It is never too early to start thinking about the future, especially in a time of so much uncertainty. To get a clearer idea of what the future holds, BizBash is planning a series of articles where top professionals from all aspects of the events industry share their predictions and ideas for the coming year. .
Last month, we met with lighting and audiovisual producers. Now we are chatting with floral and event designers. Here’s a detailed look at what five experts across the country expect to see in 2022.
Flower and labor shortages will force designers to think outside the box.
“AV companies, rental companies, and floral and textile businesses are all affected due to supply chains and labor issues,” notes David Merrell, CEO and Creative Director of AOO Events in Los Angeles. “I think we’re going to see rental inventory, varieties available, and the level of service decline for a while until the industry can fully rebound.”
Tempering customer expectations will continue to be important until 2022, but, he adds, these types of limitations can lead to new levels of innovation. “The saying goes that ‘necessity breeds invention’, so there will be a new ingenuity that will flow from it,” says Merrell. “The real question is, how far do we want to push the boundaries of new ideas when they are more difficult to execute at the moment? New moods and attitudes in aesthetic design will begin to reveal themselves as things open up.
Brian Worley, creative director and owner of B. Worley Productions in Atlanta, agrees. “I think we will also have to be more creative with the centerpieces and the decoration,” he notes. “When flowers are just not as easy to find and prices go up, the [traditional] huge centerpieces are going to cost a lot more.
André Wells, founder and CEO of Events by André Wells in Washington, DC, hopes that despite the challenges, designers in 2022 can work at the levels they’re used to. “It’s a very ingenious and creative industry, as we’ve seen over the last year and a half,” he says. “We know how to rotate and create environments and solutions that help people come together and get their messages across in a safe, creative and fun way through events and / or event-related activities. ”
Related: 7 Ways Event Planners Can Navigate Today’s Flower Shortage
In terms of design trends, bright colors are the order of the day.
Merrell notes that social events have been and will continue to be the first events to come back in person. “On the social side, you see a lot of color in everything – flowers in everything, sweetness, fullness – all of this is the result of the desire to celebrate openly,” he observes. “We could all use a little bit of color in our lives these days! ”
Worley also predicts bright colors. “I think that in 2022 we will see more bright and bold colors in the decor, and in particular the flowers,” he says. “There is this widespread rumor of how really hard it is to get white flowers and especially roses, as growers work to replenish the pandemic stock. I think it gives us the opportunity to step away from the traditional white wedding and add pops of color, whimsy and fun.
It’s a trend he welcomes, noting that events, especially weddings, can often rely too heavily on traditional white colors. “I also think that it lends itself to Bridgerton theme that could be a popular trend for next year, ”adds Worley.
But don’t underestimate the power of clean, quiet spaces.
On the other hand, Kristin Banta, CEO of Kristin Banta Events in Los Angeles, predicts that tranquility will be a big design trend in 2022, she says. “Comfortable, warm and uncluttered spaces will become the new direction of a post-pandemic era, with an audience now resolutely turned towards well-being and embracing mindfulness. “
Merrell observes a similar trend. “A design trend with many corporate clients is that they organize more intimate in-person events,” he says. “The menus and themes are centered on conscious themes, health and well-being.” Photo: Katie Edwards Photo
Customers will find solace in nostalgia.
Banta also predicts a turn towards nostalgia. “Nostalgia will spur entertainment and design, in response to a pandemic-era audience living in an unrecognizable world and looking for something familiar,” she predicts.
Worley also sees nostalgia driving design decisions in the social sphere. “I think anything that has a nostalgic flair will be a popular style, and that can mean something to so many people,” he says. “I always say that there are no more traditions in [weddings and social events]. “
Small events allow for big design statements and new priorities.
As COVID-19 remains a concern, our experts predict that small events will continue to be popular. “Micro-events will remain a preferred approach, offering intimate and organized experiences to a small pod-style audience,” Banta predicts.
“I feel like events have gotten a lot more casual, more conversational and less formal,” Wells adds. “One of my favorites is contactless check-in and the elimination of traditional check-in stations with long queues. Instead, we can now make big design statements and have glorious hospitality moments that promote branding and experiential experiences.
Todd Fiscus, owner of Todd Events in Dallas, observes more traditional dinners, small and sit-down, especially in the social events space. “My favorites are always traditional with just a touch of modern elements,” he says. As for the trends to leave in the rearview mirror in 2022, according to Fiscus? “Wedding neon, too much decor and mirrored hallways!” “
The timelines will change.
Worley predicts that flower and labor shortages will continue through 2022. “I really push my clients to approve everything a lot more in advance to get what they want and want for their business. [event] day, ”he said. “I think it’s also very important to point out that COVID has really had an impact on our industry, and our customers need to have some flexibility and understand that we’re all in the same boat and doing our best. “
Guest safety will continue to inform design decisions.
“I think as events pick up we will continue to see trends that reflect the comfort level of guests at events,” predicts Wells. “Comfort levels are achieved through spacing, design elements and locations – this is done by creating seating modules, plush seating and creative dividers with plant, drapery and plexiglass elements. ”
Wells also predicts the pursuit of more intimate and personalized decor at events, as well as “venues. [that are] created and chosen that combine elements of interior and exterior atmospheres. Worley agrees, noting that while guest numbers are likely to rebound in 2022, outdoor event options will continue to be popular.
On the corporate event side, Merrell notes that it’s harder to predict design trends because corporate clients have been more reluctant to meet in person, compared to social clients. “Their main concerns are to protect the guests and not to associate their events with super-broadcasters at this time,” he said. “Tastes and new trends come from not wanting to repeat what has already happened and improving them. They are an evolution towards the next step given new consumer moods and attitudes – and all consumers, both social and professional, have been stuck. ” Photo: Courtesy of AllSeated
Every facet of the industry should think about the integration of technology.
“Beyond aesthetic considerations of trends, it’s clear that companies are going to pay more attention to technological integration into events for even greater ROI,” Merrell continues, citing technological advancements such as technology. RFID, 5G capabilities and advanced virtual and hybrid options that can organize personalized experiences, networking and education opportunities; he’s a particular fan of platforms like AllSeated’s exVo (something Banta also cites as one of his go-to tech products right now).
“This is a great opportunity for our industry because we can now be in the middle of all of these conversations,” continues Merrell. “We should now not only have the ‘live’ event tips up our sleeves, in terms of design, but technical tips as well! It is important that we take advantage of this new demand to cement our expertise and importance in corporate marketing and event services. We deserve to sit at creative tables as experts.
Banta agrees and believes artificial intelligence will enter more design discussions. “Highly personalized content will drive the design of the activation, and the engagement of nonprofits to exemplify what a brand stands for will be a priority in event marketing strategy and concept delivery,” she said.
Designers shouldn’t neglect the virtual.
On a related note, Banta believes virtual components are here to stay. “Virtual events will become not only an interim solution for a pandemic-driven world, but an integral part of live events, incorporating AR and VR components as a way to increase the in-person experience and create an immersive experience for the House. user.”
She continues, “In the past, annual events now envision cycles of events throughout the year, because the virtual platform has made this possible from a cost perspective. The additional offering of a community feature will provide the ability to have content and community all year round. “
Designers should focus on their specialties and not try to do everything.
Fiscus sees the design industry flourish in 2022 with the return of in-person events, but warns planners and designers to be intentional about balancing work and home. “2022 is going to be a push. Don’t be greedy. Find your sweet spot and do enough, but not all, ”he advises.
As for the overall wishes for the design industry in 2022? “I hope we can all continue to take risks in event design,” Banta says, “triggering a sense of whimsy, reimagining our own creativity and bringing soul to the show while delivering content with a consciousness.”