Press Release

BiZBash.com For Immediate Release Contact: David Adler
646.638.3602
Cell: 917.543.1024
dadler@bizbash.com

Top 10 Special Event Trends Revealed by BiZBash Event Style Alert, the Tip Sheet for Event Professionals

NEW YORK, December 27, 2000 - BiZBash.com, the soon to be launched Web site and tip sheet for event professionals, announced its first annual event trends issue in its BiZBash Event Style Alert email newsletter.

BiZBash covers the event industry the same way that Women's Wear Daily covers the fashion industry. With more than 100,000 special events in New York City alone, the whole industry looks to the New York market for its style sense. A BiZBash covered event is everything from product launches, fashion shows and press conferences to tradeshows, parades and galas. BiZBash is the first media outlet geared specifically to cover the event and business entertaining industry.

According to CEO and Editorial Director David Adler, "many of the trends used by professionals eventually become part of consumer events such as weddings, birthdays and home parties."

1. ALTERNATIVE SEATING... Design stars Avi Adler and David Stark (of Avi Adler) told us about their favorite trend of the year: "Getting rid of standard seating and using sumptuous heaps of pillows and luxurious lounge seating instead." So what prompted the change from the standard seating format? "It's been done," says Olivier Cheng, partner and managing director of Matthew Kenney Catering & Events. "So I have been using lots of furniture this year--ottomans, sofas, etc.--to create contrast and alternative seating. It really creates a great feel for an event and makes it much less ordinary, without a lot of effort."

2. DELICIOUS, DELUXE, DIVINE... Jim Blauvelt, executive director of catering at the Waldorf=Astoria, told us what he saw event planners looking for: "More luxury than ever. Better food, better wine, nicer flowers." Call it an appreciation for the finer things. Call it the last hurrah of the bull market. But guests and the people wowing them wanted a taste of luxury--caviar, truffles, foie gras. "Our entire generation is living for the moment and this means you have no second chance to impress," said James Johnson, director of catering at the New York Hilton. So events planners want to make a strong statement, from the moment guests arrive until they eat their last morsel.

3. COLOR... Event design was bold and bright this year. "[I've seen] a lot of color in play--very vibrant tones for centerpieces that match draping and ribbons hanging on chandeliers," says Meryl Hillsberg, president of the New York chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES). While some designers mixed colors, many used simpler, monochromatic--but still bold--flower arrangements.

4. BUBBLY FOR ONE... The fashionistas' drink of choice: Tiny champagne bottles, usually served with a straw. "They're quick and fun," explained Caryl Chinn, Bon Appetit's special events director. And a little liquid luxury, right in the palm of your hand.

5. CELEBRITIES, CELEBRITIES, CELEBRITIES... This one's a no-brainer: If you want to get press for your events, bring in the beautiful people. "Celebrity attendees are always the hot ticket, and these events always get the most press," says Tara Donnelly, Comedy Central's director of event marketing. And as more and more media outlets sprouted in 2000, more events arrived to feed them.

6. DOT-COM MOB SCENES... If the Silicon Alley folks are supposed to be working so hard, how come they spend so much time at parties? Throughout 2000, it wasn't uncommon to see dot-commers lined up around the block for these ubiquitous networking parties. The Silicon Alley Reporter's anniversary party left lots of guests drinkless outside of Pier 59 Studios at Chelsea Piers; the First Tuesday events still draw big crowds; and Bernardo's List (the Alley free-drink checklist) continues to balloon with parties.

7. INFLUENCES: ASIA, LATIN AMERICA, SOUTH AMERICA... "The best trend that I've noticed is the Eastern influence on any and everything, including food, decor and entertainment," says Alex Heimberg (aka Miss Understood), of Screaming Queens, a company that books drag queens and performance artists. (One example: Heimberg covered a woman in blue body paint and dressed her as a Hindu deity for a Colin Cowie event at Bar Code, where she sat above a table of sushi for three hours.)

In addition to going East, planners went South, incorporating all kinds of Latin and South American influences, on food, entertainment and music (salsa dancing, anyone?).

8. CELEBRITY DJS... Do the names Ronson and Sevigny sound familiar? Because the Ronson clan and Chloe Sevigny's brother, Paul, were spinning records all over town, and not just for the fashion crowd: Mark Ronson brought a touch of celebrity to lots of corporate parties. Lizzie Grubman of Lizzie Grubman & Peggy Siegal Public Relations told us this was one of her favorite trends of the year (she also loves the movement toward cocktail parties instead of sit-down dinners).

But not everyone appreciates a bold-faced name in the DJ booth--or other such extravagances, for that matter: "I've seen too many meaningless events," says Kevin Calica, vice president and creative director at Calvin Klein. "My Christmas wish is that more money goes toward helping people than celebrity DJs and expensive centerpieces." (One more tip from Calica: "I'm tired of 'zen' hors d'oeuvres that look anorexic.")

9. EVENTS PLUG IN... Like everyone else, the special events industry is feeling the effects of technology. Email invitations, electronic planning programs, new special effects. Although technology might make planning events easier, it also raises expectations. "People expect events to do more," says Richard Blau, president of Chez-zam Entertainment Group. "Just having music or a theme is not enough."

10. GLOBALIZATION OF THE SPECIAL EVENTS INDUSTRY... While lots of small companies are big news in New York's special events world, one trend we're seeing in the industry is toward large, international firms. U.K.-based Compass Group PLC owns Restaurant Associates; Jack Morton Worldwide brings together the old Jack Morton Company and Caribiner International, all under the Interpublic Group of Companies Inc.; and European player Capital Events is actively looking at American partners.

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