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CSES_TrackIcons_TrendsLearn what’s new and hot in the Trends Track, and implement cutting-edge concepts to keep your company on the forefront of leading trends in your market.


The Diverse Designer. Standing Out in Today’s Wedding Design World
Sasha Souza, MBC, Event Designer, Sasha Souza Events, Napa/Beverly Hills, CA

Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everybody else is already taken”, and those prophetic words are very true in today’s wedding industry. It’s easy to get caught up in the “sameness” of weddings showcased on blogs and inspiration sites. Wedding designer and author Sasha Souza is internationally recognized for her ability to always be ahead of the trends, as well as a trend predictor. How do you keep your business forward thinking and original so you stand out to potential clients as being a diverse designer? What defines a diverse event designer? A diverse designer can change their style to match their client’s taste. The diverse designer doesn’t follow predominant trends but is on the leading edge, creating new design ideas. Learn how to convince clients to go outside the commonplace trends, be a standout designer, and access information to help predict what’s up and coming.

Crossing Over. A Guide to Indian Corporate Event Production
Therese Cole-Hubbs, President/Creative Director, Electric Karma International, Houston, TX

You’ve mastered the Indian wedding. What’s next? If you have successfully learned the ins and outs of this market, you will want to attend this informative session outlining the things to know in the Indian corporate market. Therese Cole-Hubbs will share her experience planning conferences, galas, and corporate events in the Indian market and how they cross-over with that culture’s social events. Get a list of “dos, don’ts and wows” within the five major disciplines in the fusion corporate market: photography and videography, food and beverage, décor/design, entertainment and venue preparedness.

Goodness, Gracious, Great Ball of Flowers! How to Design and Produce Large Centerpieces
Melissa Brannon, Owner/Designer, Uncommon Events, Philadelphia, PA

During this live demonstration, you will learn how to create stunning, large floral centerpieces that will impress guests and get your company and work noticed! Find out what flowers work best, what materials you need, what vase styles work, how to transport and get them on the table. You will leave with new knowledge you can take home and immediately begin using and selling in your own event design business.

Forget the Box. Go Outside the Circle for a New Design Perspective
Evan Carbotti, Partner/Designer, Jordan Carbotti, Partner/Designer, and Dwayne Ridgaway, Lead Designer, Perfect Surroundings, Int’l, Newport, RI

In today’s world of circular design, thinking outside the box is not enough, and yet being different just for the sake of it may ultimately set you back. Learn more about this fine line as you get insight into how this design firm has transformed and breathed life into countless spaces— from beaches to ballrooms, and backyards to airplane hangars. Discover how you can not only create, develop and invent new ideas, but change and reinvent old ones with your personal twist. In going outside the circle, you will find a new perspective on design. Come along on this visual journey where you will get to experience many of the places, people and things that are constantly changing our design aesthetic and sensibilities.

Hollywood Events. Style, Trends and Innovation for Big and Small Budgets
Hillary Harris, Executive Director of Special Events, Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank, CA and Troy Williams, Owner, Simply Troy, Los Angeles, CA

What is a Hollywood event? Like the entertainment that emanates from this town, there are many styles! In this session, you will find out more about two of those styles. One is the big production style steeped in Hollywood history, but forward-thinking in terms of design concepts. The other is Hollywood “indie” style, with streamlined budgets that are big on ideas. In both, creativity is abundant! Come to get the latest in event design, catering trends, menu presentations, and more. And! Get insight and takeaways on how both this innovator extends his work and brands into his market for exposure and new business.

You Make It Taste Good…I Will Make It Pretty
Linda Sample, President, Gina Barber, Sr. Event Manager, and Rachael LaPorte, Executive Chef, A Thyme to Cook, North Stonington, CT

Presented by the International Caterers Association” Marrying culinary perfection and design innovation, this talented team will show you how to excel in both areas while still prioritizing the client’s needs and desires. Learn how to design concepts that work with various budgets and how to design creative presentations of food and décor for every event that will put your best foot forward.

Designing on a Dime. Maximizing Strategies to Produce Dream Weddings and Events
Tiffany Chalk, Owner/Creative Director, Tiffany Chalk Events, Bear, DE

In today’s world, reality television has become an entertainment staple, and Pinterest and YouTube are slowly but surely replacing Google and Yahoo as the go-to search engines. Fueling this evolution are consumers who want to emulate the lifestyle of their favorite celebs without breaking the bank. This is especially evident when planning events. To be successful, event designers have to have the right mix of style and savvy. This interactive workshop is aimed at expanding your creativity, and equipping you with the strategies you need to unlock the ‘WOW’ factor of high-end design techniques on a low-end budget.

From Runway to Tabletop. Fashion Forward Events – Part 1
Kate Patay, CPCE, Executive Director of Sales & Marketing, Creative Coverings, Sparks, NV

Simply stated, the fashion world dictates the trends that will follow in home décor and ultimately, event and wedding décor. In part one of this two-part series, you will learn how to set yourself apart as an industry leader and master the skill of translating the latest fashions into chic events and tabletops.

From Runway to Tabletop. Fashion Forward Events – Part 2
Kate Patay, CPCE, Executive Director of Sales & Marketing, Creative Coverings, Sparks, NV

In part two of this series, Kate will guide you through targeted visual social media strategies, such as Pinterest, to brand yourself with your clients, as well as understand the way the psychology of color can affect the mood and overall success of your event.

A Romance with Flowers and Wedding Design David
Everett, Sr. Event Designer, The JDK Group, Camp Hill, PA

Beyond the bridal party’s personal flowers, there are boundless opportunities to intertwine unique design elements, some floral and some using other materials, into that special day for every bride and groom. No detail is too small and all of the little touches add up to one big statement. Join David as he showcases not only table and buffet centerpieces, but also design elements and unique presentations for passed appetizer trays, dessert presentations, place card tables, wedding guest favors, and more.

Big Fat Indian Wedding. A Crash Course on Planning a South Asian Wedding
Therese Cole-Hubbs, President/Creative Director, Electric Karma International, Houston, TX

The hottest trend in special events is the growing multi-million dollar industry of South Asian weddings. Attendees will learn the ins and outs of these grand affairs, from terminology to cultural nuances and everything in between. Learn from an expert in the field who has been working with this market for more than 13 years and find out what you need to know to meet the demands of this specialized and discerning clientele.


*Speakers and schedule subject to change.