When you first hear the words “Future Festival” your mind may go to an episode of The Jetsons, or a musical festival, or a trade show for Star Wars aficionados – but I assure you, it is all the more impressive, immersive and experiential.
This past September, I had the opportunity to attend Trend Hunter’s Future Festival first hand, alongside young and seasoned professionals from varying industries, organizations, companies and countries to collaborate and connect.
We arrive at the festival on day one, geared up to hear Trend Hunter’s CEO, Jeremy Gutsche, give a much-anticipated keynote. For anyone unfamiliar, TrendHunter is largest, most popular trend community. What first started off as a publication reporting on the latest trends and crazes both online and IRL, quickly transitioned into a hub fuelled by researchers and artificial intelligence joined to produce content, advertising and marketing opportunities for some of the world’s biggest companies. Based in our hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Trendhunter is supported by 200,000 contributors and 3,000,000 fans and contributes data and ideas regularly to organizations like Coca-Cola, Adidas, Victoria’s Secret, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft and NASA (just to name a few).
The mind behind Trend Hunter, Jeremy Gutsche, is scarily reflective of his brand. He is incredibly on point, energetic, quick and entertaining. Often described as a can of “Human Redbull”, Gutsche delivers a keynote that gets the audience active and engaged, hanging off his every word. His visuals are impeccably timed, his speech flows with an ease of confidence and the information he conveys is as sharp as it is relevant to a waiting, hungry audience. Gutsche’s main point, however, echoes loud and clear throughout the key note: innovation is key to all ground-breaking success, a concept many of us can forget about in the whirl of day-to-day routine.
“You are capable of more than you think,” Gutsche delivers. His voice steady and strong, somehow managing to look hundreds of people in the eye at the same time. “Be open to new ideas. Train your brain to think of the alternate solution. Break free from your day to day path. Push harder, and act sooner.” For anyone needing a metaphoric kick in the butt, Gutsche deliver, rallying the crowd to a roar of energy.
From the keynote, we moved to a lunch before our afternoon “trend safaris”. Trend Hunter organized various sessions within Toronto to help give international visitors a taste of their city that also applies to the latest and greatest in their industries or interests. The sessions range in subject matter from yoga with a brainreader and the business of cannabis, to viral video influencer marketing and laser-engraved baking. Users are taken from the boardroom to the streets to experience trends first hand, with a long lasting impression.
Later in the evening, Trend Hunter provided users with a huge “Future Party” filled with tech goodies like VR, drones and holograms with incredible music and mingling. In other words, a millennial’s dream world.
But Future Festival isn’t all play – the days to come at Future Festival are packed with learning and conversation. Day Two delivered a “Future Festival Takeaway Book” filled with information and advice to optimize your time. The Future Fest book not only contains takeaways from the speakers keynotes, but exercises, homework questions, must-see experiences and must-know trends for the year. Day 3 is all about transferring your knowledge into big, beautiful change with the Innovation Workshops. The Innovation Workshops are designed to get your team thinking and in motion in terms of “What’s Next?” – a question all businesses should be carving out time for. As a team, you’ll learn how to work together better and faster, what methods work for you as a business and brand as well as how to identify and tap in to patterns and plans that you otherwise would have overlooked. After innovating as a team, Future Festival also provides an opportunity for companies to come together and receive feedback on their ideations and plans.
Future Festival is an amazing opportunity for people all over the country to connect, network, share and explore where the markets, minds and people are going. From an entertainment to an educational standpoint, Future Festival is an experience that young professionals and companies should be capitalizing on if they want to make capital anytime soon. For more information, click here.