Go bigger and bolder with the BizBash Buzz.
The BizBash Buzz newsletter delivers inspiration, innovative ideas, and expert insight to event profs around the world.
Subscribe now!

Industry Innovators 2024: Jason Williquette

To this event designer, innovation means taking a client's kernel of an idea and creating something more amazing than they envisioned.

Williquette says his design work is rooted in his floral background.
Williquette says his design work is rooted in his floral background.

Hmr Headshots 2021 0238 (2)Photo: Courtesy of HMR DesignsJason Williquette is an event designer for HMR Designs. He's based in Chicago.

How he got his start: "I grew up helping my aunt in her flower shop. I started by making boutonnieres and corsages for proms and small arrangements for the cooler. My first jobs in the event industry were all based on my experience with floral design and production, but I quickly fell in love with the ephemeral creation of events themselves. It was absolutely my early love of flowers that propelled me into a role where floral design is a central role—now they just exist as part of an entire arsenal of creative tools."

What innovation means to him: "Innovation means taking a client's kernel of an idea and creating something more amazing than they envisioned. It's learning something new from each creation. The day that I stop learning and stop pushing the bounds of what has been done before is the day I think my career would be over! That drive to innovate is so important to my daily work and passion."

What sets his work apart: "I try to keep my work rooted in my floral background by creating bespoke floral moments while simultaneously using my rich knowledge of floral design to push away from the traditional 'vase of flowers.' A few years ago, if you had asked me if I could design an event without flowers, I would have thought it impossible. As I've grown in my trade, I now constantly look for ways to reinterpret flowers, or lack thereof, into an event—nothing feels impossible now."

'The day that I stop learning and stop pushing the bounds of what has been done before is the day I think my career would be over,' Williquette says."The day that I stop learning and stop pushing the bounds of what has been done before is the day I think my career would be over," Williquette says.Photo: Courtesy of HMR Designs

Memorable moments: "Asking this question is like asking a parent, 'Which one of your children do you love the most?' We as event designers pour so much of our own spirit into each project. Each client request is unique in its own way. So, long story short, I think the most memorable event is one I haven't designed yet, and I'm looking forward to creating it very much."

His vision for the future of the event industry: "That we never lose the passion for creating unique, ephemeral moments; life is too short for boring parties!"

Back to the full list