Trends to watch out for | The Expert Series

Trends are key when it comes to planning events and parties. Clients and your guests are always looking for fresh ideas, something they haven’t seen before. As well as unique decor and experiences, some trends are classics, the simplified looks that will always be fantastic! We have spoken to our Curated Suppliers, the experts in top trends, for their top tips.

A word from a creative events planner…

“London is full of experiences. The desire to experience something cool and unique is growing as quick as the creative ideas. Whether it be telling their housemates, partners or colleagues, everyone is dying to say they’ve experienced something weird and wonderful that no one has heard of.  We are seeing this come through into events especially. Why not have a silent disco dancing on trampoline or fluffy mattresses instead of a canapé and champagne reception?!”

Cessa Tapp, Senior Account Manager, The Edit Events

Bold and beautiful stationery

“The warm weather is in full swing and we’re seeing some gorgeous stationery trends on the summer soirée scene!

Hand lettering and calligraphy are still very popular choices, but we’re seeing more bold brush lettering being used, as well as combinations of curly flourishes with modern typefaces. We’ve also been seeing more handwritten stationery, as clients look to add a very personal touch to their stationery suite, often combined with natural, hand-dyed silk ribbon. Metals remain very popular, though we’re seeing more opportunities to mix metallics like gold, silver, and copper.

In terms of themes, we’re seeing clients explore cosmic and celestial visuals, tile-inspired patterns and darker, bolder palettes. Deep navy hues seem to be the new black, as a formal but modern option design. Floral themed stationery remains a much-loved choice, with botanical drawings, wreaths, pressed flowers and even a modern “unfinished” look. Ombré and watercolour are being used in stylish ways, often as a way of hinting at a subtle colour palette along the invitation border or through the envelope liner – which, itself, is another increasingly popular element.”

“We love the incorporation of maps, which can be particularly enchanting for parties. We’re seeing more clients commission hand-illustrated designs of their party venue or venue area and even use this as a unifying narrative throughout the décor.

Texture-rich elements – like handmade paper, foiling and blind embossing – are still highly requested, though more and more clients are looking to enhance their stationery experience with materials other than paper. Non-traditional materials like wood, plastic, or translucent mediums are definitely increasing in popularity. We’re also seeing a departure from the traditional square and rectangular format, with a trend towards thinking outside the box in both shape and container.”

Vaishali Shah, Creative Director, Ananya Cards

A show-stopping caterer…

“There’s nothing we enjoy more than responding to a really creative brief from our clients and bringing this to life. Much of what we’re asked to do comes from our clients being inspired by travel and this offers us lots of opportunities to weave their desired themes across the whole event, from the table linen & crockery to the cocktails and flowers.

We’re currently working with clients on events with strong Asian influences, particularly Japanese and Korean – which just so happen to be two of our favourite cuisines at Caiger HQ! In many ways, we’re seeing things like crockery pared back to simple white plates and bowls, but with some bold accents in the form of gold cutlery, for example. Yakitori, sushi, kimchi and bao buns are all things we’re excited to be creating for our forthcoming events. In fact, we’re currently working on a bao food station, where guests will choose their own fillings and toppings – this element of theatre is extremely popular for all events from weddings to brand launches.”

Caiger & Co. approach to sustainability

“Sustainability has also been an interesting trend that we’re bringing to the fore of many more events. Obviously our ‘back of house’ processes are always heavily weighted towards sustainability from waste management to food sourcing, but clients are now looking at more ways to make their events sustainable and they want to show this off to their guests. For example, using leaves to write place names rather than place cards is becoming more and more popular, it goes without saying, that we’re now not using any plastic straws at any of our events. This is something that we have implemented and supported as part of the Evening Standard’s Last Straw campaign, but it’s a question that we’re now being asked by most of our clients. We think this is excellent progress and a trend that’s here to stay.”

Alix Caiger, Caiger & Co.

An artistic baker…

“Our requests for cakes are becoming much more minimalist. Our designs for the next 6 months are incorporating a single focal statement piece. This could be a flower, just foliage or a piece of ribbons. Long gone are the days of piping, cake toppers (as in the bride and groom bobble-heads) and bold colours.

Smaller desserts are quite the contrary. As well as modern design, our clients are looking for ‘patisserie style’ desserts, a move from cupcakes and cookies. The designs are now complex, multi-layered pieces. From croquembouche, to exotic fruit tarts, to financiers, a touch of sophistication is definitely in.

Recently we have worked with some amazing creative briefs. One of our personal favourites was a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory inspired dessert table including a large table (fitting the entire length of the room!) of desserts creating a sweet wonderland that guests wandered around and enjoyed. It was just magical!”

Lastly, we have been involved much more with healthier options including the use of fresh fruit, unrefined sugar as well as always providing dairy and gluten-free options.”

Fehintola Bolodeoku, Director, MonAnnie Cakes

Talented mixologists…

“Some people may know, LiquidChefs are a comprehensive mobile bar company that specialises in everything ‘liquid’. With our designer bars, stylish barmen and sophisticated drinks, your event will be flawless.

We offer a variety of services that cater to your every need. Whether it’s a cocktail bar, smoothie bar, coffee bar or freshly pressed juice bar – we’re yours! We have noticed over the past year, depending on the season, that our clients are increasingly interested in our nitro coffee bars, as well as regular barista style coffee. Another recent trend is the importance of using bio-disposables – which is becoming standard procedure for us.

Clients often like to go with what they know, rather than trying something new. That’s not us. We like to push our clients towards something different, leaving their guests with a lasting impression that will hopefully resonate in their minds forever! For example, we have a machine that allows you to take a photo with your phone and print it onto your cocktail or coffee. It’s absolutely fantastic, innovative and increasingly popular.

We create our packages based on formulas which we have customised built over the past 10 years of operation. Each event requirements differ greatly. As you would expect a 21st birthday would consume a lot more than a 60th wedding anniversary!”

Samantha Holman, Head of Marketing, Liquid Chefs

A 5* production company…

“As an organisation that regularly supplies technical solutions in some of London’s most sought-after event spaces, it’s vital that we stay on top of the leading trends in the event industry. In recent months, we have noticed the following;

Raised expectation levels – as technology constantly evolves, organisers must strive to produce something memorable. Forever matching the guest’s ideas and hopefully surpass, expectation levels.

Live Streaming – gone are the days when, if you couldn’t physically attend an event then you were excluded entirely. Many event organisers are now choosing to live-stream their events online (mainly via social media) to ensure they reach as many people as possible. As a result, having the latest infrastructure to achieve this is becoming a deal breaker, as is having the expert staff who know how to set up for such an event.

Technology – an obvious one, but as we continue to see massive developments in lighting, audio and AV equipment, this is something which event organisers want to draw on. As a result, it gives them more options and allows them to use technology to create lighting plans, soundscapes or even laser projections that are bespoke to their exact requirements.”

Jonjo Glynn, Head of Venues, White Light

And the finest furniture trends we’ve ever seen…

“As we’re now past the half-way point of 2018(!) so we thought we’d showcase four of our favourite interior design trends that we’re loving so far this year.

No doubt another branch from the 1970s trend, velvet was arguably the biggest design craze of 2017. We think it’s set to stay in 2018. No matter what the shade, velvet makes a statement and instantly transforms a room into a more luxurious space.

Bold Colours.
2018 has seen a rise in bigger and brighter colour schemes. We now see designers and homeowners alike became bolder with their choice of colour palettes. As much as we love minimalist design, it’s exciting to see these new clashes of colour being introduced.

The 70s.
As we witnessed at Salone del Mobile, the influence of the 1970s on interior design isn’t fading out anytime soon. With the help of designers such as India Mahdavi, large floral patterns and dusty shades of pink, green and mustard are everywhere!

Pinterest has seen a 70% surge in searches for metallic decor ideas in 2018. Brass and copper have been particularly popular alongside glass and marble. As is similar with velvet, metallic elements add an instant hint of luxe to any event space, whether that’s a large brass table or a small copper lamp, metal pieces help to boost a room’s sophistication.

Will Brockbank, Juno Hire.

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