David E. Merrell’s Top Five Event Industry Trends: TSE2017

David E. Merrell’s Top Five Event Industry Trends: TSE2017
DM inspired

David E. Merrell’s 2017 Event Design Trends seminar included commentary by Party Mosaic Inc.’s Susie Perelman, The Event Nerd’s J. Damany Daniel and Cerbelli Creative’s Michael Cerbelli (not pictured).

The 2017 Hot List

David E. Merrell was also featured in Michael Cerbelli’s 2017 “The Hot List”.

The Special Event Trade Show and Conference is something we look forward to each January. For our team, it has become a tradition for us to attend. This year marked our CEO, David E. Merrell’s 9th annual design trends showcase, even though he has been speaking on other subjects and in other seminars prior to his first trends showcase. This year, Merrell broke it down into three major categories; technology, entertainment and design. He also debuted his new hashtag #DMinspired. “To be completely transparent, yes I felt I needed to keep up with the times but most importantly, I needed to create a way to file what inspires me on social media and beyond. #DMinspired is simply meant to be a conversation of what inspires all of us,” says Merrell.

For those that missed The Special Event this year, here is a quick recap from Merrell’s seminar, with the top five trends to look out for in 2017.

Virtual Technology

 Capture 1

This year. Merrell was joined on stage by J. Damany Daniel of The Event Nerd. Daniel spoke on Virtual Reality technology and its impending use at events in the future. “VR gives us the ability to ‘transport’ people to another place (and time) and allows them to interact with the environment that we create,” says Daniel. “This can happen through full VR, where we fully immerse people in an alternate reality that they can look around and navigate through or AR, where we layer different imagery on top of the real world we’re interacting with.” Some ways VR can be used in events are enhanced General Sessions, to give people a vision of the cause of a non profit or let people interact with a brand and the brand’s products. Some brand’s currently using VR technology are Patron, Glade, Dos Equis, Chase, Bosch and more. According to Merrell “Virtual Reality photographs subjects in 3D so it’s possible to take you on a journey and experience new surroundings in any environment. It’s something that was talked about for years and now we are seeing how it’s being applied to the special events industry with the various brands that are using it at their events.”

Virtual Reality

Mixed Patterns


Susie Perelman or Party Mosaic Inc. spoke on design trends to look out for this year. One trend making waves, or should we say patterns is the trend of mixing patterns together. According to Perelman, mixing patterns is hotter than ever in 2017. “Taking a lead from fashion runways like the sizzling-chic Gucci shows, finding ways to incorporate multiple patterns into one event space (and even one table!) can set your event apart from the pack. While it’s great to mix geometric prints and floral fabrics, take caution. Some component of the combination must “match” in order to pull the look off effectively. Mixed patterns in one color palette is a great way to experiment with the concept.  In so many ways, event design is a reflection of what is going on in society.  In today’s complicated world, lines are blurred including  views about politics, cultural concerns and our environment.  But the rich weave of multiple perspectives and opinions on life is the fabric of our society. So why not, take inspiration from it? Mix and match away!” Merrell also says, “Mixed patterns is a trend we are seeing on the runways right now and it’s a direct reflection of all of the geo-political unrest that we are experiencing in the world right now.”

Mixed patterns

Mixed Patterns

The RedBliss Collection

RedBliss Collection

Presented in Merrell’s seminar by Michael Cerbelli, RedBliss is a new and unique company offering customized chargers, coasters and napkin rings for special events. Their unique tabletop collection burst onto the scene approximately just a little over one year ago. The collection is inspired by the company’s custom invitation work, as they have been designing invitations for over 15 years. “The RedBliss collection is a great alternative to chargers, it’s a great way to add some bling to your affair and you can customize it to make it tie into your invitations, logos or anything else,” says Merrell. According to Cerbelli, “This is a great decor idea, Besides being incredible and an amazing invitation designer – RedBliss has an amazing home collection, and has introduced a wow to the events industry. Bergdorf just picked up the line.” Indeed, the line was recently picked up by Bergdorf Goodman. Browse more looks below.

RedBliss Fall Dinner

RedBliss Fall Dinner

RedBliss Wedding (1280x901)

RedBliss Wedding Design

RedBliss FEED Supper

Supper Design

The Gastro Garage

Fill R' Up Gastro Garage

The Gastro Garage has made a splash onto the events scene this year. Their unique concept is to deconstruct classic dishes and reconstruct them into Gastr Tanks. A Gastro Tank is an unsweetened brioche style donut, injected with a nitrous foam and topped with their signature ingredients and then blow torched. Yes blow torched. Not only are the treats delicious, The Gastro Garage puts on an entertaining show as they banter back and forth about many things, including the stunning reactions when guests take their first bite. According to Merrell, “The Gastro Garage is a take on a Gastro Grub trend that has been surging through the United States for a couple of years now. This is a really cool way to do an action, exhibition statement and this is a service that can come to you anywhere in the world.” Watch the video below to get a feel for how it’s done, also referred to as Gastromechanics.

ArtZenGraving by EventTable Decor

ArtZen Graving

EventTable Decor has been one of the industry’s best kept secrets for the past 2 years. The company is now bringing unique and innovative accessories to event tables nationwide, under their ArtZenGraving service. Using acrylic, laser engraving and LED to create customized items for events including place cards bar/menu signs, centerpieces, logo  signage, card boxes and what ever you can dream. The illuminated products run on a 9 volt battery which has been tested to go beyond 10 hrs. They then use strip LED, in custom crafted bases, which illuminates the acrylic more evenly versus a bulb LED base. This LED offers 7 colors: white, amber, green, blue, purple, red and pink. EventTable Decor can also add custom color with acetate color strips. “ArtZenGraving is  a unique find. This company used to only be on Etsy. They do acrylic and plastic engraving and have found a unique way to offer inexpensive, customizable table numbers and menus at a reasonable price,” says Merrell.

ArtZen Graving

ArtZen Graving

Stay tuned in the next few months as David E. Merrell will be updating his next event design trends to watch in 2017. Stay connected by hashtagging #DMinspired! We look forward to sharing the inspiration with you.