Our creative professionals have compiled the five hottest trends to look for in 2018. From bold and interactive to soft and trendy, here's what you'll see being featured at this year's events.
Give your guests something they can feel by using textiles such as velvet or concrete. Hello! Florida (Central) Executive Producer and Department Director Janice Dowling says, "Velvet is a soft fabric that's here to stay. It's now available in many colors and brings a touch of luxe that doesn't feel over the top while elevating any setting." Looking for something a little edgy? "Concrete brings modern style to any environment and can double as a symbol of strength," Dowling explains.
Last year brought a wave of change around the world that will continue to reshape our cultural zeitgeist. In this age of empowerment, brands are evolving by encouraging new customers to find their voice and this trend is trickling over to the corporate event world. Cameron Rust, National Asset Manager - Branding, says, "Expect to see disruptive new technology integrations like augmented reality that drive deeper attendee engagement. You'll also see bold uses of color, like the Pantone® 2018 color of the year, Ultraviolet, that celebrates creativity and a strong point of view." Rust continues, "Of course, at Hello!, purple is always our color of the year, but nevertheless, 2018 is the year of being big, bright, beautiful, and emboldened."
To truly surprise and delight your guests, Hello! Florida (South) Executive Producer and Department Director Vanessa Lopez suggests using interactive food and beverage entertainment. "A cutting edge option is to use a pair of radio-controlled quadcopters that are outfitted with 12-inch suspended silver serving trays and piloted through the event space by professional RC pilots. Guests are shocked and awed by this one-of-a-kind aerial appetizer or dessert food service," she says.
Lopez also recommends using stunning Napkin Ladies to astonish guests. "These ladies wear glamorous dresses woven completely from removable cocktail napkins. The Napkin Ladies accompany passed appetizers and strike poses that offer guests napkins from their dresses. With dresses that are fully color-customizable, Napkin Ladies can also pour wine with waiters during dining.
Dowling also pinpoints geo shapes as the perfect way to incorporate prints into a table design. "Most of the prints out there lean toward a certain style; florals are too feminine, damask can feel too classic, and many others are way too themed," she says. Geo shapes bring a print that is bold and versatile. The trend also flows into containers and furnishings, which add a playful detail to an otherwise basic item.
A selfie never tasted so good! The selfie trend is expanding to become the garnish on guests' cocktails with edible photographs. Katie Simcock, Event Designer/Producer for Hello! Washington, D.C. describes the designer cocktail trend: "A new era of mixology has arrived with designer cocktails that become part of your guests' experience for the evening. A cocktail is no longer just a cocktail, but an experience. From flower-infused ice cubes and on-site ice chipping to Frosé Bars, the traditional cocktail transforms into a unique and custom drink for your guests.”