ME Trends

April 13, 2011


Courtesy of Wendi Fitzgerald Photography


Party on the Farm
With the increased interest surrounding fresh and local food, some events are taking guests straight to the source – out to the farm. Barns, country fields and farmhouse yards are the newest must-attend venues. From fundraisers to weddings, clients are heading to the country. While the destination may be a little out of the way, planners and designers are having fun with the concept. Menus typically focus on food grown on the property or in the community. Some chefs are even giving their own green thumbs a chance to shine with menus featuring produce they have raised themselves. Meals are typically served family-style allowing guests to relax and interact in the fresh country air. When it comes to décor, simple, rustic, chic and vintage are the way to go. Centerpieces of freshly picked flowers in mason jars adorn tables covered in classic cotton linens or rough brown burlap. China and flatware are best done in a mix-and-match style that feels just like Grandma pulled everything out of the wooden sideboard in her dining room. When hosting an event out on the farm, consider offering guests transportation to and from the city. You might also consider letting guests know about local accommodations for overnight stays that allow them to extend the experience. Also, be sure to keep the attire casual, allowing guests to enjoy their surroundings without worry.

Harnessing the Power of a Flash Mob Dance
Chances are you’ve seen the video on YouTube. A mall, railway station or outdoor festival suddenly comes alive with dance as participants magically appear from the crowd. Flash mobs are not only popular, but event planners are finding they can serve a few very useful purposes. Festivals, fairs and outdoor concerts are using flash mobs as a form of fun, unexpected entertainment. For a gala or sit-down dinner event, flash mobs can get a reluctant crowd onto the dance floor. Guests love seeing people they know rocking the dance floor and they especially enjoy watching those who would not naturally be thought of as having dance moves. At the end of the song, everyone wants to join in, and before you know it, the dance floor is packed. There are a few key components of a successful flash mob. First, be sure to have a wide variety of participants – different ages, titles, ethnicities and backgrounds. It is really great to mix in leaders of your organization with employees and even wait staff from the venue. Second, choose a song everyone knows and work with a professional choreographer to create simple dance moves. Third, get your secret group of flash mob participants together at least one or two times to rehearse. Also, make a video of the moves set to music, so your participants to practice at home. At the event, be sure to capture the performance on video and post it to your organization’s Web site, YouTube and Facebook page. It can be a great way to go viral and spread awareness of your event or organization.

Gaga for Garlands
Garlands, especially those with a handcrafted or vintage feel, are popping up everywhere. They can hang across a room, over a special table or even on a tiered wedding cake. While there appear to be an infinite number of materials from which one can create decorative garlands, there are a few predominant trends. One of the more popular is a banner garland. These often custom-designed, event-specific pieces feature brightly colored cardstock that spells out messages such as love, just married, happy birthday, a guest of honor’s name or even words of encouragement. Another popular garland trend is pennants or triangular flag buntings made of vintage fabrics that highlight an event’s color theme. The possibilities with garlands are endless. They can be crafted out of fresh flowers, fake flowers, paper butterflies, photos, vintage postcards, rags, ribbons and even everyday items such as cupcake liners. So let your creativity flow.

Handmade By Someone
Not everyone has the gift of craft. We can’t all fold newsprint into a delicate flower, stitch classic cotton fabrics into decorative masterpieces or transform twigs into a stunning lit centerpiece. However, if you spend any time on event blogs, you will see that handcrafted simplicity is a popular design aesthetic. It has reached a point where the end products of detailed, time consuming work are creations that appear effortless and simple. If you do have the gift and are looking for ideas, there are numerous sources for online do-it-yourself projects. A simple Google search will suffice. For those not gifted with the ability to create, sites like allow everyone to feature handmade décor items at an event, even if our own hands aren’t up to the task.   MM&E


About the author

The MEET® Family of Publications

The MEET® Family of Publications produces regional and national publications that keep corporate, association, medical, education, independent, and religious meeting and event planners informed about relevant industry suppliers, news, tech innovations, and resources that impact and influence how and where they plan their upcoming company function(s).