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by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua

Event of the Future

In February this year I was invited to moderate at a conference in New York. If a weekend in New York wasn’t sufficient to tempt me out of hibernation and onto a plane in the depths of winter then the title of the conference – The Event of the Future – was the clincher. In its stark simplicity it seemed to pull together so many of the conversations that have dominated #eventprof discourse over the past number of years – the fact, for example, that we’re living through an age in events as golden as the Renaissance in arts or the Enlightenment in philosophical thought; or the fact that things in the events world are now mutating so fast it’s like we’re watching evolution on a time-lapse; or the fact that events have gone main-stream and are now the preferred go-to-market approach for many global brands.

Tactile Reassurance

In New York in February speakers from the venue, live streaming and eventtech sectors spoke eloquently about the Event of the Future highlighting the essential truth of that great French adage: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The more we attempt to extend the boundaries of events with the likes of AI and AR, the more we crave the safe haven of TR – tactile reassurance. The speakers from Convene, Livestream and did a super job at contributing to an essential conversation about the event of the future. But the conversation continues and we’re delighted to be part of the team bringing the Event of the Future to Dublin. We’ll be live at Croke Park on Thursday, 20 July – two days before U2 play the same venue with their Joshua Tree 30 year anniversary concert.

Behind-the-scenes at U2

Besides the obvious AAA, “behind-the-scenes” look at the build-up to one of rock and roll’s greatest shows (U2 playing to a home crowd on Dublin’s northside), the Dublin edition of the Event of the Future has a lot to recommend it. Bookended by keynote addresses from rock star #eventprofs – Kevin Jackson and David Meade – #EOTFDublin offers perspectives on the Event of the Future from key sectors on both the buyer and supplier side. Using to maximise audience engagement and participation speakers will offer TEDtalk-style presentations on how they envision the event of the future within their sector.

The Hoxton

We’ll hear from PJ Kenny, General Manager at the Hoxton, Holborn, one of the outlier hotel brands that have been truly mould-breaking across all aspects of the hospitality experience, including meetings and events. The events space at The Holborn – called The Apartment – pivots around a common space or central hub – called The Kitchen – where, throughout the day, barista-standard coffee is available and delegates are encouraged to work and gather informally.

The Meeting Room of the Future

We’ll also hear from Mark Cooper, Executive Director of the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC). IACC has just released the second edition of its annual survey on The Meeting Room of the Future .This brand new report paints a clear and convincing picture of tomorrow’s venue using data from almost 200 organisers of meetings and events from all over the world. The report states that the meeting room or venue of the future will be open, flexible, bright, comfortable with lots of natural light. It’s unlikely to be an auditorium with tiered seating and increasingly likely to be a non-hotel location. Mark will discuss highlights from the report at Croke Park.

Food, Glorious Food

Food consultant Hugo Arnold has crafted unique food concepts for many venues in Ireland and the UK. He’ll discuss how food has moved to centre stage at events, indeed, often taking top billing. Way more than necessary nutrition during a day long conference, food now plays a leading role in the overall event experience adding energy, sustainability, innovation and immense sensory appeal to surprise and delight delegates. The culinary team at Croke Park will be offering their unique interpretation of the event of the future with innovative, futuristic food offerings during the afternoon culminating with all the vibrancy and excitement of their unique Stadium Street Party to wrap proceedings.

Register now for the Event of the Future

Registration for the Event of the Future is currently live on EventOfTheFuture. Places are filling fast so, to avoid disappointment, go on-line and get yourself registered. If you’re involved in events in any shape or form, you absolutely need to be there.

Pádraic Gilligan, Patrick Delaney and Aoife McCrum run SoolNua, a specialist agency working with destinations, hotels and venues on strategy, marketing and training


2 thoughts on “Event of the Future – it’s here and now

  1. Kip Lambert says:

    Love the post! Great content! The first picture looks like you’re rushing off the stage to kill Pat. Hope he’s OK. 🙂

    1. padraicino says:

      LOL Kip – how’d you guess? That’s exactly what I was about to do!

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