Kimberly Bakker Shares Her 2019 Event Planning Predictions

2019, Event Planning

What does it mean to be a part of the events industry in 2019? Kimberly Bakker owns her own full-service consulting firm, Kimberly Bakker Events, and she enjoys over 15 years of experience as an event planner, fundraiser and PR account executive. Kimberly’s expertise is sought to execute the smallest of parties to the most elaborate of events.  Here, she reveals her predicts for event planning this year.  From what’s hot to what’s not, how to maximize your budget, and what to do to ensure a successful event.

The biggest trend: Color. 2019 is all about embracing color and new color combinations that have never been done before. There is trend veering away from soft classic colors and heading in a more fun, pumped up direction.  Kimberly Bakker’s 2019 clients are leaning more towards younger, fresher palettes with pops of bright and bold color that is fun, youthful and often somewhat daring.

Fresh, new ideas. Despite the increasing number of social events held yearly, many still feel similar to one other – the same favors, the same food, the same location. These events fail to establish their own identity, relying instead on mimicking what made others successful.That’s not something Kimberly Bakker Events does, and this method isn’t going work in 2019. Authenticity is important at the core, but that only comes about when the event’s purpose is clear. What is the meaning, who are the honorees, what type of take-away experience do does the host wish to create.

The Move to More Casual Events. Whether it may be lounge-style seating instead of rounds or more casual evening events taking the place of sit-down dinners, going casual will be big. Clients have shared with Kimberly Bakker that their guests seem more engaged when they do the comfortable lounge seating instead of ballroom chairs and tables allowing them to interact with more of their fellow invitees than just those seated at the same table. But for signature evening corporate events, colleagues want their guests to be able to arrive in the flow of the event and enjoy a relaxed, fun atmosphere instead of coming in and finding a seat.

Focus on wellness.  This trend has already started in 2018, and it’s going to take off with even more force in 2019. With health and fitness fanatics rising to fame on Instagram and YouTube, there will see events incorporating this more and more into the agenda.

Customization. 2019 is expected to see customized everything, from ice sculptures to cakes to favors to personalized napkins to matches to koozies.

Venues with a story.  Kimberly Bakker has noticed an increasing emphasis being placed on added value element, which offer guests that money-can’t-buy experience. Clients looking to plan something special are thinking about ways they can lean on a venue’s story to enhance their own event experience. This has also led to an increasing demand for historic and unique venues, as clients are very much looking for ways to add that wow factor into their events.

Security. Attending an event should be fun. Guests should not have to worry about their safety whether the venue is at a private home or in a large gala space. The trend is demonstrate an increased awareness of security best practices to prevent and prepare for any eventuality. In other word, it is no longer enough to have a first-aid kit hidden under the registration table.

Balloons. Although many venues do not allow helium balloons, non-helium balloon archeshave been becoming more and more popular. Kimberly Bakker has seen many balloons arches take over social events, such as bridal showers, bar and bat mitzvahs, and even corporate events. It’s a way to make an event “pop” with colors.

Increase use of scents.  The goal of an even planner is to make sure the guests have a memorable experience.  On trend Kimberly Bakker has observed is the incorporation of more candles. Candles have always made a huge impact to setting the mood for events, from elegant wedding ceremonies to swanky cocktail receptions. Scented candles, though, have the power to transform the event’s ambiance and incorporate the event’s theme. For example, if it’s a holiday party, lighting a candle with evergreen and juniper notes will get everyone into the festive spirit.

Drone videography. The dramatic footage that drones can capture has now been used in films, TV, documentaries, and is now gaining more and more popularity in event videos. Weddings, birthdays, galas, and gatherings of all kinds are utilizing drones to capture views and moments that previously couldn’t be seen. Because of the epic-looking shots that drones can achieve, the footage can create a very elevated look. As a result, more and more hosts are expected to book videographer who have drones in 2019.

Video booths. Photo booths (thankfully) are on their way out, but video booths are becoming increasingly popular for events, as they allow guests to record a message for the host. Video booths are incredibly meaningful since the host will be able to hear—and keep for years to come—well wishes, memories, advice, and more from their guests.

Single-use plastics will be reduced. While the war on single-use plastic was unleashed in 2018, it will remain a key trend over the next few years, especially now. Clients will be continuing to champion sustainable practices.  Which is wonderful because Kimberly Bakker is well known incorporating her mother and grandmother’s silver pieces and hand ironed napkins.

Confetti is out. Speaking of being more environmentally friendly, classic confetti is getting a lean, green makeover. Eco-friendly confetti (ecofetti) is a biodegradable, organic solution to sometimes wasteful tradition. Florists can customize a colorful array of mini floral buds, seeds and leaves suitable for any festive event.

Party favors are in. Party favors took a brief disappearance for a while due to the widespread idea that they are “cheesy,” but this simply isn’t true. Everyone loves party favors, and, it’s a fabulous addition to any party. This is yet another area to “brand” an event, show off colors or theme, and give guests a thoughtful keepsake to remember an event forever. Party favors allow the host to be creative with his or her giving, as well as show off a bit of personality.

Cakes are making a comeback. For a while, guest could make their own mixture of candy to take home with them.  Cupcake towers became a thing while dessert tables became even bigger. But cakes are back in the spotlight now. In 2019, Kimberly Bakker predicts a major cake comeback with Instagram-worthy (see below) décor elements – from paint strokes to gold foil – as well as a rise in the popularity of naked cakes.

Natural elements. Continuing the trend towards the whimsical and romantic, 2019 will see an infusion of natural elements décor. Greenery will continue to be the classic go-to shade for the wedding season, with foliage becoming more organic and bountiful. Guest will be seeing trees inside venues, lush greens, and simple white blooms on the tablescapes.

Millennials will influence what’s on the menu.  Kimberly Bakker’s clients are diverse as the events that she plans for them, but she has noticed an increase in younger people getting off their phones and planning social events for their friends and colleagues.  As the event industry becomes increasingly multigenerational with an influx of millennials, a consciousness of wellness and ethics remains a key concern for planners. It will be important these needs by ensuring menus cover a variety of dietary and moral requirements including veganism, organic, non-GMO or paleo, ensures the expectations of a wide spectrum of attendees is met.

Gender-reveal parties. These types of events are trending heavily and will only increase in 2019.  Popular gender-reveal moments are the balloon pop, the balloon box, the gender reveal piñata, and the gender reveal cake. A nice final touch is to give guests a gender reveal party favor as they leave. This could include a bag of home-made cookies with blue or pink frosting, a bag of sugar-coated popcorn with a note saying “ready to pop,” a blue or pink candle, or a personalized mug decorated with “it’s a girl/boy.”

Instagram and interactive. Social media has definitely increased the desire for more exquisite, Instagram-worthy events. More interactive experiences will definitely be a big theme at events in 2019.  These types of “activity stations” come with the added bonus of being extremely Instagramable. Guests want to be able to show off every detail of the event in their Instagram stories, so Kimberly Bakker has noticed increased popularity of visually stunning and interactive elements, like liquid nitrogen ice cream, beautiful charcuterie tables, roaming oyster shuckers and bespoke cocktail stations. It’s important to make sure the activity fits the tone and theme of the event but, if it does, then guests will be talking about the event long after it’s over.

Valuing the journey. Kimberly Bakker has noticed that demand is ever-increasing for event experiences that break from the norm and offer something truly memorable, often flowing from a daytime event into an evening reception or dinner. Venues offering multi-space hire options have the upper hand in terms of creating an event journey, without having to compromise on either the quality of a dedicated daytime space or the memorability of the evening’s setting.

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