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Hatch Live: Our Predictions for 2019

by Natalie Headlam Natalie Headlam


  • Posted on Friday 18th January, 2019

2018, the year of mindfulness, emerging technologies, including VR, AR, AI and holograms, and pop ups for the sake of pop ups! But what does the year ahead have in store for the events landscape? Read on to hear our take…

After six consecutive years, UK marketing budget growth finally came to an end in the last quarter of 2018, although events budgets saw an increase by 2.6%, according to the latest IPA report. We’re expecting this growth to continue into 2019 and see marketers turn their attentions (and briefs) to the power of events to grow their brands.

However, with marketing budgets being tightened overall, marketers are going to expect to see more from events, engagement is going to be key but also how event profs measure the success of an event. Below are our Hatch Live predictions for 2019…


“Hey Google, tell me about my day.” – that’s how I like to start most of my mornings. Voice recognition is fast becoming a part of everyday life, but how will our voices – both humane and electronic – play a role in the events industry? Users are still exploring this technology and it will be the more creative types who know how to exploit it to introduce more engaging events.

A great example of voice in practice is this Talisker Tasting Experience via Alexa. Piloted at Christmas, the Amazon Alexa Skill was designed to allow users to a tasting experience with Talisker via an audio journey. Just brilliant!


Memorability will continue to be a top driver in experiential marketing in 2019, and with 93% of marketers believing that customers are looking to buy experiences, rather than products, how do we make our events standout and be more engaging. Pop ups for the sake of pop ups just aren’t going to cut it anymore.

Without blowing our own trumpet, we love the stunt that we did for Chiltern Railways in August 2017, where we launched the UK’s first ever Kids Coach – the antidote to the quiet coach if you will. The reason I mention it is not only because it got heaps of coverage at the time, but more importantly that a journalist for the Guardian remembered the activity when writing about family travel months later and referred to the stunt. Cue email to client for next brief!


Undoubtedly a huge trend from last year which isn’t going anywhere and will only evolve. How to adopt sustainable practices will be at the forefront of event managers’ minds – from switching plastic sampling cups at a food/drink experiential, to knowing how to dispose of rubbish correctly. As a brand, are your sustainability values reflected by your agency partner, or are they at the very least adhered to?


I touched on this earlier: measurement is going to be a huge focus for marketers. Event attendance remains a number one priority in most of the briefs we receive, but what about the quality of attendees, and how do we interact with these people following an event? That leads me on nicely to my next point…



And last, the beast, my biggest headache of 2018 – GDPR. In a nutshell, as an industry we need to get our s*** together when it comes to hosting an event, abiding by the new regulations. Prominent signage around your event space stating if photography or videography is taking place, release forms, data policies, the works. Agencies and brands need to be transparent with each other on their respective policies to ensure nothing gets missed.