Thomas Brown, Managing Director of Gold Coast based event company Backdrops Fantastic Australia gives a sneak peek at his picks of the best new event ideas out of the US.
One of the many tips I give to anyone new to the events industry is to take every opportunity to see what new innovations and trends are happening around the world and how they might be applied to our industry in Australia. My team annually attends The Special Event conference in the US to keep up to speed with what new trends and innovations that are being developed out of the US. One of the handful of annual sessions we attend is the Michael Cerbelli’s The Hot List.
This annual hour-long fast-paced session aims to identify fresh trends in the ever-changing marketplace and showcase acts and innovations to enhance the events industry. The show itself is led by the flamboyant and charismatic host Michael Cerbelli. Many of the trends and innovations presented have made their way to Australia or into live events shortly after their awareness/exposure on The Hot List. Some recent examples showcased in January 2017 included Ariel Drone Shows which were quickly released in high end features at the Super Bowl and, most recently, the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Catchbox, the branded light foam radio mic that makes audience engagement much more interactive, was also introduced at the Hot List before being released by a number of AV companies here in Australia. Even our own company, Backdrops Fantastic, was showcased on the Hot List before entering the Australian market.
This year’s show highlighted trends that might appear in the Australian event industry in the coming months and some which we discovered already exist in Australia but that you might not have considered for your next event, including:
Edible Photo Booth
Make Labs out of Toronto, Canada have created the most delicious reason to snap a selfie at events. Guests snap the perfect selfie, and watch as their photos are caramelized onto macarons or cookies inside a laser etching machine. A toasted marshmallow aroma adds to the experience before guests devour their selfie treats.
Jet Chill Dry Ice Drink System
Create a chemical reaction at your next event with Jet Chill. Dry ice is safely stored in a chamber within your event glasses where it can’t escape and when a drink is poured, it reacts to create a variety of bubbly, smoky visual effects. Jet chill is available in Australia through distributor Sous Vide Australia.
Event Mosaic Wall
Event Mosaic captures the essence of brand, collaboration and teamwork as guests take photos throughout an event and watch as a corporate brand or conference theme comes together into one giant photo mosaic. Onsite photos are printed in seconds for delegates or guests to place on a large branded photo mosaic wall.
Photo Mosaics are available in Australia through Social Playground.
The entertaining options are endless with the exciting Levitating X tableware. With these floating pieces of drink, plate and table decor, you can evoke your own creativity to create an entertaining experience for your guests like none other. Each piece is battery operated and uses magnetic levitation, also called “Electromagnetic Suspension”, in which electromagnets are used to stabilise the floating pieces above the base.
Sparkular Indoor Smokeless Fireworks
Another innovation that is currently available in Australia is Sparkular indoor fireworks that create a vibrant smokeless and DMX controllable show. These fireworks are so safe you can place your hand within the spark fountain. Ideal for all types of entrances, awards shows and entertainment finale.
Cocktail with Drones
Drones are everywhere so why shouldn’t they be serving guests cocktails at your next event? Unlikely to ever make it through a safe work method statement (SWMS) or allowed on any Australian event – this innovation has bartenders preparing your favourite mixed drink then flying aloft shaking or stirring above the bar safely landing while a video copy of the drone flight path is emailed to the lucky guest.
These are just a taste of the 36 Hot List 2018 ideas in this year’s show. It’s great to see that some of the suggested innovations and hot ideas for 2018 are ready to be booked from suppliers here in Australia. Others you might just see being imported by a trend setting event suppliers near you!