1. AR and VR
Ok, most people don’t know the difference between Augmented and Virtual but as most phones now have built in capability AR it’s a simple way to really build shareable content into experiences in a cost effective way. VR on the other hand is a bit like googleglasses. We all buy the concept but the cost and route to market make it a challenge to do something that doesnt feel like a gimmick.
But 2019 will see VR 2.0 with Santa Cruz Oculus being launched in early 2019 you can feel its starting to heat up and 2019, for us, is going to be the game changer.
Just head to CES in January and you’ll see more headsets than you can shake a selfie stick at.
2. Artificial Intelligence
We’ll continue to see brands and agencies pushing the boundaries but it will move from the gimmick to becoming much more fundamental to the event experience.
Definitely still a gimmick. It’s inevitable that the role of robots for experiences will become the norm pretty soon. We all want the human touch but there are certain jobs and experiences that automation makes perfect sense (eg) site cleaning, site security, wayfinding & information and of course celebrity robot hosts like Sophia the Robot.
4. Live Stream
We’ll only ever reach a small number at an event and experience so Livestreaming will continue to play big part in 2019 and become the norm not the exception via Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, YouTube, IG and brands websites.
The days of passive experiences where you turn up, enjoy and leave, are now a distant memory as we crave more a personal and tailored experience.
The idea that via social media we’re all publishers and can create and post our own content isn’t new either (we’re all micro influencers) and creating our own personalised storytelling journeys has always been a hot topic and this year Black Mirror are going to allow us to decide the story narrative (with Amazon Prime hot on their trial), crowd sourcing content, story telling and story journey’s.
Expect to see this playing out in the real world with brands jumping onboard to create brand experiences that allow the audience to decide how the event plays out.
6. Immerse yourself
We don’t want to sit on the sidelines and be entertained. We want to get stuck in.
Continuing to be a massive trend for 2019, immersive experiences will be coming thick and fast. We want to lose ourselves from the enormity of some of the world issues we’re faced with but also to truly be entertained and that means immersive experiences where brands sweep you away. Leading the charge are Les Enfants Terribles, Shotgun Carousel, Secret Cinema, Dot Dot Dots, Hidden City and Punchdrunk…to name only a few.
7. Brands in Hand
The death of the high street (ok, that’s not true, it’s just having a really hard time), but we still love to touch and feel brands and retailers and brands will continue to push to find ways to grow brand affinity and engagement by getting the brand in consumers hands in new and inventive ways. Check out Fooji who are leading the way with unique and engaging brand in hand.
8. Celebrities and Influencer
The bubble is never going to burst. And they will continue to be important in driving PR around events and experiences to help provide a launch moment. New tool like Indahash will make access to influencers easier and more direct so this trend show no sign off cooling off.
We all know that brands with purpose outperform brands that don’t and apparently the reason Bake Off is doing well versus Celebrity Big Brother is that the world needs a hug and that’s what Bake Off gives us.
Brands will continue to find ways to entertain but the most powerful executions will be when they can do good whilst also entertaining like LEGO Build to Give, The Ecover Rubbish Café and Nando’s Fighting Malaria one Churrasco burger at a time.
10. Entertainment Content in the real world
2019 will see the evolution of our favourite TV shows and content series pushing to make our favourite 2D screen experiences into living 3D worlds that we can touch and feel. Friends Fest brings all our favourite Friends moments to life, Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N where fans can step inside the Marvel Universe and the fully immersive Westworld, created by HBO for SXSW.
Baggy playing Maeve Millay!!