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Event Industry Trends To Look Out For In 2018

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Event Industry Trends To Look Out For In 2018

Every year there are new trends emerging in the event industry and 2018 will be no exception. Here in the UK with so much focus on the impact of Brexit, the complete familiarity and domination of social media and the smartphone, and the growth of disruptive technology, it’s important not to forget some of the more stylish trends.

In this blog post, we’re exploring some of the event industry trends that will emerge for the coming year. This will also serve as the precursor to our hotly anticipated 100 expert roundups for 2018.

Increased Use Of Natural Materials

With all the focus typically on the digital space, let’s kick off by looking at natural materials which have already been explored in 2017. Following trends that we see in retail, restaurants and bars, here at Table Art we’ve noticed a trend of looking at creating decorations and props out of copper, wood and crystal.

Because of their natural feel and warm appearance, we think the use of natural materials will develop further throughout the industry in 2018. We’ve been very busy in this area, and we’re currently looking at how we can take objects created from natural materials and illuminate them with lighting.


Artworks are not commonly used at events but we think this will emerge as a trend in 2018 as well. As more companies begin exploring the use of natural materials, we think that companies will find ways to use these natural materials to create artworks customised to an event.

We’re already exploring ways we can create artworks into our Table Art and Centrepieces that seamlessly complement and integrate into the event.

star fountain cascade table centrepiece


We have never seen such an acceleration of technology as we are currently seeing. No doubt technology will grow further influence within the events space. We believe we’ll start to see an even greater emergence of disruptive technologies and the development of existing technologies as we push them further. This will lead to more spectacular events than ever before. There are many more areas that we could explore but for now, we’re going to look at just a few.


Drones are already being used at events because of their unique ability to capture great aerial shots and videos. Previously, there was not a budget-efficient way to achieve this. We think drones are going to grow in popularity in 2018 with more event organisers using them for live streaming.

Live Streaming

We’re expecting the growth of Live Streaming of events in 2018. Due to the growth of Facebook Live, Instagram Live and Periscope, there will be a wider adoption of these for both event organisers and attendees. Attendees will stream to bring content to their professional or personal audiences. Whereas event organisers will create streaming content for sponsors and to give more interest to people attending the event in person. This could range from 360 video, drones and time lapses.

Increasingly both users and brands become more confident with streaming in 2018, there will be a further increase in competition. Event planners will need to develop engagement strategies, to get and keep people’s attention.

Moderator Gerrit Heijkoop says: “Three elements will be critical: a dedicated moderator, engaging storyline, and space for interaction.” There is still room for earlier adopters to get ahead of the rest of the pack.


Robotics, 3D Printers & VR

Robotics is another area we see developing strongly next year. From AI robots able to communicate and engage audiences in the foyer to 3D Printers creating objects over the course of the event. Already we’re seeing companies use Virtual Reality to try and give people a preview of the event. VR headsets will grow in prominence as entertainment during pre and post-dinner mingling. Some events will even offer a paid service for those who can’t attend allowing them to access it through VR headsets.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) will influence the way that people interact with each other. And software will help create events that are immersive. With the release of Apple’s ARKit and the iPhone 8 and iOS 11 back in September 2017, innovators are exploring blending real and virtual worlds. Digital objects and information will be blended with the immediate environment. This will enable event attendees to interact with those at events and engage with an additional experience simultaneously.

We will see a large growth of this in the tech scene in late 2017 and early 2018. We expect it to spill over into the events industry in 2018. There will be more people holding their phones up. In the past, people would have been taking photos, selfies or streaming, but increasingly people will be using AR apps.

Stylised Events

The trend of developing stylised themes will continue to grow in popularity, coupled hand in hand with advancements in technology. The event architect will need to have a strong handle on the technical aspects of each event. After all, the aesthetics form only a part of the event. There will be a lot of learning and the need to draw in wider skills and experience to help create more effective events teams.

We’ll see themes taken to a whole new level using live streaming through drones and pre-prepared footage. AR layered apps for phones will also provide a truly immersive experience.

Star Globe awards lit table centrepiece


As part of Stylised Events, we think lighting will be one of the areas where we’ll start to see more props and decorations integrated with DMX lighting displays. An example of this is our inflatable elephant prop, which can be illuminated remotely or set to flash at different intervals. Other innovative props including faces with moving eyes that light up, will become more common. In the past, we focused on the base of the lighting unit housing the electronics. Now these will become part of the visual art and centrepiece.

Another example of innovation in lighting will be sound effects in centrepieces via a small microphone. This will link to the DMX sound system for remote control. We expect to see a big push in the area of special effects in 2018 to increase efficiency.

Conclusion: Event Industry Trends For 2018

At Table Art, we’re planning on playing a big role on pushing and developing these trends. We will be partnering and consulting with many consultants in this space. If you’re stuck with a problem, we can help you or will know someone who can.

If you’d like to create an amazing experience at your event then call us on +44 1926 831357 or go here.


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