14 Favorite Trends From #TSE2014

Another year, another successful and inspiring event! For those who do not know, The Special Event Conference and Show is the “premier tradeshow” for those of us in the events industry. We attend every year in order to learn all of the new, exciting and up-and-coming trends for the year… and then share them with YOU!

As you can imagine we always like to arrive with plenty of promotional materials such as brochures, posters, and flyers so that we can get our company name out there as much as possible! It feels like just yesterday that we were looking at flyer templates and designing and printing our promotional materials and now it is all over for another year!

So, what are some of our favorite trends from the trade show?

Once again these are simply in alphabetical order because we couldn’t choose favorites.


Balloon Décor
Now this is something completely unique – especially with #corporateevents. Elegant foil balloon walls can be the extra pop needed in order to fully decorate your event space. This does not go to say that arches and columns are obsolete; in fact, they can now glow in the dark! We absolutely loved Balloon Pros‘ trade show booth this year – so much color!

Birdcage Chandeliers
Maybe this wasn’t particularly a trend at TSE, but we’re pretty positive it’s a trend for events this year… and not just social ones either. Parts of the chandeliers were literally inside rustic antique birdcages! This booth won “Best Overall Appearance” and we’re pretty positive the birdcage chandeliers had something to do with it.

Bonfyre is continuing to knock people’s socks off (no, not literally)! Although this app was mentioned last year as well, they have listened to their users and upgraded some of the specifics within the app. The app enables a group of people, whether it be your family, your sorority sisters, or your fellow attendees at a conference/event to connect and share information with one another. For a bunch of Instagram and Snapchat addicts, Bonfyre was extremely user friendly and kept us in the loop with everyone at the event. And yes, it’s free!

Bubble & Cork Tables
The LED water bubble coffee tables (on display by PBG Imports) were mesmerizing! They definitely caught our attention, not only because of the color changing LEDs but also because the bubbles were constantly moving. Much, much better than a lava lamp – if you ask us. Our eyes were immediately fixated on the wine cork collection right next to the coffee tables. Surprisingly, the two looked good together. And the ottomans were heavy enough for us to sit on and relax. Wine lovers, unite!

Colors in Furniture
AFR brought out the color! They showcased the Chandler, Tangerine, Regale and Imperial collections at the tradeshow. All were so full of color – they got us excited about the events we’re designing. Gatsby’s black & white is so 2013, let’s bring out color in 2014!


DJ in the Sky
That’s what we’re calling it because ultimately that’s what it is. Synergetic Sound & Lighting had a DJ that was 10 feet in the air on top of a plexi glass floor. How cool is that!? We care about safety so we asked all kinds of questions and apparently they have done events with children dancing underneath the DJ! PS: Synergetic has a pretty awesome website too; props to them!


Yup, that’s right! Now you can call for Batman during the day too! Flogo Cloud‘s are an environmentally safe way to make an impact at your event for miles around. They are synthesized from a surfactant based foam formulation and are lighter than air gases (yes, that was a sentence of pure science your brain should have retained from high school). Basically they are foam symbols (think logo here) that float up and disintegrate in the air all by themselves. They can travel for miles (wind) and last up to an hour (depending on the weather conditions).

Instagram Photo Booth & MeCard
Photobooths are ever growing in the events industry. But those that will stand out the most are ones who offer unique services within their photo booths. These two examples were our favorites at #TSE2014. Interactive Entertainment Group created an Instacam. The photobooth structure itself actually looks like the Instagram logo. The pictures that print out look like your Instagram feed would and are able to be fully-customized with the number of likes, the location, the company, logo, and hashtags. How clever! Catch The Moment also had what they call “MeCards” which are a spinoff of the popular ecards. The text and logo can be altered and guests take their photos in an open-air photo experience.

TSE 11

Jason Latimer
We know what you’re thinking… a magician… trending? Yes! Jason Latimer was even highlighted in Michael Cerbelli’s Hot List! The best part is that he came on stage and performed for all of us during the show. In all honesty, he is the world champion of magic. As an illusionist, Jason Latimer has defined himself as one-of-a-kind. He basically questions science by trying to understand the unexplained and breaking down the impossible.

TSE 12

Michael Barimo
To continue with world champions… here is Michael Barimo. He is a whistler. Really! Having performed for audiences around the world, he is turning-on a new generation to great Neapolitan music with his own unique brand of classic Euro-pop/rock with a 21st century electro edge. This multi-talented young start is a brilliant up-and-comer.

TSE 13

Moddim Walls
These stage backdrops, rented exclusively through Quest Drape, are perfect for any event. From charity galas and fundraisers, to corporate events and marketing activations, and even a permanent guest spot on the set of one of cable’s hottest networks, Moddim has an array of uses for designers and planners alike. They come in four types (shown above) as bar, crackle, pin and bend. By adding some simple lighting on them, you can create an array of designs. Plus, they’re extremely easy to set-up, very light and made from recyclable materials. (#greenmeetings!)

TSE 14

Pixel Performance
The Idea Hunter came out with this exciting product that can be used in so many ways for events. Pixel Performance enables you to display your company logo, text and/or specialized graphics in LED light. These effects take branding to a new level, making your message more memorable and unique than any other activation!

TSE 15
Steve Connell
We challenge you to take eight minutes out of your day right now and watch this video. Steve is a motivational poet and a new breed of creative writer and presenter. He is a multifaceted hybrid, fusing poetry, comedy, motivational speaking, acting and storytelling into a transformative and original experience that has been captivating corporate, non-profit and private audiences around the world.

Click here to see his video specifically created for us event professionals! http://youtu.be/bFSCreS0L8g
TSE 16

Super Columns

These were showcased on Michael Cerbelli’s Hot List this year as well. With no additional hardware needed, the Super Columns snap together. Not only are they easy to set up, but they’re easily transferable as well…they literally fold down flat! Aside from the designs shown above there are numerous others, or custom ones can be built too!

If you missed TSE 2104, we hope our perspective allowed you to feel like you were there in spirit. For those of you who were there, what were YOUR favorite trends? Until next year, where we take it to the West Coast in Anaheim!

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