Keeping up with event trends can be a job in and of itself. What is “in” one year can be “out” the next. Event planners must stay abreast of current trends and understands what works (and doesn’t work) for their audiences.While the perfectly executed event may seem like a unicorn, the main goals of any event planner are to keep attendees engaged and to provide a positively memorable experience, all while staying in line with the event budget. In order to do so, they must remain relevant in the event industry by keeping track of trends, costs, and what their audience may expect to experience at their events.Event budget trends for 2019 include the following.Augmented Reality (AR)Virtual Reality (VR) is out and AR is in. But, don’t worry. If you have spent an arm and a leg on VR in the past, your pocket book will thank you for this new trend. AR technology doesn’t require a ton of hardware. Instead, it can be operated through event participants’ devices! And, as an added bonus, people are already becoming more and more reliant on apps and almost always expect an event to have an app associated with it. Incorporating an AR feature on your event app will encourage engagement and lead to a memorable experience for attendees.Live EntertainmentGone are the days when simply piping music into rooms from the hotel sound system provided a sufficient background mood setting. All that money you’re saving on the VR stuff needs to be thrown into live entertainment. Hiring entertainment for events has continuously grown in popularity over the years. In 2019, bookings for mariachi bands alone increased by over 10% compared to 2018. Events are not only featuring bands on stages at dinner parties, but they’re including live music as ambiance in foyers, at receptions, and in some cases during break-out sessions.But, music isn’t the only live entertainment that has gained in popularity. Magicians, comedians, and dancers have also become popular. And, holiday bookings for the jolly elf himself (Santa Claus!) have consistently increase by over 20% year over year for the past five years.SignageThe fact that signage is a mainstay in the event budget should almost go without saying. However, because the cost of signage has been decreasing due to new printing and digital signage technologies, event planners are now able to brand events in bigger ways. From billboards and marquees to vinyl banners and LCD displays, signage budges are changing – not in price so much as in product.SustainabilityIt comes as no surprise that sustainability is a huge part of doing business in the event production industry. Unfortunately, being a socially responsible also comes with a price tag. Event trends show that conversion to biodegradable materials, reusable drinking containers, and paper straws are just a few things popular on the surface. Events are also promoting environmental awareness by aligning with hotel, venue, and supplier partners who share in sustainable values. Catering budget items that are increasing include organic food and season product sourcing.