Sports nuts wait for the Olympics, those in the design industry geek out over Pantone’s color of the year.
Since 1990, color and printing giant Pantone has selected a color of the year. This color is meant to represent the cusp of trends Pantone sees in the worlds of fashion, art, printing, design, and more. At Wellington, we strive to do similar for each client and each experience, no matter how big or small. As for Pantone, this year’s color, Marsala, is a deep, earthy red reminiscent of a robust wine…or is it a rusty, office-park-carpet color reminiscent of the grime found in the grout of old tile?
Among those who geek out over things like hexadecimal values and, well Pantone’s Color of the Year, Marsala is a controversial choice. But, regardless of your opinions on it, it’s hard to deny the influence of the Color of the Year and Pantone itself. For our rebrand, we’ve been utilizing the Pantone color matching system to select our perfect brand color.
Since its Perfect Matching System (PMS) was perfected in 1962, Pantone has become somewhat of a global standard among print houses, artists, designers, and anyone with an affinity for color. Its Color of the Year is often later associated with the top trends in design, trickling down to everyday items like makeup and housewares. The trend can continue for as long as three years after the announcement.
Laurie Pressman, VP of the Pantone Color Institute summarizes it best.
“Color plays a critical role in consumer purchasing decisions. It’s the first thing the consumer sees – the thing that will determine whether or not they go one step further to try something on or pick up the product to take a better look. With today’s consumers much more educated about color and color trends, they want to make sure they are on trend. Product developers and retailers want to make sure they have the right colors in their assortment to satisfy consumer demand.”
Pantone’s attention to consumer demand and decisions makes them a company Wellington strives to emulate.
Toss out the clipboards and spreadsheets and grab a tablet…or a wristband…or a lanyard…to learn more about your attendees.
From measuring attendance to tracking how your attendees feel at any given time, conferences can be beasts to tame in terms of figuring out what went well, what went wrong, and how to get valuable responses. At Wellington, we try to stay on top of the game and utilize technology to our benefit, and the benefit of the client. Emerging trends in the tech industry have led to innovative ways to gain feedback and analyze how attendees move, engage and interact.
Beyond Verbal’s Moodies app lets you see how your attendees feel during speakers and presentations. The technology analyzes the tone of a user’s voice to evaluate how they are feeling. Time this with data from a presentation, and you can see how your attendees reacted as a whole. In beta testing of the technology, event managers used 1,500 subjects with the technology and were able to plan how to restructure their events to best hit the high and low mood points of attendees’ days. We can envision using this technology for meetings and conferences that sometimes don’t retain an attendee’s attention.
It is also incredibly useful – for event managers and their attendees – to see where an attendee went through the course of the conference and who they interacted with. A Bluetooth system called Loopd uses lanyards that attendees wear to communicate with beacons placed around the conference. This location tracking data can be used to see who interacted with whom and which areas of the conference were the most popular and engaging. With a simple touch, attendees can share contact info with others, making networking easier in a sometimes-flustering conference environment. Because so many attendees use these conferences for networking, we can see these lanyards becoming a must-have at conferences not too far in the future.
Go ahead and play with your food!
More and more guests in recent years have been responding to interactivity and personalization. Interactive food stations combine the best parts of guest collaboration with professional service to give your attendees a truly unforgettable experience. In our experiences at Wellington, we’ve found that interactive food stations promotes socialization and ensures that guests have a truly unforgettable experience. What better way to get the food they want than having a hand in it themselves? Interactive food stations inherently allow for more mingling between guests (can you say…networking?), allow for more variety, and break up the monotony of a two-hour buffet or plated dinner.
However, some clients may need some convincing to include this truly memorable experience. At Wellington, we strive to cater to the client, whether they are more traditional or looking for something a bit different. A traditional client may see an interactive food station as something they could do at home, and they expect that a conventional catering choice would involve them being served. For these clients, it may to best to use interactive food stations with just a few courses, and save the entrée to be plated in the kitchen.
We’ve seen from experience, non-traditional ways of serving food can be a great way for clients to remember your event and for them to network with others while learning how their food is prepared. Bon appetite!
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…unless you’re there for Event Tech 2014!
Event Tech is a yearly conference focused on engaging attendees through emerging technologies in the event and marketing industry. Wellington’s Michele Woods and Karen Elliot attended the conference and came back with some of the hottest trends for the events industry. Event Tech prides itself on highly experiential seminars, so the following technologies have been tried and tested on the spot!
Google Glass for presenters
Google Glass is on the cusp of integration with events and speakers. This wearable technology allows attendees to engage with the presenter as they’re speaking. The presentation will expand onto each user’s set of Google Glasses and, in real time, they’ll be able to record the presentation, make notes, and share their experiences on social media. At Wellington, we’ve had a lot of success with technology integration on the planning side – incorporating tablets into on-site work has been invaluable. We think that keeping attendees engaged with the same technology can lead to a more effective and memorable conference.
Zox RFID wristbands
The Zox brand began (and still is) as a highly fashionable wristband brand. They have recently expanded to offer innovative RFID (radio frequency identification) technology in their wristbands for brands. These unique chips allow companies to track their users at an event and see what matters most to them – where they’re going, how long they stayed, etc. We’ve learned over the years that more data and more knowledge lead to a better experience for all. There’s no substitute for knowing exactly what a customer wants and being able to tailor an experience for them. Guests can even get deals and discounts on merchandise related to the event, and have the ability to share their experiences instantly on social media integration.
Almost every technology today is integrated into social media. Bonfyre takes that concept one step further – with this app, you can create a private social network specifically for your event. Attendees, sponsors and speakers can share photos, statuses and content with the most relevant people – the audience at the event! We can see this being highly popular with some clients that prefer to keep their events private, but still want to share an amazing experience with their chosen peers.