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
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
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