisely quantified and then brought back into a customer/member record. On a global basis, this can be used to improve future events and make mid-course corrections during existing events. On an individual basis, this will lead to much better personalisation for marketing to an attendee or for improving an association member’s event experiences.”


Ali Turner (bottom right), Managing Director of EIGHT PR & Marketing

“The theme for the IBTM World Trends Report 2018 is 'everything changes, everything stays the same' and I believe it is one that will continue into 2019. One of the most interesting areas of global business, and its interaction with the events industry, is the combination of major industries. A prime example of this is FinTech, the combination of financial services and technology, but 2019 could see the establishment of, for example, AutoTech, the move to digitised driving and transport, or PharmaTech, where the Internet of Things meets self-diagnosis and treatment. 

“As far as meetings and events are concerned, this is all good news; new industries create new events, be they association, convention or congress; new products lead to new product launches, and we continue to see our massive impact on the global Knowledge Economy that will support this convergence. In short, if business is good, and dynamic, we'll do well."