A Look Back

The biggest meeting and event themes from 2016

If you’re feeling like 2016 went by in a harried blur, you’re not alone. While it did go by with the speed of a bullet train, chances are if you look back, you’ll have a long list of accomplishments to add to your meeting and event-planning portfolio. Whether you put together 200 parties or just two, pat yourself on the back—and get ready for another busy year ahead. For now, though, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest themes 2016 saw in the world of events. 

Location, Location

Traveling the world without ever having to leave the ball (or board) room was a big trend for 2016, with planners taking their attendees all over the globe. From the Big Apple to New Orleans, a Hawaiian luau to Morocco, international flavors were brought to the table through sophisticated recipes, succulent sips and intricate theming. We can’t wait to see the destinations 2017 will take us—no passport needed.

Vegging Out

The farm-to-table movement is still alive and well, coupled with sustainable recipes, veggie-centric dishes and an all-around healthy attitude toward dining. While this will certainly continue into 2017 (and well beyond, no doubt), make sure you check out our list of the top-10 foodie trends to get ahead of the coming year. 

Good Clean Fun

Happy hour without the alcohol? You bet. From a spotlight on sparkling water to the latest artisan mocktails and low-proof cocktails (OK, a little bit of alcohol in there), liquid libations are being mixed without the hard stuff—and folks are loving the way they taste. Now, what’s a cocktail hour without the actual cocktails, you ask? Don’t worry: Alcoholic beverages aren’t exactly going anywhere. But now, we have a multitude of options to please any type of drinker in a crowd. 

Your Meeting, Live

If you didn’t think social media could possibly get any bigger than it already was, 2016 may have been a surprise. With new social platforms and additions to long-favored apps, meeting planners were finding new ways to incorporate social media into their events. From live video streaming to Instagram Stories to how you could take advantage of Pokémon Go, a whole new world of options was explored for use in any meeting’s purpose. What will the trends for 2017 be? 

The Place to Be

So what if you’re not Coachella or SXSW? In 2016, your meeting could still be the destination for attendees to flock to. Whether you took the team to an off-site location, traveled halfway across the globe or planned a multiday venture, the mini-festival was big this year. Prediction: it’ll be even bigger in 2017.