Time to take stock …

We know that usually everyone blogs about market trends at the new year but we’ve been talking about what’s hot in events and the cultural sector over the last few weeks so thought we would share our thoughts….

1. Collaboration

Audiences expect more for their money and so collaborations and partnerships are increasing.  Whether it’s multiple art forms working together or a diverse collection of suppliers, events inevitably require different people and approaches to collaborate.  There are some suppliers we work with who are absolutely engaged in this and there are others for whom event projects are just a transaction. We’re finding that projects where we are working with the former work better, achieve their objectives and are more enjoyable.

2. Spectacle

That elusive WOW factor that we want to generate is getting harder to achieve. The expectations of our audiences are continuing to increase.  We all expect high quality, bespoke experiences that are delivered safely and effectively and that’s great but it’s difficult to create the surprise, particularly when working with ever tighter budgets. So we think that spectacle is the way forwards, that is, creating collective creative experiences that include different artforms to create a whole. Then there isn’t a focus on one single solution to the wow factor but rather that people can create their own experiences.

3. Interaction

Use of technology is increasing of course so our expectations of technology at events is increasing.  Not just in terms of the audio visual but in terms of wifi, apps, registration as well as production itself including 3D mapping, augmented reality and RFID/NFR. There are thousands of options for engaging technology whatever our event but it’s important to remember that it must be appropriate for the event content and audience.

4. In-kind

The barter economy is alive and well! We are finding that a number of projects are using in-kind support as a means to get supplies or services and engage sponsors to gain greater market presence. Not only does this provide a means to balance the budget but also builds collaboration and goodwill. The note of caution here is that you can’t reach a level where in-kind jeopardises the business function itself – we still need cash!

5. Buy Local, Think Global

This isn’t just about local produce but about engaging with the local economy, using local suppliers as much as possible whilst still creating output that is globally aware. For us, part of this is about recognising our responsibility to try to create positive impacts in everything we do. This translates in choosing our venues and suppliers, in our travel planning, in our marketing and  in our event design.

Claire Eason Bassett, Managing Director, Mackerel Sky



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