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Special Report: Event Trends of 2000 Part 2

December 20, 2000, 12:00 AM EST

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.

Posted 12.20.00

More: Ten Hotspots of 2000

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