5 key event themes for 2023: our Confex takeaways

Didn’t make it down to Confex this year? We went along and absorbed all the latest industry hot topics, developments, and trends like sponges! It was great to come away brimming with ideas on how to keep things new and effective for all our lovely clients and our ever-evolving briefs. 

Always happy to share the love, here are our key takeaways on the top 5 priority themes getting us thinking for events in 2023. The themes in themselves may not be totally new but the depths to which we can now take them are next level.

1. Immersion

To create memorable events, delegates need to be able to connect with brands on a sensory level to create positive associations and memorable experiences. That principle has always sat at the core of experiential marketing. Now, with new event tech constantly delivering new mechanisms, we were so inspired by some of the options out there.

From a simple gamified version of your content to an interactive keynote delivered via your smartphone, a 3D film with sensory embellishments to a physical challenge either live or in VR, it literally is the case that the only thing stopping us is our imaginations (ok – and our budgets, just to bring us back down to earth). And it’s so reassuring that even a few £1,000 can make a big change to your content.


2. Sustainability

We’re all aware that our beloved industry has taken much (deserved) rap over the years for our impact on landfill and our carbon footprints. With carbon off-setting alone no longer enough, it’s time to take a long hard look at each element of our events and how we can make switches.

And there are plenty of alternatives at hand. Like creating stands and backdrops from recycled cardboard or fabric. And Confex itself was fully paperless, with no literature, no goodie bags and no signposting: everything was in-app or screen-based.

Priority Graphics manufactures and prints on environmentally friendly, recyclable rigid paperboard that is both lightweight and incredibly strong. Plus, it can be moulded into pretty much any shape!

3. inclusion

One of the most brilliant outcomes of the events industry becoming more screen-based is the ability for more delegates with differing needs to be able to access event content. AR enables us to create virtual spaces that unite people of all physical abilities, bots can deliver content via subtitles in any given language in real time and creative tech can deliver key messages in unending formats to suit all neurodiversities.

So, the main question is down to us all to get creative, be considerate and provide the solutions we’re excellent at devising – but now for all delegates. This creates amazing opportunities for brands to be the example for more inclusive events.

MootUp’s Accessible 3D virtual event platform offers immersive features to bring delegates together in VR rooms.

4. Video content

What’s new here is the multitude of ways to capture, present and share content. And as an extension of that, the ever-closer connection between video content and event content. 

Even a quick, highly shareable video can capture a brand’s personality and get people talking.

@colewalliser’s Glambot experience in the US has seen a rise in slow motion content at UK at events using technology such as Glamdroid®

5. shared experiences

Lockdown brought us many ways to unite people from across the world on virtual platforms, helping to get and keep people engaged. Events are, and always have been, about connecting people with people and with brands to create memorable experiences that start conversations. 

And in our post-covid world, we are seeing the desire to bring people back together to share those moments – in person. As we’ve seen, virtual hasn’t gone away, and nor should it; it has simply added to what’s possible, giving brands more opportunities to connect through hybrid, immersive event experiences.

Luckily, everything we’ve talked about is exactly what we love to do here at Helter Skelter. If you feel inspired and would like to have a chat about how we could help you bring these ideas to your events in a relevant and impactful way, please contact us either by email, via Instagram or via the contact form here. We’d love to see where the ride can take you!