What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?

What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?
If there's one thing that's constant in the event industry, it's change. Keeping up with or ahead of trends is critical. We asked experienced event pros what their favorites are currently.

I suggest taking cues from things that are popular at the moment, and weave them through your event in a minimal, classic way.

Trends are not something I tend to favor and can often create a look that will appear dated. I suggest taking cues from things that are popular at the moment, and weave them through your event in a minimal, classic way. So instead I can offer these two “trends” that never go out of style:

1. Select a color palette that is meaningful to you and use it consistently throughout all elements. Also, use color cues for your palette from the spaces where your event will take place. Work with what you got! Don’t be afraid of color – even if just a hint.

2. Know when to edit. When you have too many ideas fighting for the spotlight, it shows. Focus on your “wow” moments and meaningful details, and save those unnecessary extras for another occasion down the road. Refining your vision is the ultimate style.

"I suggest taking cues from things that are popular at the moment, and weave them through your event in a minimal, classic way." Click to Tweet

Christopher Confero

Wedding Planner & Designer

CONFERO, Atlanta, GA

Augmented and Virtual Reality is another trend we love to incorporate into our corporate events to wow our clients and guests.

We’re loving the hyper-local trend. Since not a lot of people are actually from DC, there’s an immense sense of local pride in living here and a lot of clients want to highlight local businesses and products, especially for their out-of-town guests. The area boasts amazing breweries, distilleries, wineries, chefs, artists, and crafts producers and it’s becoming really easy to show pride in all there is to offer within a 15-mile radius. This can be done by creating menus and even welcome baskets with locally sourced food and beverages, or by hosting an event at an iconic venue.

Augmented and Virtual Reality is another trend we love to incorporate into our corporate events to wow our clients and guests. It’s a great way to showcase high-level sponsors and to get some great traction on social media.

"Augmented and Virtual Reality is another trend we love to incorporate into our corporate events to wow our clients and guests." @sasseventsdc Click to Tweet

Stacy Heit

Principal/Owner

sassēvents, Washington, D.C.

I'm really excited about the experiential aspects of events such as Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence.

I’m really excited about the experiential aspects of events such as Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence. As a proud nerd, I’m always excited about the innovative things that have come about with technology and even science (molecular gastronomy is one of my faves!) so I love introducing that to event attendees to give them a truly memorable event. I am really excited to see what new heights we can go to with these new technologies.

"I'm really excited about the experiential aspects of events such as Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence." @yowaevents Click to Tweet

Kayowa Kasongo

CEO/Head Event Planner and Marketing Strategist

Yowa Events, Los Angeles, CA

We love the newer trend of expanding the surrounding events of the wedding, beyond the rehearsal dinner and brunch!

We love the newer trend of expanding the surrounding events of the wedding, beyond the rehearsal dinner and brunch! From welcome cocktails to wine tastings to scenic boat tours of the city, our couples are becoming more creative and excited about making the wedding festivities several days long. The wedding day does go by in an instant, so being able to expand it in little ways makes the memories grow deeper.

The other trend we love is fun and creative interactive stations at the wedding. From champagne carts to making your own ice cream bars, to custom cocktails and donut walls. Moving from the standard dessert experiences has been so fun!

"We love the newer trend of expanding the surrounding events of the wedding, beyond the rehearsal dinner and brunch!" @storybookchi Click to Tweet

Nicole Hensley

Founder and Owner

Storybook Weddings and Events, Chicago, IL

We are excited to see that Event Destination cities are migrating and shifting to smaller cities in the world offering guests and clients another viewpoint with exciting local opportunities.

We are excited to see that Event Destination cities are migrating and shifting to smaller cities in the world offering guests and clients another viewpoint with exciting local opportunities. This shift affords cities to reap economic windfalls while showcasing local artisans, unique venues and hometown talents. Two (2) U.S. favorites are Lexington or Louisville in Kentucky offer gorgeous landscapes, boutique hotels, thoroughbred horses and bourbon trails for delicious exploration. Budapest and Bali are two (2) favorite international destinations.

While purists choose an elegant design, classic invitations, letterpress and modern calligraphy, over-the-top and uniquely personal invitations to galas and events are rising with style and in price! One recent favorite is Jay-Z who recently sent VIP guests gold Rolex Daytona’s [valued at $40,000], along with bottles of Ace of Spades Champagne to celebrate the inaugural Shawn Carter Foundation Gala, a black-tie affair held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Given the budget, our team is uniquely creative to incorporate personal client styles and brand identity in memorable guest offerings, magical tablescapes, scrumptious sweet tables, and thoughtful departure gifts, as well.

"We are excited to see that Event Destination cities are migrating and shifting to smaller cities in the world offering guests and clients another viewpoint with exciting local opportunities." Click to Tweet

Jeff Hughes

Chief Experience Officer

The Huestudio + Company, Mt. Prospect, IL

Bookending the wedding day with a welcome event and farewell brunch is not uncommon, and I enjoy extending the life of the celebration to tell a couple’s complete story.

#1 The Welcome Party
#2 The Farewell Brunch (and every event in-between)

Today, the wedding is much more than a ceremony and reception. Families extend the special occasion into a weekend-long celebration with events Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. What was the old rehearsal dinner is now a full-fledged welcome party with entertainment, floral and design, top-end food and beverage and ultimate customization. Bookending the wedding day with a welcome event and farewell brunch is not uncommon, and I enjoy extending the life of the celebration to tell a couple’s complete story. It’s wonderful to see families and friends actually have quality time together with more opportunities to enjoy each other’s company.

"Bookending the wedding day with a welcome event and farewell brunch is not uncommon, and I enjoy extending the life of the celebration to tell a couple’s complete story." Click to Tweet

Suzanne Reinhard

President and Lead Planner

Suzanne Reinhard Events, Atlanta, GA

Trends can be fun, but our focus is to make sure the event is all about our clients.

To be totally honest, we’re not a big fan of this question! We recently read an article saying the photo booth is no longer trendy, and that’s so silly! Guests love a photo booth.

Our ethos is that you should host the event that you want to have, even if something is “over” – who cares? Do it anyway. We have seen so many interesting and different choices made in the last ten years. Trends can be fun, but our focus is to make sure the event is all about our clients.

"Trends can be fun, but our focus is to make sure the event is all about our clients." @aelochicago Click to Tweet

Carolyn Johnson

Owner & Co-Founder

An Event Less Ordinary, Chicago, IL

I love how creative and interactive food presentations have become, how open clients are to serve interesting flavor profiles and how food from different cultures is accessible and easily incorporated into our events.

One trend I’m excited by is the continuous evolution in the culinary world over the last years. I love how creative and interactive food presentations have become, how open clients are to serve interesting flavor profiles and how food from different cultures is accessible and easily incorporated into our events.

The second trend I love is also food-based – the world of desserts and sweets has come alive with exciting options. We love all of our specialty dessert vendors – from gorgeous cookies to neon cotton candy to crazy fun cakes!

"I love how creative and interactive food presentations have become, how open clients are to serve interesting flavor profiles and how food from different cultures is accessible and easily incorporated into our events." @nyluxevents Click to Tweet

Andrea Adelstein

CEO/Event Planner

NYLUX Events, New York City, NY

Elaborate tabletops.

Elaborate tabletops. I’m fond of all the personal details people are putting into beautiful china, glassware, flatware, etc.

Color! I love an all-white wedding, but adding some color is so fresh!

"Elaborate tabletops." @pearleventsATX Click to Tweet

Becky Navarro

Founder

Pearl Events Austin, Austin, TX

People are starting to eliminate response cards in their invitation and using a g-mail address for their guests to respond.

There are always interesting shifts in decor styles. Still completely custom to what a client wants.

People are starting to eliminate response cards in their invitation and using a g-mail address for their guests to respond. Not that is it exciting, but it can save money. Some people still love going to the mailbox and getting their responses.

Digital photography has driven down the price of that service. It makes for a completely different look. Most people love to get the disc of their pictures so they can use it for social media and do what they want with the images. They still like the beautiful books too.

"People are starting to eliminate response cards in their invitation and using a g-mail address for their guests to respond." Click to Tweet

Jamie Joffe

Owner/Planner

Jamie Joffe Events, Chicago, IL

I am really excited to see color making a comeback.

I am really excited to see color making a comeback. We’re seeing a really fun shift in people utilizing colors in a more modern way and playing with textures and elements that elevate the event to a new guest experience.

Another trend I am excited to see if letting go of traditions when it comes to formalities and timelines and really collaborating as a vendor team to create a unique and memorable flow for our clients.

"I am really excited to see color making a comeback." @urban_soiree Click to Tweet

Renee Sabo

Founder and Lead Wedding Consultant

Urban Soiree, Boston, MA

I think the biggest trend that excites me is seeing more companies commit to recycling.

I think the biggest trend that excites me is seeing more companies commit to recycling. We feel we have maximized our efforts to the full array of recycling as a company (paper, glass, cardboard, cooking oil, composting, compostable plates and silver and more). This gets me the most excited! Cru Catering is also currently working on minimizing the waste from leftovers at the end of events and hopes to have a program that we can share by 2020.

"I think the biggest trend that excites me is seeing more companies commit to recycling." @crucatering Click to Tweet

John Zucker

Executive chef and Owner

Cru Catering, Charleston, SC

Texture lighting is one of the hottest trends right now in the event industry.

Texture lighting is one of the hottest trends right now in the event industry. I absolutely love this style of lighting because it completely transforms a venue. There are also so many different ways to use texture lighting. For example, project palm fronds on the walls to create a tropical ambiance, or display snowflakes on the ceiling and walls to set the mood for a winter wonderland. The possibilities are endless! Check out this link HERE to learn more about texture lighting.

Another popular trend is animated GIF booths. This is a fun twist on the traditional photo booth. Guests take a series of photos, but instead of receiving a printed photo strip, they get an animated image, similar to the Boomerang effect on Instagram. Guests can receive their image via text message or email and share to social media. As a special bonus, hosts can setup a custom hashtag to automatically post every time a guest shares their image on social media! Check out this link HERE to learn more about GIF photo booths!

"Texture lighting is one of the hottest trends right now in the event industry." @RentMyWedding Click to Tweet

Marie Kubin

Founder and CEO

Rent My Wedding,

CCE is loving the photo op areas! It’s so fun to see the guests take photos and share it on social media!

CCE is loving the photo op areas! It’s so fun to see the guests take photos and share it on social media! The photo op areas are endless with ideas on how to personalize for your event!

We are still loving the mixology experts for the events. From Champagne experts to Bourbon, it’s incredibly knowledgable and fun for the guests!

"CCE is loving the photo op areas! It’s so fun to see the guests take photos and share it on social media!" @christinaevents Click to Tweet

Christina Currie

Owner/Event Producer

Christina Currie Events, Barrington, IL

Clients and companies pay more attention to where supplies come from and what carbon footprint they leave.

Being environmentally conscious is something we will continue seeing for years to come. Clients and companies pay more attention to where supplies come from and what carbon footprint they leave. It is buying seasonal, local produce when it comes to catering, or buying flowers from local nurseries.

In the luxury industry, clients are leaning towards unique experiences rather than buying items. It’s all about the memories and valuing time, which is the modern-day luxury in a world that’s connected nonstop. We can see that trend overlapping with the events industry as well, where clients want us to create something unique that will have guests connecting with each other. We book name talent all the time, and usually, it is a band the client loved in their younger years. It’s about connecting to the moment, reminiscing with friends and being present rather than being on your phone. Great entertainment will add that personal touch to any event as most people can relate to a certain song, joke or game.

"Clients and companies pay more attention to where supplies come from and what carbon footprint they leave." @Hollywood_Pop Click to Tweet

Brett Galley

Director of Special Events

Hollywood POP Gallery,

Two industry trends I'm excited about are around lighting and food & beverage service/presentation.

Two industry trends I’m excited about are around lighting and food & beverage service/presentation. These aren’t two specific trends of the moment per se, but they’re two areas that continue to see constant innovation and I’m continually inspired by what I see in the industry. Coloured lights, LEDs, patterned gobos, uplighting, and other lighting elements can transform a room with relatively little effort and budget. Meanwhile, the ways we present and serve food and drinks continues to amaze me – from an upscale tiki bar, to a server in costume, to an ingenious buffet set-up, and more… The best is yet to come!

"Two industry trends I'm excited about are around lighting and food & beverage service/presentation." @brinkevents Click to Tweet

Aidan Henry

Owner & Creative Director

Brink Events, Victoria, BC

Day of Coordinator for weddings has been trending lately and I am all for it!

Day of Coordinator for weddings has been trending lately and I am all for it! It is one of my favorite things to do. It is a really long day, but to know that the bride/groom and bridal party can all relax and enjoy their day and not worry about if there are enough chairs at each table, really makes my heart happy. I’m also a really big fan of the donut wall trend. It is such a simple idea that companies and brides have turned more elegant. It’s a surprising yet enjoyable trend, and I can’t wait to see what’s next in the market.

"Day of Coordinator for weddings has been trending lately and I am all for it!" Click to Tweet
Owner of Monica Lattimer Events

Monica Lattimer

Owner

Monica Lattimer Events,

I feel that the growing awareness of food justice is going to lead us as a community into a more sustainable environment.

I’ve always focused on using premium ingredients when it comes to my products and I am happy to learn that more consumers are willing to pay more if they can understand and see the quality in baked goods. I am also attempting to personally transition to a plant-based lifestyle. Recently, I revamped some of my recipes to include plant-based ingredients. I tried Country Crocks’ plant-based butter in my buttercream recipe and the response rate was very high. I feel that the growing awareness of food justice is going to lead us as a community into a more sustainable environment.

"I feel that the growing awareness of food justice is going to lead us as a community into a more sustainable environment." @DelorCakery Click to Tweet

Kayisha Shoshana Thompson

Cake Executive Officer

De L’or Cakery Corporation, Bronx, NY

We are thrilled that more people are embracing plant-based cuisine and zero-waste events.

We are thrilled that more people are embracing plant-based cuisine and zero-waste events. Clients are becoming more mindful of the impact they make on our planet and are realizing how wasteful events can be. By using locally sourced and organic produce, minimizing the use of plastic, and finding ways to creatively decrease our waste, we are able to help our client create events that have a smaller carbon footprint than most events.

"We are thrilled that more people are embracing plant-based cuisine and zero-waste events." Click to Tweet

Joyce Malicse

Co-founder

Pink Salt Cuisine,

The idea of bucking trends all together!

The idea of bucking trends all together! Couples these days are really about what they enjoy. It could be an unusual location or getting rid of the typical timeline where they go from the wedding right into the party, forgetting about the cocktail reception, introduction, and even the cake cutting. I have a couple that is integrating pieces of favorite things into the event. The groom loves Knob Creek Bourbon and Cigars, so we have a cask of Knob Creek being delivered to the hotel. We will use this, not only for the bar but also integrate it into the meal and the favors for the end of the night including a bourbon-infused cotton candy for the late-night party.

Other cool pieces include a close hand magician who is going to come to the ceremony so he can look like a guest and then at the cocktail party do his magic in small groups as if this was a guest’s hobby. I’ve got a bolder piece like a fire eater that will entertain guests during the cocktail reception and a fusion band for the dinner, all in the backdrop of the Biltmore Hotel.

"The idea of bucking trends all together!" @keithwillard Click to Tweet

Keith Willard

Owner/Designer

Keith Willard Events,

I’ve seen more and more clients looking for hands-on experiences for their guests.

Lately, I’ve seen more and more clients looking for hands-on experiences for their guests. They want to bring their guests into the party and immerse them in the theme. One example of this is a recent Hawaiian-themed milestone birthday celebration where we greeted guests with fresh orchids from Hawaii, set up palm trees all around the pool, served drinks out of pineapples from the tiki bar, and brought in fire and hula dancers to engage and get the guests involved. Everyone left with take-home items from our souvenir shop, including Ray-Ban shades, personalized towels, flip flops, and sun hats. And we did it all in nine days!

I’ve also noticed a growing interest in sustainability, especially with catering, with a move toward using natural materials like bamboo plates and cutting down on waste. We’ve also ordered plantable seed paper yarmulkes, encouraging people to “go green” when celebrating life and all its special events.

"I’ve seen more and more clients looking for hands-on experiences for their guests." Click to Tweet

Alison Ross

Event Planner

Alison Ross Events, Chicago, IL

I feel event designers alone define what the trend is. Their creativity and the ability to think way outside the box makes them alone definition of trend.

I feel like there are some great ones right now! Honestly, I really refer to Biz Bash a lot. I joke and say its the events industry Bible.

I am really excited about how clients right now are choosing more sustainable events. Even if it is just a small element of the event, clients are more ecologically aware.

There is something monumental to say about event designers. I feel event designers alone define what the trend is. Their creativity and the ability to think way outside the box makes them alone definition of trend. Completely mesmerizing at times.

"I feel event designers alone define what the trend is. Their creativity and the ability to think way outside the box makes them alone definition of trend." Click to Tweet

Meredith Bond

Founder/ Creative Director

Seven14 Events, Boston, MA

The merging of cultures, religions, backgrounds, and experiences...

  1.  Sustainable and eco-friendly food/decor/vendor options.
  2.  Fusion! The merging of cultures, religions, backgrounds, and experiences are allowing us to bring together fully personalized events that highlight all involved!
"The merging of cultures, religions, backgrounds, and experiences..." Click to Tweet

Tionna Van Gundy

Wedding Planner & CEO

Wedicity, Chicago, IL