Generating Ideas Through Pinterest

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April 23, 2013

What started as a simple tool to find and collect images online has quickly turned into one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. With more than 48.7 million users, according to Reuters, Pinterest has become increasingly popular for future brides and event professionals. Although the site can be a great way to gather ideas, it proposes a serious question for the event industry: Is Pinterest taking the creativity out of weddings and events? Social media and industry blogs have helped planning brides and event professionals discover new ideas online and has supported the sharing of ideas across the globe. But if you're becoming bored with the same ideas appearing in your events again and again, chances are your guests feel the same way. With the spur of wedding inspired boards on Pinterest, it doesn't take long to notice themes. Rustic décor, weddings in barns, country brides wearing cowboy boots, Mason jars, flower girls and ring bearers carrying clever signs down the aisle, candy buffets, burlap, and signs, everywhere! "When I imagine the concept of someone gathering all these ideas into one party it sounds like a poorly created casserole," says Dwin Dykema of Bella Sposa Bridal in Grand Rapids, MI. These cute and creative ideas have been used by brides across the country, but they may not be suitable for every client. And what about the associated costs? Although your client's heart may be set on having a food truck at the end of the night, it may completely exceed their budget, leaving you to break the bad news. "A bride might go on Pinterest for ideas, but the next thing she knows she wants everything she sees and her budget just went out the door," says Christine Hawk of Christine's Weddings & Events in Alexandria, LA, supporting the idea that just because you like it, doesn't mean it will work with your event or that it needs to. On the other hand, clients using Pinterest can be great for helping you plan. You can understand what their likes and dislikes are and what themes they are imagining for the event. Social media sites should be used, and even encouraged, as an idea generator. "It is actually one of our best marketing tools, apart from our website, and clients love it," states Anne Ager of Côte Weddings in Nice, France. You can encourage clients to create a board for the event and fill this with ideas they find throughout the web. Every idea that is kept will need an added personal touch to create a unique experience that suits the client, but it can be a great place to start. "Pinterest has been a useful tool to help our clients put all of their pictures in one place and easily share with my cake, floral designer and printer so they get the feel of what the couple likes." states Dianna Shitanishi, CPCE, CMP of Hawaii Weddings and Events. "We don't duplicate items, but take their inspirations and their personalities and create their own design concept and merely use Pinterest as a starting point." Pinterest and other sharing sites can also provide you with a link to new suppliers. If you or your clients find an idea that you are set on using, the provided link can bring you directly in contact with the original vendor. While some grandiose ideas may not be manageable, it may spur your creativity and help you develop an equally fabulous idea that is within the budget. "It has opened the window to share concepts." says Dykema. "We may not love the whole of a concept and choose to take bits and pieces of those concepts to create the dream." "As a wedding expert it's our job to ensure we pull back on what brides think is good and show them a wide selection of ideas," says Andrew Roby of District Fete in Washington D.C. It is also the planner's job to take popular ideas and mesh them with the theme of the event and the client's personality to create a unique experience that everyone can enjoy. You can take the ideas that work and save the rest for another day. eNews April 2013

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