Top Event Trends for 2014

January doesn't usually see a lot of love: it’s cold, it’s a reality check after the downtime we get with holidays in November and December, it’s cold, it’s a month we set (and usually break) resolutions, it’s cold, you get the idea. But, there is something that January offers that we look forward to all year: spending some time checking out what the latest events trends are for the year and deciding which we are going to follow and build into the events we are planning! 

Many of our clients are fairly conservative by event standards, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t incorporate some element or flavor of a trend, even if we can’t go all out with it.  Here are some of the things we are keeping an eye on in 2014.

Radiant Orchid

Just saying the words brings joy. Say it: Radiant Orchid. See what we mean?

Radiant Orchid is the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year, and they describe it like this:

Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple—one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health.

Confidence. Magical warmth. Imagination. Creative. Charm. Captivating. Joy. If there is a more perfect color with a more perfect description, we haven’t run across it yet.

While you are basking in the captivating harmony and great joy of Radiant Orchid, get a sneak peek of spring with the 2014 spring fashion top colors.  Violet tulip, freesia, celosia orange, dazzling blue? Yes, please!  We can’t wait to bring this palette to life in our events this year!


From attendee expectations for conference apps, mobile-friendly event sites, and social media presence to new methods of team collaboration, the proliferation of video, and demands for data security, technology will continue to be a hot topic in 2014.

Read what meeting technology expert Corbin Ball has to say about event technology in 2014.

Texture Is In

From the obvious place to add texture (linens!) to trade show booth materials with more texture, textural elements are definitely in for 2014. Texture adds visual interest and dimension, while also providing a warmer and more comfortable atmosphere.  To tie this in with the two trends above, consider providing a lounge space with textured gray furniture, plenty of phone and tablet charging spaces, and floral displays featuring the radiant orchid color.

Budget Is (Always) In

Budgets continue to be lean but, we are seeing that pure cost-savings is no longer the key driver with our clients.  It is increasingly about smarter spending and we have to continue to be creative in how to allocate the budget for maximum results, attendee engagement, and ROI. 

Local is Best

The National Restaurant Association released the 2014 Culinary Forecast and half of the top 10 trends center around local and sustainable food. “Today’s consumers are more interested than ever in what they eat and where their food comes from, and that is reflected in our menu trends research,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the National Restaurant Association’s research and knowledge group. 

This is one trend we can get behind and that we don’t see changing anytime soon. Planners need to know the audience and work with a venue to design the most appropriate menus, rather than relying on the standard selection in the PDF file of menus.

Your Turn!

Which trend are you most excited about in 2014?

Image from Pantone