Trend Report 2016

This year is all about big Ideas, immersive experiences, authenticity, connecting through technology, audience centricity and physical experiences. Creating a user experience, is the foundation of an event, conference, trade show, product launch, party, gala and everything in between. As a planner, unless you are willing to take a risk and try something new, you will be left in the dust.

 Here are 4 new trends to look out for in 2016

Connecting People Through Art
“Do something that sparks surprise and inspires personal connections”. This is the biggest trend for conference and meeting planners to consider.  How do you bring people together in a fun, creative way and take them out of their comfort zone?  A megatrend today is colouring.  Call it paint by numbers, content capture or graphic facilitation. These are just some of the terms that are popping up in 2016. Examples?  What do they mean?  Having a graphic artist on-site during a meeting, who captures the essence of the speakers, the subject matter and creates a piece of art from spoken words and ideas.  Why is it so popular? Combining images with text or speech increases retention by 40%, it creates conversation, which connects people and it inspires creativity.

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Real Authentic

The more we have been exposed to live talent shows like America’s Got Talent, and The Voice over the last decade, the more people crave authentic live experiences. This trend for organic, real-time, and genuine talent is not slowing down and will only get stronger in 2016. Traditional events will be replaced with pop-up entertainment that is interactive, immersive and fascinating. For example, the classic cocktail party will turn into a hands-on class with chefs and mixologists. Other interactive experiences include group sushi rolling, ping-pong tournaments and wood-burning classes. Another example is having an urban band with original music playing rather than a Top 40’s DJ. Introduce a live act during the evening instead of piped-in music over dinner. There are many ways to engage real authenticity if you partner with those in the industry who have the same vision. When I think about authenticity, I also think about ways to add more meaning to a meeting, tradeshow, or event. I was witness to a very meaningful idea during my recent trip to The Special Event show in Orlando. While exploring the trade show floor I was amazed to see that the entire back of the room was dedicated to a charity called, Feeding the Children.  Whether you had 5 minutes or 10 minutes, who could stop in to help pack a box and give back.


Classic Music Meets The 21st Century

Over the past couple of years, I have been on the hunt for classically trained musicians who want to break through the mould. The trend that I see moving forward is musicians who crossover into electro, pop and Indie styles are leading the way in entertainment. Examples of this include electric violinists combining their performance with hip hop dancers, electric harpists joining forces with DJs, pop opera and pop acoustical string quartets to name a few.  

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Technology & Entertainment

Over the last 5 years, digital entertainment has been playing a greater role in the experience we want our audiences to have. Enhancing the environment around the talent is as important as the talent itself. My favourite ideas that I saw at the 2016 Special Event show in Orlando are:

 1. 3D DJ Booth – Creates a visual experience through projected images and branding.
2. LED-lit costumes on larger than life characters (i.e. stilt walkers)
3. Digital photo experiences that are socially connected and capture every moment on screen and in print. From Selfie mirror photo booths to underwater camera experiences this category of entertainment is exploding.


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Beyond just the talent, savvy event planners are using apps to enhance their production from start to end. My favourite app is called periscope. It allows me to live stream video content back to my team from every event. How am I using this to build my business? I can check in on every event through my staff, and share video content with prospective clients. I feel that we have only scratched the surface in Canada on connecting technology with entertainment. As someone who is passionate about the entertainment industry, it is my goal to bring technology together with our immensely talented artists, performers and entertainers. Just a few thoughts until the next time to help you th
ink about how you can come out of your comfort zone and stay relevant in 2016.

  • Everything we hear is an opinion and everything we know is a fact.
  • Uncover what the hot buttons are with your client
  • Take a walk on the wild side
  • Create intrigue and mystery.
  • Collect experiences, observe reactions, boldly apply your opinion, and do it all with integrity.

Heart-Centric Entrepreneur, Leader, Mentor, Changemaker, Visionary, Creative & Passionate

Janice Cardinale is President of Cardinale Creative, a content writer for MPI Global & United Colours of Design and the Associate Editor at Canadian Special Events Magazine. She is a sought-after public speaker on trends in the event industry, has pioneered two businesses, Only Accessories & The Idea Hunter, both of which were sold successfully and has had an incredible 35 years in fashion, design and events.

In 2021, Cardinale Creative was built to give back to the event community as a way to pay it forward. At the heart of this business are the mission projects that Janice curates and executes to raise funds for student bursaries, mental & physical health and event professionals struggling since the pandemic began.

Janice is a board chair for the Event and Creative Design program at Seneca College has served on many advisory board and association committees including MPI both locally and globally. Her ideas continue to gather attention from many in the event industry around the world and her love of events, people and beauty continue to be her driver.

Connect with Janice on LinkedIn ~ Instagram