Take that trend and spin it

DMC marketing expert Lindsay White of The Event Team gives tips on putting new spins on popular-but-stale event themes

As destination management professionals, we witness the triumphant rise and tragic fall of every trend imaginable, from food trucks and photo booths to drum circles and interactive dessert stations. Some trends stand the test of time and others fade away. Here at The Event Team, we take pride in transforming "been-there-done-that" concepts into "how-cool-was-that" experiences. Check out five of our latest "trend spins":

1. Tired Trend: Traditional Beach Party Decor
Trend Spin: Black-Tie Beach Party

Beach parties are an obvious choice for any southern California corporate event. The surf, the sand, the sunset--it’s like having a party in a postcard! However, the typical beach party decor accompanying these events (think beach balls, lifeguard tower entrance pieces, and surfboard-shaped bars) is overdone and can even elicit an unwanted vibe of immaturity. Try classing up your beach party with a black-tie, barefoot affair on the sand. Formal attire and elegant decor provide an elevated sense of style, while crashing waves and cool breezes eliminate all signs of stuffiness.

2. Tired Trend: Hollywood Awards Night
Trend Spin: L.A. Love

Oscar statues, film reels, Marilyn Monroe impersonators, and red carpets are all wonderfully iconic signs of Hollywood. (Not to mention the actual Hollywood sign). We understand the desire to re-create the glitz and glamour of the entertainment capital of the world, but let us remind you that Los Angeles is 500+ square miles of awesome--why not pull inspiration from one or more of its other trademark neighborhoods?

Los Angeles is so diverse and rich with style; we love offering decor packages inspired by its various locales. For instance, a Venice Beach theme can incorporate earth tones and artsy prints to highlight the neighborhood’s casual-yet-sophisticated attitude. A Beverly Hills theme can draw from the upscale area’s reputation for high-end shopping, utilizing lavish flower arrangements and crystal accent pieces, along with a turquoise and white color palette reminiscent of the famous Tiffany’s boutique. And the Oscar goes to … you for not hosting another Oscar party!

3. Tired Trend: Build-A-Bike Teambuilding
Trend Spin: Bike Building Adventure Rally

We can’t be too snarky about the undying popularity of this classic team-building event because the end result is always happy children with new bikes. However, many seasoned attendees groan at the thought of spending any more time in a ballroom after a full day of meetings.

Our solution? Marry the philanthropic element of a bike build with the progressive, competitive excitement of a scavenger hunt! On a Bike Building Adventure Rally, teams travel from station to station, taking pictures and completing various challenges in order to “earn” bike parts, learning fun facts about their host destination or property along the way. The event culminates back at headquarters with a bike build and storyboard presentation of each team’s journey. Goodbye, ballroom, hello, Vitamin D!

4. Tired Trend: Flash Mob Entertainment
Trend Spin: Unconventional Instruments

We admit it--flash mobs are one of the most fun, high-energy trends in event entertainment we’ve seen in recent years. But by now, we’ve seen a lot of them. The whole appeal of a flash mob is unpredictability. We recommend putting flash mobs on the back burner until they’re just a little less, well, predictable.

While you wait for the flash mob to get its groove back, we know you still need event entertainment that pops. We suggest hiring unconventional instrumentalists that will mesmerize guests with their musical mystery. We found our latest entertainment score in the Earth Harp Collective. This ensemble group of musical architects transforms event spaces into sonic art, utilizing gigantic musical structures and stringed instruments that can extend across an entire venue.  Now that’s unpredictable!

5. Tired Trend: Roaming Buffet Tables   
Trend Spin: Tables. Just use regular tables.

Lindsay White is director of sales at marketing for The Event Team, with offices in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, Calif.

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