TORONTO – Colour. Art-ertainment. Mixed reality. Big objects.
These are the elements you want your next event to have. That is, if you want your event to keep up with the hottest trends.
Event design heavyweights, Candice Chan and Alison Slight of Candice & Alison Events Group, graced the stage at the Canadian Meetings and Events Expo (CMEExpo) on August 13 to inform attendees about the top trends in event design, and gave tips to the audience on how they can execute these trends just in time for their next event.
Punchy, in-your-face colours are all the rage right now, according to Candice and Alison.
“The idea here is you really want to pick one colour and roll with it…and make sure it’s done in an elegant and classy way,” Alison said. “People are really attracted to colour, and they really want to indulge in it. [Monochrome] is a trend we’re seeing all over. Because it allows whatever you want to highlight – shine. It’s a really exciting way, and an easy way, to attract people.”
The pair showed examples of a monochromatic tablescape with yellow floral centrepieces and yellow hanging features paired against a neutral white and grey backdrop and transparent chairs. Another example was an all-green Louis Vuitton storefront.
“It pops against the grey cityscape,” Candice said. “And inside you’ll see the green applied in every detail. And when you do this…the opposite happens. The green becomes the neutral, and it’s the objects that aren’t green that pop out.”
Candice and Alison said this trend will last through 2020, but believe it could be on its way out after that.
“The shelf-life depends on how much we see it,” Alison said. “When it’s done en masse that means it’s on its way out. But it’s definitely hot for the next year.”
Entertain with art
Art-ertainment is something to keep in mind for your next event because it involves your guests having an experience.
“People want experiences,” Alison said. “Their expectations are getting much higher and so they’re looking for more than just physical elements within the event, they really want unique, one-off, curated experiences to round out the event.”
One example the duo showed included an octopus chandelier, where guests could actually taste a piece of the hanging octopus that was displayed beautifully.
“To excite guests when it came to the catering aspect, this artist decided on an octopus chandelier,” Alison said. “And so people went up to it, cut off a piece, and as they walked down the aisle, they had to pass by people who would help them garnish it. And then, they ultimately ate it. It was very mind-blowing for those who got experience it, while at the same time being very visually beautiful.”
For this trend, Alison advised event planners to reach out to different artists and agencies and ask for their creative input.
“Task them,” she said. “Explain to them what kind of event you’re throwing and let them come back to you with ideas. They are an amazing resource to create these special moments within events.”
Candice agreed saying in order to create these kinds of moments, collaboration is key.
“Turn to your suppliers and your vendors and empower them because they are so good at what they do, and when you put two masters together, you create really amazing ideas,” she said.
An event space where you can interact with the space and the space can interact back with you, is the next trend in event design, according to Candice and Alison.
They pointed to TeamLab Borderless’s Digital Art Museum, where through the use of structures, seamless projection mapping, and augmented reality, it created a digital waterfall. Guests were invited to walk up to the digitally-created waterfall and walk under it, where the technology would be able to read and adjust, and have the digital waterfall move around the person effortlessly.
“It was really trippy,” Candice, who experienced the museum, said. “But once you’re in it, it’s like you’ve been transported to another world.”
These are more permanent installations, added Alison, but there are takeaways and elements from these expensive installations that you can incorporate into your coming events.
A simpler way to transport people at your next event is to use sound. Candice and Alison pointed to a Globe and Mail event where they created floating pods where guests could pop their heads in the pod, and listen to the Globe and Mail’s new podcast (which is what they were trying to highlight) at the event.
“People could hear the podcast inside the pod, all while the party was happening around them,” Candice said. “So now you’re transporting people with sound, while they’re still at the event space.”
Scale and proportion
The last popular trend Candice and Alison highlighted in their presentation was the power of scale and proportion.
“A very popular trend today, is people taking products and making them into giant things,” Alison said. “And it gets people thinking about how they exist inside a space. And because it’s oversized, you can’t look away.”
Alison pointed to examples like a giant Miu Miu handbag and oversized Kiehl’s lotion bottle.
Something to consider with this trend, warned Alison, is that photography might be hard, as your guests won’t always be able to capture what you want to highlight in one shot if your product is too large.