2017 was a year of change and despite the dictum du jour that “we’re more divided than ever,” we actually came together more than any year before. We took the time to come face-to-face with the people who fill us up and inspire us to be and do more – be that our friends, family, communities, even our co-workers. If 2017 was any predictor, in 2018 we see people finding more ways to make the time we spend together meaningful. That includes finding more reasons to bring people together and finding more unique settings for otherwise ordinary activities.
Here’s a look at some expected and unexpected ways we’ll bring people together in 2018:
Celebratory dinners are replaced with supper clubs or cooking classes
Gathering around food is part of our daily lives. But our typical model of booking a table for 12 is going out the door faster than you can say “can you split this check eight ways?” In 2017, dinners were the second most popular type of activity booked. Rather than sit at a table idly, we’re seeing more groups book commercial kitchens to make dinner together or simple spaces with a long table where everyone can bring a dish and enjoy their makings together.
We pool budgets with friends to put on much cooler (and more cost-effective) gatherings
Hosting events becomes a group activity in the new year. Instead of settling for crowded bars or house parties, more people are leveling up their weekend game by rallying their friends to chip in to book private spaces. Lofts and mansions, for example, were the most popular types of spaces booked in 2018. Expect to be looped-in to planning (and funding) more of the events you attend, but also expect the end result to be much more fabulous than you could afford on your own.
Our teams get out of the office at least once a quarter to work and socialize
More companies are seeing the benefits of letting teams get out to get creative and bonded-up, and we expect to see quarterly offsites become the standard in 2018. But you may find yourself outside the office far more than that, especially if you work in an area where office space is pricey. We see more companies opting to let their teams book nearby space for a few hours instead of sign new leases. So next time you can’t book a meeting room, don’t be surprised if your boss tells you to book the gallery space (or loft or hidden library) down the block.
Brands invite us to drinks and shopping downtown
We fawn over the influencers and lifestyle brands whose sparkly photos fill our Instagram feeds. 2018 is the year we take those relationships to the next level: offline. We’re seeing more brands host small events or pop-ups that go beyond retail and just selling their products. We’re talking workshops, speaker series, tastings, and other experiences we can actually imagine spending our precious post-work hours attending (maybe even with friends). Expect to spend more time face-to-face with brands and less time browsing their feeds.
Other people’s stylish offices become popular meeting spots
Spending more time in an office may sound unexciting, but don’t forget that office spaces are more designed than ever before. We’re talking $5k mid-century couches, ping pong tables, and skyline views. Pair that with rising rent costs and the fact that these decked out spaces go largely unused past 6 p.m. and it’ll become clear why we’re seeing more groups booking their monthly meetings, networking events, and even birthday parties in office common areas.
We kick-start our creative endeavors with like-minded collaborators
Taking beautiful photos and creating catchy videos has never been more in demand or lucrative (just look at how much time we spend on Instagram and YouTube). Music video shoots, fashion shoots, and documentary film shoots were fire in 2017 (literally we saw these bookings quadruple in the past year). If you had any doubt this was the year to get your photography business off the ground, shoot that award award-winning film (or viral video), let this be your good omen.
It’s about to be a big year. And if we have anything to do with it, we’ll make sure nothing stands in the way of making all the gatherings you’re dreaming up a reality.
Photography by Keri Tan Photography.