Party and event
By Michelle Nicol, CERP
We’ve been good boys and girls. Here’s what event operators want for 2022.
By Michelle Nicol, CERP
If you are like many event companies around the world, the thought of purchasing anything new after the past nearly two years may seem far-fetched. That being said, the important thing that we all have to remember is, we will not be in this situation forever. Times are getting better and will continue to get better. Venues are opening up, couples are increasing capacity at their weddings and restrictions are lifting. The time is now to plan for 2022 and beyond, as it’s looking incredibly promising for the event industry. It’s never too early to start looking ahead.
Have you been eyeing a new chair or linen? Now’s the time to bring it in, photograph it and market it to your customers. Show them that you are planning for the future – their event! Set up your showroom with the new items and invite potential clients in to see it firsthand. Since many people I know did not attend the ARA show this year due to traveling restraints out of Canada, you may be wondering what’s new? What’s exciting?
COVID safety protocols are not going away. What are some items you can add to your inventory to be able to offer your customers a full service? Perhaps a few handwash stations, hand sanitizer stations or partitions. PPE is still in full force at events in Ontario, so PPE packages and safety items are going to be part of our events for the next while. A good idea is to reach out to your annual customers and ask them what they need. What is something you can bring in for them that will help them achieve a safe and successful event? Things like easy-to-clean furniture, creative dividers, plexiglass and drapery elements are all going to be flying off the shelves.
Now that the logistic and safety side of things is taken care of, on to the fun items!
Some items I have seen that I think will be a big hit in 2022 are round harvest tables, different colour wash harvest furniture and, much like 2021, coloured or ornate glassware. Another trend I am seeing a lot is a return to a more organic look and feel – tableware that looks like hand-thrown pottery dishes; organic fabric and linen; and clean lines. I feel that this stems from a post-pandemic world, with guests and audiences keeping wellness and mindfulness at the forefront in both their work and personal lives.
With the price of florals increasing and availability not being what it once was, planners and couples will be looking for alternate arrangements for their centerpieces. Do you offer votives and decorative vases? Faux florals? Faux garlands? This may be the time to investigate adding these to your inventory. As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention,” and now is the time to set yourself apart from the competition and stand out with inventive and unique offerings.
Another trend that we will see in the event world as a whole, is celebrations for everything. Special occasions that were once understated will be treated like large events. Is it your cousin’s eighth birthday? Time for a party! Did your husband get promoted? Why not throw him a dinner party with 20 of his closest friends and colleagues? Because we have been cooped up for the past nearly two years, the desire to connect with family and friends is very strong and people want to get together and celebrate life.
The future is looking bright for the event industry – don’t forget to prepare now!