Best of 2010: Event Pros Look Back at Best and Worst Trends

We asked event experts around the country to dish on their favorite—and least favorite—trends to surface this year.

December 14, 2010, 8:45 AM EST

From left: Anja Kaehny, Jason Wanderer, Janet Abbazia, and Quenten Schumacher

Photos: Photo Sexauer (Kaehny), Courtesy of Jason Wanderer, Courtesy of Janet Abbazia, Courtesy of Quenten Schumacher

Favorite Trend of 2010
“Sustainable corporate gifts. Dual-purpose items with meaning: jump drives, recyclable event/grocery bags, eco-friendly personal items.”
Lenny Talarico, director of events, MGM Resorts Events, Las Vegas

“Using an iPad to replace all the paper for event managers and producers, including while checking in guests. No more bulky binders!”
Quenten Schumacher, senior meeting planner, Sg2 Health Care Intelligence, Chicago

“Advanced contemporary color combinations. As clients and the general public become savvy about color through advertising and merchandising, I find them more willing to explore new color combinations, like ochre and steel gray or nude and black.”
Jeffrey Foster, director of sales, Event Creative, Chicago

“The increased use of dining options other than a 72-inch round and banquet chairs. We have seen people use a captain’s table, create booth seating with sofas and ottomans, and opt for a square table or even a triangle. Many people are using club chairs for table ends and choosing linenless options for tables.”
Lindsay Cosimi, account executive, Room Service Furniture and Rentals, Orlando

“I really enjoy the food and dessert trucks that can be used post-event. I am also very into the ‘bubble bars’—combining sparking wines with different herbs and fruit nectars.”
Jennifer Haber, director of marketing and events, Washingtonian magazine

“Creating custom marketing programs that communicate the brand using advanced formats to distribute information. For example, utilizing new technology applications involving touch, gesture and spatial perception, projection, or holography. Marketing is becoming more multi-faceted through interactive methods; installations that do not simply illustrate but involve the consumer.”
Bronson van Wyck, co-founder, Van Wyck & Van Wyck, New York

Worst Trend of 2010

“Cupcakes. Unless it is a children’s event, they’ve worn out their welcome. There are so many other creative dessert options.”
Jason Wanderer, owner, Precision Event Group, Los Angeles

“Designers and sales people trying too hard to make and sell a ‘green’ event. I have seen so much time and effort—along with countless emails and paperwork that also use natural resources—spent to make an event ‘look green.’ Compare the imprint of those resources to the imprint of the original event concept. Sometimes, thinking smart and efficient can make the planning process more green than the event.”
Richard Summers, creative director, the Launch Group, Orlando

“Nitrogen-everything. Stop freezing my food, please! Also, corn hole and other tailgate games passing for real entertainment. They are fine as a supplement.”
Mark Wells, vice president, creative services, Hello Florida, Orlando

“No more white Plexiglas bars! Every event starts to look the same, and there are ways to custom-design these bars to create a much more interesting effect. Create an interesting wallpaper effect out of decals, insert a beautiful natural wood element, or mirror the front side to add more interest.”
Beth Appleton, director, communications and experimental marketing, Telus, Toronto

“Companies going out of their way for a celebrity endorsement at all costs, especially when getting them to attend results in a missing event concept or inferior aesthetics.”
Anja Kaehny, manager of lifestyle communications and corporate social responsibility, Audi America, Miami

“Cheap acrylic furniture and anything inflatable.”
Javier Velarde, executive producer, Triton Productions, Miami

“One ingredient too many—I’m getting sick of caterers feeling they need to show off and throwing every ingredient under the sun into each dish. Simpler fare done to perfection is the way to go.”
Janet Abbazia, vice president of event marketing for Turner Broadcasting, Atlanta

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