Insiders Recap: Live Events Season

640 427 Next Level Event Design

Live events are inherently exciting. They’re risky (hello #NippleGate), and we are naturally drawn in by the risk – not that we want to see a blunder, but that there is a possibility of one occurring. We also watch to view incredible individuals showcasing their talents for the world to see because let’s face it, we all want to be in their shoes! There are countless reasons to watch these live events – fashion trends, decor trends, political statements, tear jerking speeches, heartbreaking buzzer beaters. The list goes on and on.

It’s important to note that these events are so much more than awards shows and sporting events. As event professionals, we know they are about creating memorable environments and experiences to continue conversations. This is something we, as #eventprofs, strive for with every event: is there a key takeaway, have the attendees grown and developed by attending this event, did they experience something they’ve never seen before, will they talk about it after the event or game is over? These inspiring questions are behind every single detail in an event.

It is an exciting year for live events – many milestones (75, 60, 90, and 70 years of celebrations) and the Winter Olympics are finally here! Although millions of us did not physically attend these famous live events, we were able to watch on live TV and here is what we can take away:

(Photo by Joe Shlabotnik / CC BY)

Golden Globes: Celebrating 75 years of recognizing excellence in the film and television industries.

  • We saw celebrities using this platform to make a #TimesUp statement. Many women took other inspirational women as companions, and all celebs wore black in protest of the gender issues we face today. To read a full recap check out this Time’s article.
  • Oprah gave a powerful speech that left many in tears.
  • Not a lot of focus on decor, floral, or fashion. It was a heavily politically driven event and the women took control.

(Photo by Colby Sharp / CC BY)

Grammys: Celebrating 60 years of recognizing achievements in the music industry.

  • Hosted in NYC instead of Los Angeles for the first time since 2003.
  • First full spanish song performance (Despacito – still can’t stop singing it)!
  • Other performances were raw and minimal, a focus on vocals and less on showmanship.
  • Afterparties: lots of nods to NYC – skylines and subway tiles, etc. The Points Guy (TPG) Soundtracks’ party allowed guests to be transported to the most popular travel destinations for 2018: Morocco, Iceland, India, and Mexico City by using wrap-around projections with music and displays changing every 30 minutes to transform the space to a new destination.
  • Republic Records had a live art performance that became a photo backdrop.
  • To see more after-party details check out this article from BizBash.

(Photo by Lorie Shaull / CC BY)

Super Bowl 2018: the 52nd Super Bowl at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Performers: Pink sang the National Anthem (with the flu!). Justin Timberlake performed the halftime show.

  • The Super Bowl game and show are the most watched television event annually, with 30 second ads nearly doubling in price over the last 10 years ($5M/ad).
  • In 2017, Lady Gaga’s performance was the most-watched musical event of all-time, citing a figure close to 117 million viewers. This year, Justin clocked in around 110 million viewers.
  • In JT’s performance, there was an incredible use of space and colors across multiple stages across the field. He used purple to “color the town” and a huge video projection in a (somewhat controversial) tribute to Prince.
  • Check out this article from BizBash to see how other Event Professionals graded the performance.

(Photo by mark.davis20 / CC BY)

Olympics Opening Ceremonies:

  • Incredible use of technology while telling the story of South Korea’s past, present, and future.
  • World record breaking light show with the use of more than 1,200 drones.
  • After receiving fame during the Rio Summer Olympics opening ceremonies, Tonga’s shirtless man, Pita Taufatofua, qualified for a winter Olympic sport. He continued his tradition of carrying the Tongan flag while lathered in coconut oil –  this time braving the freezing temps!
  • The torch lighting was monumental in the unifying of North and South Korea, the two athletes had to climb what seemed like a never ending staircase to reach the top.
  • Check out this article from BizBash to see how other Event Professionals graded the Opening Ceremonies.

Oscars: Tune in March 4th to see the 90th Academy Awards.

Emmys: Tune in September 17th for the 70th Emmy Awards.

It was not long ago that drones were considered futuristic and unattainable. We were “Wowed” by Lady Gaga’s performance with the use of drones in the shape of the American flag during the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show. Just one year later, the use of drones during the PyeongChang opening ceremonies was masterfully orchestrated to create the image of a moving snowboarder and flying interlaced olympic rings, which broke a Guinness World Record by doing so. What other things can be transformed over the next few years? What else can be imagined as “risky or edgy” now, but can come to fruition down the road? After reading this, take a moment to dream up the craziest event showstopper and who knows, it could take the world by storm in a few years.


(Photo by Lorie Shaull / CC BY)