19 Trends to Watch in 2019

By Matt Swenson, January 7, 2019
  1. Not a Dealbreaker

President Trump can certainly get people fired up, but the so-called Trump Effect may be more talk than action. In its report, “A View from Meeting Planners: Winning Strategies in Destination Marketing,” Development Counsellors International (DCI) reports 67 percent of its respondents says their plans to meet in the U.S. remain unchanged since the 2017 inauguration. The report adds only 20 percent of respondents said they were less likely to explore the U.S. for events since Trump took office.

  1. Ungender

As businesses work toward gender equality, some fashion lines are taking the next step by eliminating distinctions. Trend Hunter notes traditional “feminine” and “masculine” designations are being dropped for “gender-neutral” and “ungender.” Will corporate events follow suit? It may just be a matter of time.

  1. Security

Mass shootings happen far too frequently in this country, affecting everything from music festivals to church gatherings. As a sign of the times, 44 percent of DCI’s respondents say safety and security concerns keep them up at night. Seventy percent of those surveyed say safety should be a joint venture between the planner and host destination.

  1. Data Breaches

Marriott International’s announcement that 500 million Starwood guests had their data violated may the biggest hack job the hospitality industry has faced, but it’s not the only one. EventMB notes eight other breaches involved event and hotel technology before the Marriott hack. The risks will only rise when consider technological advancements (see below).

  1. New Kids on the Blockchain

You’ve heard of bitcoin, but how about blockchain? That’s the cryptology-infused technology being adopted to handle future currency. EventMB says the advent will help disarm scalpers for ticketed events, but as transactions are made digitally, it raises risks of identity theft and data breaches.

  1. It’s All About Experiences

Guess what: Event planners like to travel, too. DCI says 95 percent of planners say FAM trips are an important factor for deciding where to take events—up from 72 percent in a 2012 study. More than half of respondents say the time of year doesn’t matter while a majority says being with a group is preferred to a solo trip.

  1. Great Escapes

Escape rooms are where more and more groups are making a break for it. As such, brands like Audi and Snickers are building native advertising into their versions of escape rooms, which serve as a teambuilding exercises for many corporate groups. The Snickers Hunger Bunker was used as a pop-up in New York City to build exposure for new flavors.

  1. Coming Clean

The biggest F&B trend is clean eating. Chefs are even cleaning up desserts’ act by using largely unprocessed ingredients to make sweets a little less sinful.

  1. Pinkalicious

Young people are so in demand that there is a color dedicated to them: “Millennial pink.” Already popular in branding and clothing items, the blush pink stands out as the primary color in food—King in New York City has a salad including pink lettuce (barring recall), ricotta, marjoram and walnuts and Angry Orchard Rose has a pink cider.

  1. Go-To Seeds

Trendhunter says watermelon seeds are the next superfood, and are also being used in fashion. Maybe mix the snack on with a fashion show for a little double-dipping.

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