The year is coming to a close, so we’ve decided to take a look at 2019 in events. We’ve rounded up the biggest technological advancements, the biggest event fails, the weirdest event concepts, and the records that were broken.
Surprising event technology developments in 2019
Event planning is still one of the most stressful jobs in 2019. Fortunately, new technology has helped alleviate some of this stress. Let’s take a look at some of the latest developments.
Accessibility at events is not just limited to elevators, ramps, and Braille signs. Assistive Technology used at events in 2019 included spatial audio, video captioning, and virtual reality.
2. Artificial intelligence
AI has been trending for a while now, but it’s still considered to be in its infancy. This year, however, saw AI being incorporated into more event apps and chatbots than ever before.
Other kinds of automation—such as workflow planning and marketing—has also been a huge hit in 2019. Automation technology can cut the workload of event planners by a significant amount.
Chatbots have also become really popular in 2019. Event planners use them to alleviate busy staff, send out SMS notifications, and answer common questions from attendees.
5. Hybrid events
6. Long-term engagement
There is only one annual marketing campaign to run, and it’s 365 days long. So the saying goes, and event planners have used social media more than ever for long-term engagement.
7. Software integration
With so many online tools to use for events, it’s important that they all sync. In 2019, event planners have been more attracted to ticketing apps that have relevant software integrations.
8. Video content
Video content has seen a steady increase in popularity, and 2019 has been no different. Event planners who use it for marketing can expect more qualified leads for their events.
Big event fails in 2019
No amount of new event technology will make a difference if event planners fail to use it. As we’ve seen in 2019, many event planners consistently make the same mistakes.
1. Caroline Calloway tour
2. Fortnite Live festival
A festival based on the popular video game Fortnite failed miserably. Attendees waited in line for hours only to experience underwhelming and understaffed attractions.
3. Los Angeles Beer and World BBQ Festival
Quirky and weird events that (still) worked in 2019
There has been no shortage of quirky and weird events in 2019. What’s even weirder is that many of them are resounding successes that have been going on for years and will likely return again in 2020.
1. Kanamara Matsuri Festival
If you’re into phallic symbols, the Kanamara Matsuri Festival was the place to be in 2019. It featured giant penis statues, penis lollipops, penis vegetable carving, and all things phallic.
2. Baby Jumping Fiesta
There are many ways to alleviate the stress of parenthood. One of them is to line up some babies and jump over them, which is exactly what they did at the El Colacho festival in Spain.
3. Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race
Yorkshire puddings are essentially inflated pancakes British people eat on Sundays. But being the inventive people the Brits are, they also organised a boat race using said puddings.
4. Air Guitar World Championships
Just because you can’t play the guitar doesn’t mean you can’t win a competition. Organisers of the Air Guitar World Championships also claim their event can end wars and climate change.
5. Underwater Music Festival
Everyone knows that music sounds a lot better underwater. That’s why the Underwater Music Festival, where attendees pretend to play underwater instruments, is such a success.
6. World Toe Wrestling Championships
Arm wrestling and thumb wrestling is so yesteryear. In the UK, spectators lined up by the “toedium” to watch the local toe wrestling champions lock toes and battle it out.
7. International Hair Freezing Contest
What are you going to do when it’s freezing cold outside? Do your hair, of course. The International Hair Freezing Contest in Canada saw locals compete for the coolest frozen do.
8. Digitised Hiroshima Castle
From February to April, a team of artists turned Hiroshima Castle into a digital art installation complete with egg lights and digital calligraphy. The installation celebrated 400 years since the castle was conquered by the samurai.
9. Upside Down House
No, it’s not an architectural project based on Stranger Things. Rather, it’s quite literally a series of houses designed for guests to experience life upside down.
World records set during 2019 events
Events are a great way to set a world record, and 2019 saw plenty of people do just that. If you’re an event organiser, see if you can draw inspiration from these record breakers.
1. Fastest marathon run
The long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya set a world record at the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Austria by running 26.2 miles in just under two hours.
2. Highest number of brides
Spanish bridal fashion store Sedka Novias organised an event that saw 1,347 women break the world record for most women dressed as brides in one place.
3. Largest ocean cleanup
No fewer than 633 scuba divers gathered at an ocean cleanup event at Deerfield Beach in Florida to clean up the local waters. The event broke the world record by collecting 9,000 pieces of debris.
4. Largest syncronised dance
In April, 4,687 Indian women broke a world record by gathering in one place to perform the Konyak dance together. Not only did everyone show up on time, but they were also in complete sync.
5. Most skilled gymnast
6. Most alpacas
How many alpacas does it take to organise a parade? Who knows, but the world record of alpacas in one parade was broken with no fewer than 1,048 of them in Peru this year.
Here’s to 2020!
This year has been an incredible year for events, and we’re sure that 2020 will be just as amazing. But it comes down to your efforts and creativity as an event organiser.
What will you do to make 2020 the greatest year for events? Share your plans with us in the comments section below.