There’s no better way to build team spirit than with a can of spray paint and a blank canvas. Native 312 Events gives groups a chance to foster community and creativity while learning about one of Chicago’s most widely seen forms of art: graffiti.

Javier Dominguez and Adam Dittman founded Native 312 Events nearly two years ago after working together on events for more than eight years. They now provide Urban Art Workshops to a variety of clientele, including collegiate groups and corporate teams.

“Every time we do our Urban Art Workshop, it never fails to amaze me how people of different artistic skill sets work together to create something awesome,” Dominguez says. “It’s almost like people draw inspiration from one another and build on top of it, which is essentially how you want your team to work together to tackle problems in the workspace.”

Dominguez says their Urban Art Workshop encourages teams to work together in an organic manner while flexing their creative muscles. Plus, he jokes, it doesn’t hurt that they’re able to work in some bar packages.

“Our goal is to provide entertaining and immersive ways to experience Chicago and highlight some of its culture and creative circles that may be new to locals and visitors alike,” Dominguez says. “We work with some of the most highly regarded artists in Chicago."

Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.  

 

Freelancing has become a new ball game since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many companies cannot afford to keep full-time positions, but still need those tasks completed. Although many more professionals have had to join the freelancing community since March, Tracy Judge had the passion for the freelancing community two years ago–long before the pandemic hit–and founded her company Soundings Connect in order to directly connect meetings and events industry freelancers with customers. 

 

Whether dabbling with an augmented reality app, getting up to speed on the complexities of 5G service or employing cocktail-mixing robots, planners are no strangers to emerging technology. As meetings and events become increasingly tech-driven affairs, we’ve checked in with top event production pros for their takes on the latest event tech trends and what’s to come in the year ahead.