As we swing into 2013, micenet asks three event experts for their five hot trend predictions for this year.
CORPORATE SALES MANAGER – VENUES
- Team-building and events to boost corporate morale – We’ve noticed a trend of events being combined with a team-building activity or challenge/inspiration facilitator/speaker and we expect this to be a big trend throughout 2013. There is much more interaction taking place among guests to help boost morale and create more empowered employees.
- More intimate events – In 2012 there was definitely an increase in cocktail parties and smaller dinners with intimate numbers, and we imagine this will continue throughout 2013. Presently, many bookings seem to come from a price perspective, with less formal occasions and more one-to-one attention. There will be less money spent on theming and entertainment, and budgets will remain focussed on ‘value for money’ food and beverage packages. People are looking for the cheaper option in some cases and sometimes it is more about the price rather than the inclusions, and often we aren’t comparing apples with apples so it makes it quite tough!
- Sustainability and environmental practices – This year there will be an even greater focus on sustainability. Already clients are choosing venues that are aligned with a client’s company philosophy. Throughout 2012 there were many requests for copies of our sustainability/environmental statement and no doubt this will continue into 2013.
- Menu variation and flexibility – Gluten-free and vegetarian requests for events have skyrocketed over the past few years and we expect this to increase throughout 2013. As a venue and restaurant group we are ever-changing and providing flexible options for special dietary requirements and cultural guests.
- Contractual changes – I don’t know if this is an industry thing, however we have noticed many more requests to make changes in contracts in 2012 than previous years and we will see more of this in 2013. Clients are much more conscious of cancellation clauses as well as risks to their company, with particular request to changes in indemnity clauses. Clients are also becoming much more sensitive to how they are perceived in the market so they are more conservative with their events and how they are marketed.
- Bespoke styling – Tailored, customised, adapted. This is what we are noticing our corporate clients value from their event theming. Rather than choosing from a catalogue of products, and a rehash of a theme, they want a more unique experience that they know will not be repeated. 2013 is set for a year of imaginative, thoughtful and custom-made event styling. By using layers of detail which explores and reflects the motivation and theme of the event, there is a collaboration with the client, keeping them confident and motivated throughout the event management process.
- Slim Aarons style – Slim Aarons was given unprecedented access in the fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties to the lives of the rich and famous. His photography shows the glamorous and seductive life in the sunshine by the pool which has been beautifully translated in Sydney by floating venue The Island, and Paspaley’s Polo in the City event.
The Island is one of a kind in Sydney, and references the style in which Aarons was enamored. Working with the Australian culture of gravitating outdoors with resort-style décor and open layout, you could easily mistake The Island’s photo gallery for a Slim Aarons collection.
Paspaley’s Polo in the City is a glamorous alternative to spring racing. Its hospitality offerings range from corporate marquees and a premium VIP marquee, to a casual polo lounge where the young, or young at heart, can mingle in a relaxed atmosphere.
- LED – Lighting can make or break an event, and with the introduction of LED technology has come an inspiring array of LED products for the events market. Some of the most inspiring are LED cherry blossom trees. The unique and intriguing effect is ethereal and translates to a whole range of themes such as Oriental, Winter Wonderland, and Glamorous to list a few. Sizes range from table centerpieces of 60cm through to 4.5 metre floor-standing.
- Designer collaborations – Designer collaborations equate to accessible fashion. Incorporating fashion designers’ ideas into the events industry provides an amazing array of opportunities for out-of-the-box styling. Bespoke Social is in discussions with a number of Australian designers to bring inspiring and exciting, yet affordable event themes to the Australian market. Some of our favourite designer collaborations have been Missoni for Havianas, Kylie Minogue for Ashley Wilde bed linen and Akira Isogawa for Designer Rugs. Articulated into the events market, we will see leading Australian artists and designers collaborating on innovative designs for the bespoke events market for a bit of star power!
- Sustainability – Sustainability and ethical sourcing of decor for event theming is a strengthening trend. Avoiding ‘green washing’ is an increasingly important motivator for the corporate market. There are many ways to embrace sustainability both socially and economically. It is now possibly to source ethically made event products that support workers overseas. A range of giant latex balloons allow for reusability, reducing waste. Far from hampering creativity, taking stock of environmental issues can produce designs of total beauty. Timeless and high-quality design add to the life of a product and contribute to its sustainable value.
SALES AND COMMUNICATION MANAGER
- Custom designs – Styling has reached a level where it has become an extension of the company, its branding, or its corporate message. The approach to styling and design has become a lot more strategic with an underlying message being quietly portrayed in the background of an aesthetically pleasing design. Many companies want to incorporate their logo, company branding patterns and colours into the styling and décor these days, and this will become increasingly important to the company’s image.
- Event dining tapas style – While tapas is a style practiced throughout Sydney restaurants, it will soon make its way into events. There is a conversation advantage of dining tapas style, and working it into current catering trends.
- Experiential – Stylists working cohesively with event managers and caterers in creating an experiential event that creates an impact among its attendees.
- Recycled materials – It’s ironic that the current look of modern or contemporary styles consists of recycled and unrefined materials. Old is new and rustic is refreshing!
- Colour, colour, colour – If the Pantone trends for 2013 are anything to go by colour isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. While we are seeing a strong presence of bold and neon colours at present, in 2013 we predict a more muted colour palette drawing inspiration from earthy materials and tribal hues.