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Trend-Hunting: Staying On Top of What’s Hot This Year

As an event professional, one of the best things you can do for your clients is be aware of the latest trends and how they can fit into new design ideas for your upcoming events. However, it’s not as simple as scrolling through Pinterest and taking notes. This will only show you what’s currently hot in the events industry, but won’t help you stay ahead of the trends and your competition.

There are many ways to get creative and find new sources for trends that go beyond your typical blogs, magazines, and social media. Let’s explore a few of them.

Think outside the industry

Believe it or not, most of the trends we’re seeing this year actually got their start elsewhere. Interior design, fashion, architecture, food, media, and pop culture all play a role in what is considered “trendy” in the world of events. Take time each week to step outside of the industry bubble and see what’s going on everywhere else.

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Check out pictures from NYFW, subscribe to an architecture trade journal, tune into celebrity news, and shop your favorite home décor stores. All of these outlets serve as ways to find inspiration beyond what you (and your competitors) already know.

Review client behavior

You can also gain a lot of insight from your clients’ orders — not just what they want, but what they don’t want. Keep an eye out for the pieces that are simply not being requested anymore. The market dictates the demand, so your supply should align accordingly with the needs of your clients. This may mean updating your inventory or retiring some old looks, but rest assured that fresh and on-trend offerings will always win clients over.

Also, don’t be afraid to simply ask your clients what styles are inspiring them at the moment. Every person is exposed to different things and finds inspiration in unique ways, so what one client tells you about their office’s design scheme may open your mind up to new ideas for other clients.

Get educated

Of course, industry leaders are already cultivating all of the up-and-coming trends, so you may be able to skip the groundwork by learning directly from them. Start attending industry conferences and connecting with industry trend-setters on social media. Take classes to learn about new techniques and look to the experts for a forecast of what lies ahead.

At an industry conference, you can sit in on sessions about everything from the latest technology to culinary trends to stationery trends — all of which can serve as inspiration for the future of your business. It’s a great way to get up to speed on the styles to come in just a matter of days.

Your ability to keep up with the trends of today will dictate how well you can connect with the clients of today. If your company is sharing photos of tablescapes that are outdated and overdone, people will look to a competitor that is offering a fresher edge. Take pride in your business as a contemporary and innovative brand, and one that is ready to grow and evolve with the tides of change.

Kevin Dennis

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.