Sustainability, wellness, and agencies moving in-house for certain style events; Predicted trends for corporate events in 2019.


ICE (in-house Corporate Events) has announced what it sees as the main trends affecting this sector of the industry in 2019. The announcement comes 12 months after the brand predicted wellness and sustainability as the key talking points for 2018, and both subjects have returned in 2019, with a few other more surprising developments.  

The trends have been developed in partnership with the ICE community, through a series of focus groups.

Additionally, Anita Howard, Founder and Managing Director of ICE joined a panel at Confex a few weeks ago to discuss the trends and influences with a live audience. The panel brought together some of the ICE community’s leading voices and included L’Oreal and Verizon.

The panel agreed that sustainability will still be extremely important for 2019, but noted that its effectiveness is largely dependent on corporates own stakeholders and their priorities. “I think we all want our events to be more sustainable”, comments Dave Greaves, Make It Happen, “but in actuality, we are bounded by the constraints of our stakeholders. Our ability to be more sustainable comes down to their limitations, their budgets and this often varies from sector to sector.”

It was also highlighted that Wellness, another key industry trend in 2018, will be just as, if not more important in 2019, but will encompass a more in-depth look at overall job satisfaction – having a voice and having a purpose when contributing to the companies wider goal. A wellness 2.0.


“What we found in our research at ICE, was that wellness didn’t just come down to personal health, but involved other causes, like the management of stakeholders upwards”, comments Howard. 

“The pressure in-house corporates were receiving from stakeholders played into their overall wellbeing, and at ICE, our mission is to help in-house corporates push back on this pressure and say no. We also want them to see their role as a strategic part of the event planning process and for others to see that too”

“Wellness is also about being more proud of your work, and receiving acknowledgement for it. It’s no longer enough to implement someone else’s vision, the event organiser of 2019 is interested in implanting their own values on their events, as well as the businesses.”

With support from Cvent, ICE will be launching an annual report later this year that will provide in-house event planners the strategic ammunition and metrics to manage their internal stakeholders with qualitative and quantitative research from the industry..

Perhaps one of the most disruptive trends raised by the panel, is that 2019 will see more events being brought in house, with corporates creating mini-agencies within their events department. These teams are already being created with the same set up and structure as creative agencies, but present a potentially more cost effective solution that allows corporates more control over their performance, data and how their budgets are spent. In doing so business can also gain more influence over their work cultures, staff wellbeing and the impact of their events on the environment.  

Other trends included increasing demand for creativity against less budget and adopting a millennial approach to making events more personal, more human and more authentic. 

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.