2016 is here, and it will definitely bring new and wonderful aspects to events. We think 2016 will have event trends that are bigger and better than anything we have seen. 

But what should you be looking out for? What will bring the most bang for your buck? 

These are the three trends we are most excited about for 2016:

Better Applications for Data

You have all of this data. Data that your attendees supplied themselves. Data that you have manually collected. And data that has been supplied via online tools. But are you really doing anything substantive with it?

That’s why we think 2016 will be the year that data application becomes even better. Event apps will be customized to each individual user based on data that has been supplied about them. That could be as simple as providing a suggested itinerary within the app, but it’s likely to get bigger than that. Perhaps you will find suggested people to meet or a list of suggested places to go within the host city. Whatever the form, look for more event tech that provides algorithms to connect attendees with what they want before they know they want it. And this has the potential to make your event more accessible and more effective for attendees.

And with this customization, there also comes the opportunity for more sponsorship dollars. By becoming a suggested item within an app, sponsors have a very powerful chance to get in front of attendees. If you decide to go that route, be sure you clearly disclose that it was not generated for the person and is instead sponsored. If you don’t disclose, you will get in trouble, so be sure to be clear about your partnership. 

Smarter extravagance

Gone are the days of the overindulged events. With so much on social media, we have to be careful not to go to the extremes or else someone is going to ask whether it’s a smart use of dollars. 

But with purse strings loosening and the economy still growing, the temptation to do more is there. So what do you do?

Smarter extravagance is going to be the name of the game in 2016. We think that starts with the Pantone of the Year: Rose Quartz and Serenity. These colors are designed more to complement than to be a bold statement, which sets the stage to be extravagant elsewhere. For example, if those subdued colors are your event colors, it’s easier to be extravagant in your floral choices without it seeming excessive or overpowering.

Basically, while choosing what to spend money on, event professionals are going to be thinking of how it will look to the general public, as well as how it looks in-person, and they will give their attendees a beautiful experience without the excesses they saw before the recession. 

Transformative light shows

Lighting has become a vital part of events, especially when cost-cutting measures have to come into play. Simple lighting on its own can change a room from being simple to something extraordinary. And although we think we will still see this kind of lighting in 2016, we think we will also see something much bigger. 

In 2015, we saw transformative light shows at both Lumenocity and a gala hosted for baseball All-Stars. Both were outdoor events that took an iconic building and turned it into something unexpected. In the case of baseball, it transformed the Cincinnati Museum Center into a way to pay tribute to all of the teams playing in the MLB. In the case of Lumenocity, the Cincinnati Music Hall was transformed into a canvas to visually tell the story of the music that the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra was playing. Both buildings became almost unrecognizable. 

We expect to see those kind of light shows at more events this year. It’s another way to be more extravagant, but in a smart way, and so we think event professionals to look for ways to incorporate the idea into their own events. 

What trend do you expect to see in 2016? What are you most excited about?