2011 Event Design Trends from CORT and Steve Kemble

CORT Event Furnishings, the nation’s largest event furniture, lighting and accessories rental company and me, Steve Kemble, “America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru,” share some of our top event design trends for 2011. With the economy recovering, companies are spending more on events and trade shows to market their products and train their employees.

“Event designers are still doing more with less, but they’re challenged to give events a fresh look by being more creative,” says Kevin Dana, Director of Marketing for CORT Trade Show and Event Furnishings. Steve Kemble agrees creative design will be critical for 2011. “Designers need to dig deep and dream big to find new ways to create fabulous décor on a budget. Mixing textiles and patterns with rich colors, surprising accents and floral will make spaces feel new while echoing the past.”

What are the hot colors to watch in 2011? Says Kemble, “Purple is my new go-to color. It’s modern, hues range from blue to deep violet, and it pairs well with grey. Don’t forget orange as its importance continues to grow, while blues and greens round out the palette. White is still the most important color as it complements and transforms any color with lighting and accents.”

Patterns and Textiles
Event planners are introducing themes that fuse world patterns with modern Hollywood glamour to reflect clients with a broad world view and diverse cultural backgrounds. Varied textures, color and patterns create a layered effect that enhances the event experience. CORT’s new Luna Transformations provide a seamless solution for incorporating patterns into décor to add visual interest. Transformations are available in four themes and can be added to any Luna Lighting furniture. The Luna Lighting collection is a battery-powered LED furniture line that offers an energy-efficient and flexible alternative to plug-in lights and cumbersome cords.

Creative Seating
Designers are moving past the traditional sofa and chair by customizing seating to fit the event space and theme. “The best events incorporate seating with surprising and unusual configurations,” says Kemble. Modular seating enables event planners to design seating with curves, serpentines, squares and circles. CORT’s new Endless seating collection, designed specifically for event planners, has been a runaway success at parties and events across the country from the reopening party of the Gaylord Hotel in Nashville to high profile events for Salesforce.com, Nike and Oracle.

Technology at Events

A continuing trend is the use of technology at events. Whether through touch screen monitors, LED lighting or video games, clients are integrating technology into their exhibits to provide an engaging experience. CORT’s Gamer Collection, launched in 2010, provides relaxed seating options to support the growing niche of gaming and interactive events.

Top of the Line

Despite the soft economy, there remains a demand for luxury events and this trend will continue to grow. “There’s a market for sophisticated designer furnishings that make a statement. Certain clients demand the best and appreciate that good design reinforces a luxury brand,” says Kemble. Lounge22 Powered by CORT is a complete line of modern furnishings, made in America, that push the design envelope. Available in New York, Southern California, and Las Vegas; it’s the only choice when image matters.

Corporate Branding with a Conscience
Corporate responsibility will continue to be important to the consumer, and businesses are using events to support fund raising efforts and ensure customers associate their brand with community stewardship. “Companies use events to communicate their good works,” says Dana. “We work with each company individually to assess their goals and then provide branding solutions based on those needs.”

About CORT Event Furnishings
CORT Event Furnishings is a nationwide provider of furnishings for the exhibit and events industry. From high-profile events to corporate events and wedding receptions, CORT provides the rental furnishings that make events possible. CORT also provides rental furniture to the majority of trade shows and conferences in the nation, including shows and events in Canada. With distribution centers located across the nation, CORT Event Furnishings guarantees “Style & Service Delivered.” Earlier this year, CORT Trade Show and Event Furnishings introduced the industry’s leading easy space planning tool, accessible for free through CORT’s Web site, allowing clients to design accurate 2D floor plans in minutes. All of CORT’s products are available in 2D and 3D CAD files free to all clients. For more information, visit www.CORTevents.com

About CORT
For the past 40 years, CORT has been a leading provider in rental furniture and has provided services to more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies. CORT is a Berkshire Hathaway company and has offices in every major U.S. market and a global furniture rental network of affiliates in more than 50 countries. For more information about CORT, visit www.cort.com.