Just a few short weeks ago, our team headed to Ireland to attend Engage!22 The Ireland Experience. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Engage! is a summit that takes place a few times per year and brings together the world’s top wedding and event professionals. For us, it was an opportunity to meet and spend time with over 300 wedding professionals–from planners to photographers, venues, videographers and more. The 4 days we spent in Ireland were filled with spectacular main stage sessions, lunches, breakout sessions, nighttime parties and so much more.
It’s a little hard to explain so we picked out 9 jaw-dropping photos to illustrate the top trends from Engage!22 The Ireland Experience. Feel free to let them inspire you for your own events!
Both the general session room and the gala tent featured a mainstage and a microstage. The microstage was a smaller stage located in the middle of the room–it partially cut into the audience area and allowed the speakers and entertainers to perform and stand amidst the crowd. The result: A truly innovative way to drive up the energy in the room!
Maroo Take: We think we’ll be seeing more microstages at events as it’s a guaranteed way to surprise and delight guests!
2. Once-in-a-lifetime Venue Experiences
The second night of the event took place at the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the middle of Dublin. Attendees enjoyed a formal, seated dinner in the historic church that dates back to 1191.
Maroo Take: St. Patrick’s Cathedral was a very unexpected venue for a sit-down dinner. Our prediction: Rare venues (such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral) will be opening up their doors more and more for events, creating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for guests to experience!
3. A Roaming Cocktail Party for Welcome Night
The first nighttime party of Engage!22 The Ireland Experience was held at Luttrellstown Castle–another historic venue. The story of the castle goes that when the family who owned the castle would travel away from home, the staff would throw wild parties. So, as a nod to its past, the entire theme was a wild party hosted by the staff! The costumes and entertainment was on point and attendees (much like the staff would have done) were given carte blanche to roam around the grounds of the castle as they pleased!
Maroo Take: As event professionals, we think we’ll be seeing more of these roaming cocktail parties, where party guests are not constrained to a singular space. These immersive parties allow guests to experience a place at their own pace and with ever-changing entertainment and food and beverage. This type of party guarantees that no two guests will have the same experience!
4. Localized and Curated Gifting
One thing that Engage! is known for is incredibly curated gifting. For this event, the entire gifting suite was curated with products created by local artisans––giving attendees a taste of all Ireland has to offer. From custom cashmere socks and alpaca throws, to local and artisanal honey, everyone went home with their hands full.
Maroo Take: Destination events are on the rise and we believe more event pros will curate their gifting to be sourced locally. Not only is this better for the environment, but it gives guests an opportunity to take home a local souvenir (if they didn’t have time to shop themselves!)
5. Textures and Fabrics as Stationery
You can’t deny it: Event branding shines when it comes to the stationery and paper products. And one way that the stationery and paper products really stand out from one event to another, is when they’re designed with local textures, colors and fabrics. At Engage!22 The Ireland Experience, the paper products were inspired by the feel of Ireland; the colors of the changing leaves and landscape, and the textures and fabrics of the properties.
Maroo Take: At Maroo, we believe more and more paper products will be designed and created by taking inspiration from a particular event venue and location!
6. Menus Inspired by Atmosphere
TPD Design House (the agency behind the branding of Engage!) loves a menu. In Ireland, there were two standout menus that were designed and inspired by the surrounds. At our second night dinner at St, Patricks, the menu was inspired by the stained glass windows of the Cathedral. The final night gala menu was created to mimic the bird’s nests that hung inside the clear, marquee tent.
Maroo Take: Gone are the days of a traditional or standard menu and in are the days of menus inspired and created to the exact atmosphere of the party!
7. Transitional Entertainment
At the Engage!22 Gala, guests were moved from the cocktail hour into the gala tent by a group of drummers. A perfect transitional moment that allowed guests to know it was time for the next part of the evening.
Maroo Take: Transitional entertainment keeps guests expecting the unexpected and every seasoned event pro knows how hard it is to move guests from cocktail hour into the reception! Transitional entertainment can help move things along and will continue to be a popular pick for parties.
8. The Banga Booth
When guests have spent time and money finding the perfect outfits, accessories, and hair and makeup (like at Engage!), they want to commemorate it with a great photo or two or ten! Enter… The Banga Booth. Completely customized to the event, there’s NOTHING like a Banga Booth in both style and creativity.
Maroo Take: At Engage!, we were lucky to have two opportunities for the Banga Booth and let’s just say that both times the line was long! It’s the perfect way gift for guests dressed to the nines.