Schools Training

5 Trends From the Last 10 Years for Students in Event Planning Courses

14 MAY 2012
Career Path : Business

Event planning is a profession that has seen a lot of change and innovation in recent years. Some of the change is linked to change in our culture at large (the omnipresence of gadgets, the new reliance on social media networks), but some of it has to do with the fact that event planning is a fairly new profession: as such, it is still finding its way, making it a particularly exciting time to be enrolled in event planning courses.

The staples of the curriculum in your event planning courses may change between now and graduation. But here are some recent trends that you may encounter in your classes or in the field.

1. Compostable meal buckets.

Are you contemplating a career organizing large outdoor events such as concerts and music festivals after your event planning courses?

One of this decade’s major trends – sustainable event management – will then most likely influence the choices you make after completing your event planning courses.

Increasingly, concert and festival organizers want to be able to advertise that their larger scale events are low-carbon or carbon-neutral.

Graduates of event planning courses need to identify service providers that can help meet these goals, including caterers that can provide compostable food in compostable packages.

2. Emphasis on interactive.

If you can learn just one thing in the time that you are enrolled in event planning courses, it will probably be the importance of innovation, especially when it comes to engaging guests.

Event planning professionals are experimenting with such new practices as providing every table with an iPad where guests can help “plan” the event as it progresses, e.g., request a song, order a particular cocktail, change the colour of the lighting, etc. New ideas like this are in such constant evolution that it is hard to say if and when they will make it into event planning courses textbooks. At this rate of innovation, the textbooks themselves may require daily digital updates.

3. Waste-reducing recyclable button badges.

Name tags are just one aspect of event planning that has seen a lot of experimentation in recent years. Increasingly, disposable labels and buttons are a no-no. In your event planning courses, you will learn about the new range of options, including recyclable badges designed to hang from buttons.

4. Welcome bags (swag bags) for out-of-town guests (conferences, weddings)

As with so many things in our culture, event planning often takes inspiration from Hollywood celebs. Enter, the swag bag, aka the goodie bag for adults, containing such treats as restaurant coupons, taxi coupons, moisturizer, breath mints, headache medication, etc. You may learn in your event planning courses to add in place-specific items, e.g., maple candy for out-of-country visitors to Canada.

5. Advice keepsakes for mothers-to-be

In your event planning courses you will learn different ways if involving guests in certain kinds of events. One type of event that you may end up organizing is baby showers. It has become increasingly common over the past ten years to encourage guests to leave written words of advice for the guest of honour. These messages double as a keepsake, long after baby is born.

Many of the tips that you learn in event planning courses will serve more than one purpose, e.g., increasing the feeling of community at an event and serving as a reminder of the event afterwards.

These trends are just the tip of an iceberg in an industry that itself is trending.