Reconnect with Hybrid Meetings & Events

By Steve Kemble

Hey, Sassies! I’ll tell you what, this COVID-19 pandemic has really had an impact on the events industry over the last several months. I don’t know about you, but I am ready to get back to business, even if that means smaller hybrid events for now!

Current guidelines say we must reduce in-person attendee capacity, so supplementing with a robust virtual experience is a must to keep everyone involved and engaged. With this approach, we can get back to the business of creating unique experiences, all while keeping attendees safe! My friends at CORT Events always have great ideas when it comes to planning the perfect event, even during a pandemic. Here are some of their tips and best practices to ensure your upcoming hybrid events keep all attendees excited, engaged, and most importantly, safe.

One Event, Two Audiences

When designing a hybrid meeting, consider not only how the layout, design and format of the space will impact in-person attendees, but also attendees participating remotely.  Sassies, lighting, audio and colorful stage sets will have a tremendous impact on the virtual attendees’ overall experience. I’m excited to start networking and collaborating again with all of you, and CORT Events’ modern and practical options for furnishing your event space, such as large sectionals, individual chairs or ottoman configurations, can allow us to do that safely! Be sure to interact with virtual attendees in real time via their mobile devices. You know I love a good swag bag, so if you are giving away goodies to in-person guests, be sure to mail a bag to your remote attendees too!

Set the Stage

Forget mingling, guest speakers and presenters will need to practice healthy distancing while on the meeting stage. Why not envision the stage as a set rather than a classroom? CORT offers beautiful drapes, customizable dividers and greenery to create a warm and inviting atmosphere even as we all practice social distancing. Communal microphones are a big no-no in the COVID-19 world – instead, ensure each speaker is individually connected to a microphone. If your event features simultaneous activities across multiple stages, be sure to broadcast the event in a way so virtual attendees can have a holistic experience, as opposed to a singular perspective.

Out-of-the-Box Engagement

Y’all, digital capabilities will be so important with hybrid events and will involve an added layer of creativity to improve engagement all around! For in-person attendees, be sure to provide large and ample displays throughout the meeting space to limit crowding. Connect attendees together by integrating live chat features for comments, questions and polls. Acknowledge and interact with virtual attendees via livestream to recognize their contributions to the conversation. Be sure to record and distribute the broadcast after the meeting to further promote conversation among those in attendance, either in-person or remote. Technology can also be used when it comes to providing food and beverages for in-person attendees. Consider making timed reservations when attendees register to eliminate lines or assign attendees a group number and broadcast via mobile devices when it’s time for them to pick up their food items.

Sassies, it is time to safely restart events, while making health and well-being a top priority. See you soon!

To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.CORTevents.com.  

Biophilic-Inspired Trends from CORT Events

Warmer weather has us all craving for some fun in the sun – from a safe distance, of course. That’s why it’s time to pump up the outdoor party with biophilic-inspired trends! Mixing style with sustainability, biophilic design is the perfect way to make your next event feel more connected with nature. My friends at CORT Events are sharing the top biophilic trends to create a dazzling outdoor event, all while maintain safe distancing.

Multipurpose Décor

Ya’ll already know we’ve had to step up our creativity game to meet safety guidelines. To promote appropriate spacing between attendees while staying on theme, consider using natural design elements as both decor and physical barriers! A large floral arrangement draped over a dining table serves as a gorgeous center piece, all while dividing the table into individual sections. Use a living plant wall as both a backdrop and a separator in a larger space. For events with both indoor and outdoor spaces, potted plants are your BFF!

Eco-Friendly Chic

Sassies, we all know our attendees value an eco-friendly lifestyle, so sustainability should be top of mind when planning your next event. Don’t worry – with CORT Events you can be both eco-conscious and stylish with your furniture design! Featuring linen fabric, the Beverly Oasis ottoman system is the perfect choice for a biophilic-inspired event. The earthy & sustainable fabric will ring true with any outdoor event. Not to mention the ottoman system can be configured to promote appropriate social distance seating!

Now Trending: Organic Elements

Create a fresh and whimsical atmosphere for your attendees with naturalistic elements throughout the event space. Use greenery and botanicals to enhance the natural look and incorporate wooden elements to center and ground the space. Ya’ll, I just love the Geo Cocktail Table, featuring a rustic wood top with a contemporary base for a modern-rustic flair. Accessorize with a Fiddle Leaf Tree for a pop of green, or the Kendra Table Lamp for a warm, sun-drenched affect.

Remember sassies, my friends at CORT Events are available to support you through your next event with safety and health top of mind. To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

Steve Kemble, Cort Events Endorsements

The Future of Events: How to Design in a Post-COVID World

Wow, what a whirlwind it’s been for the events industry over the past couple months. I’m amazed at how the event community has come together to support one another. Sassies, we will get through this – and we’ll be stronger than ever!

Looking forward, we know events will be radically different as a result of COVID-19. With the help of technology, modularity and a little creativity, you’ll be able to create trendy designs that center around safety and social distancing. My friends at CORT Events are sharing spectacular guidelines and trends to follow for events in the future.

Enable Movement

Sassies, be prepared to step out of the box! There will be hurdles as we plan events with social distancing, but don’t worry because we can do it! When you begin designing, use a 6-by-6 food grid to make sure each attendee has enough space to mingle. Hint: access Social Tables from cortevents.com for free access! They have the grids built in for your space planns. Give your guests both physical and mental cues so they remember to safely distance. CORT Events’ C-shaped tables can be placed between seats so guests sit in every other spot.

Power Up with Technology

Y’all already know technology is my BFF when I need to create a next-level event. In this new normal, we’re going to see smaller events, with more virtual attendees. To make sure virtual attendees are having just as much fun as in-person guests, utilize live chats and polls so everyone can participate. If you’re planning a meeting, CORT Events’ Powered Naples Chair is the perfect choice to provide individual power for each attendee! Don’t forget to keep the tunes at a low volume so attendees can hear each other over the music from a safe distance. 

Rethink Food & Beverage

We’ll also need to be especially creative and cautious about designing dining areas. To ensure a safe distance between attendees, opt to use a communal table with two seats at each end of the table. To divide the space, accessorize with bright floral arrangements or fabulously themed centerpieces. The behind-the-scenes design matters just as much – remember to provide plenty of food and drink stations to limit line traffic. To help guests navigate the room, use floor markers to indicate one-way tracker. Buffets and finger foods are so yesterday.  Instead, consider plated or boxed meals to feed guests. It may seem like a lot of work, but you and your guests will feel at ease knowing you are putting health and safety first!  

Remember sassies, my friends at CORT Events are available to support you through your next event with safety and health top of mind. To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

Fabulous Designs with Modularity in Mind!

Fabulous Designs with Modularity in Mind!

Sassies, when it comes to creating an unforgettable design, “trendy” and “colorful” aren’t enough on their own! A stylish, but uncomfortable space won’t make your event the life of the party. Don’t worry y’all – I’ve got the best kept secret for maximizing space and function without compromising style. My friends at CORT Events have the most amazing modular pieces to make sure you’re creating the best attendee experience.

Get Cozy with Casual Seating

Whether you’re throwing an intimate birthday party or an extravagant corporate celebration, comfort is key. With CORT Events’ new Beverly Oasis Ottomans, planners can create small, medium, or large casual lounge seating areas for guests to mix and mingle. Featuring on-trend channel stitching, this modular collection is available in 11 fabulous colors, so there’s a perfect option no matter the size or color scheme. Pair with “C”-shaped tables, like the Taos or Sedona, which perfectly tuck into the ottomans to provide additional surface area for drinks or laptops!

Maximize the Moment

With CORT Event’s Munich collection, it’s easy to create a seamless design foundation with multiple seating arrangements. I love to create pockets of privacy throughout an event space with the Munich Corner Chair, but then open up larger spaces with the Munich Sectional to promote socialization. Pro-tip: Pair the Munich collection with the Village Charging Hub, so attendees can keep their phones charged all night long!

“Endless” Options with Modular Seating

Y’all already know I’m obsessed with the Endless Collection from CORT Events. The soft feminine curves and gorgeous fabric options, like White Vinyl and Emerald Green Velvet, allow planners to create beautiful spaces with functionality in mind. The Endless Collection is literally limitless when it comes to finding the right seating arrangement for your next event. Don’t forget – with so many fun accessory options, you can truly bring any theme to life.

Remember sassies, no matter the venue, you can create a fabulous gathering with functional, flexible and stylish furnishings from CORT Events.

To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

New Year, New Me! – Product Trends for 2020

Sassies, it’s a new decade, which means it’s time to mix up your style! With the help of my friends at CORT Events, I’m giving y’all the trendiest new products to start 2020 on the right foot. From sophisticated accent chairs to unique seating options that will satisfy a crowd, these trendy pieces are sure to make your next event a hit!

Serve up Soft Seating

Y’all already know I’m all about Art Deco in 2020. Soft silhouettes paired with bold geometric designs creates a look everyone can appreciate. The Lena chair and the Malibu accent chair both feature curved shapes that add a touch of luxury. I can already imagine my guests loving the elegance of this style!

Style in Green

Did y’all know green is associated with renewal and wellness? What better color to feature in your event designs this new year. I’m loving products in all shades of green, from the Endless seating collection in stunning emerald, to the Beverly Bench Ottoman in olive. For a monochromatic look, pair these items together. If you want your green pieces to stand out, incorporate accessories in contrasting colors, like the plum velvet pillow.

More is More! Embrace Eclecticism

It’s no secret I like to mix things up – that’s why I’m so excited to jump on the eclectic trend this year. The Valencia sofa in coffee-brown velvet is the perfect color to build around for this look! Try pairing it with unexpected colors, such as the Chandler collection, made of plum and berry fabric and a modern black metal base. Eclecticism can be tricky, but incorporate these products from CORT Events you’ll be sure to pull off the look!

Don’t forget the details! No event is complete without finishing touches. From a pop of color in greenery, to adding texture and sass with a furry pillow, accessories can tie a theme together and make your event space feel complete.

Sassies, as we begin a new decade, take a chance with these fresh products to create spectacular events that will wow all your guests!

To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

Get Ready for a Trendy 2020!

Sassies, can you believe it’s almost 2020? I can tell you that staying on-trend next year will be like hopping in a time machine because classic styles are making their way back with a vengeance! My friends at CORT Events are sharing a few tips to help you stay on-brand and spice up your events with some sophistication next year.

1. Art Deco Décor
Personally, I’m not afraid to make 2020 the new 1920 because Art Deco designs are so stylish! Some trends to consider next year include deep, luxurious green hues in seating, complimented by organic tones, channel stitching and soft curves, along with layering of patterns and textures. Try pairing feminine silhouettes with layered geometric patterns to create an aura of elegance and drama with your event designs. Who doesn’t like a little something extra?

2. Eclecticism
Y’all know I don’t need an excuse to mix things up, but eclecticism in event décor is really popular right now. You can nail this look by infusing some natural elements such as wood, cane and faux furs with your furnishings. Don’t be afraid to add a modern twist with mixed metals or marble finishes as a contrast to those softer, organic elements. Combining multiple styles like this will help you reinforce supporting diverse lifestyles and a global sensibility, making guests feel welcomed and ensuring everybody feels right at home.

3. Shades of Green
Nothing puts me at ease quite like being surrounded by warm greenery. Create a soothing environment at your events next year with lots of green, and incorporate hues along the same spectrum for a refined look. While green is certainly in style right now, the monochromatic trend is great because it works with any color. Try out this look with cool shades of blue or vibrant berry tones to really stop guests in their tracks!

Here’s the deal, sassies: if you want to make an impression with your events next year, y’all better be paying attention to these trends. Combining some chic, roaring ‘20s styles with classy modern designs will help you give your guests an experience they won’t stop talking about. But most of all, remember to have fun! And tell me all about your event design ideas and plans for next year on Facebook!

To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

Merry and Bright – How I’m Styling for the Holidays  

Merry and Bright – How I’m Styling for the Holidays  

Sassies, the most wonderful time of the year is quickly approaching and my friends at CORT Events are sharing the latest trends to make your holiday parties fa la la la – fabulous! Whether you’re throwing a cozy family gathering or a grand New Year’s Eve party, you’ll want to incorporate these ideas into your event design. This year, we’re amping up the sparkle, embracing greenery and incorporating warm scents to create the perfect holiday events.

Incorporate Shine: Ya’ll know I’ll take any excuse to add more glitz and glam to my events. For the holidays, don’t be afraid to go all out with sparkle in colors like green, blue or red. Your tree ornaments don’t have to be the only twinkling elements at your event. Look for throw pillows or side tables that will add festive glamour to your gathering.

Going Green: From holiday trees, to wreaths and garlands, nothing puts me in the holiday spirit better than winter greenery. This year plenty of shades of green are in style so it’s the perfect time to incorporate these fresh or faux elements into your designs. Southern Sassies – for a fun twist, surprise guests with a holiday themed palm tree, but don’t forget the mistletoe!

Evoke Nostalgia through Scents: There’s nothing I love more than the warm scents of the holidays. Using candles is my secret trick to evoke the holiday spirit and put my guests in a cheery mood. Compliment your faux greenery décor with the smell of fresh pine, or spice it up with cinnamon sticks and mulled cider. One of my favorite holiday scents is the aroma of fresh baked cookies. For a heartwarming and tasty activity, host a cookie decorating contest at your next holiday event! The guests will love interacting with one another, and bonus – they’ll leave the party with a sweet treat.

I can promise you this, Sassies: your holiday events will be totally fabulous if you follow these trends! I can’t wait to make these ideas the focal point of my holiday festivities this year. Tell me all about your event design ideas for the year on Facebook!

To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

New Season, New Me! – Product Trends I’m Loving

Summer is heating up and I want my parties to be equally as sizzling! With the help of my friends at CORT Events, I’m giving y’all the hottest new products to spice up your gatherings this summer. From floral patterns to sleek hardware, these trendy pieces are sure to make your next event a hit!

Embrace Earthy Elements

This summer, I’m all about embracing the natural elements to create a tropical getaway for my guests. The Capri Collection, featuring faux-beech accents and a gorgeous sage green, emphasizes the botanical look I’m going for. And y’all are going to love this – the Capri Collection is made from Sunbrella fabric, which is perfectly durable for outdoor events but looks as though it belongs indoors! Pair these pieces with the Florida Pillow that just screams sassy. I mean, how cute are those flamingos?

Mix up your Materials

It’s no secret that I love an industrial chic look, but by incorporating pieces with mixed materials, I’m able to perfectly match the theme of any event! The Thira Cocktail Table is anything but ordinary, featuring bronze metal legs and a stunning gray marble top. Try pairing it with contrasting seating from the Valencia Collection, made of soft velvet fabric in ‘70s-inspired colors. Your guests will totally appreciate the cozy atmosphere you create, while keeping your event sleek and sophisticated.

The Bolder, The Better

Summer is the perfect time to play with bright and daring color schemes. I’m loving bold berry hues for trendy seating options, like the Chandler Chair and Sofa, complete with elegant channel stitching. Be sure to add in Boxwood Hedges; the purple tones will contrast against the natural green background of your event. Of course, purple is associated with royalty and luxury, so incorporating this color into your event will take it to the next level!

We all know no event is complete without its finishing touches. From a pop of color in greenery, to the touch of a velvet throw pillow, ancillary products tie your entire event theme together and help make a space feel complete.

Sassies, for your summer events through Labor Day weekend, when you rent furniture pieces from CORT Eventsyou’ll receive a credit toward decor items to enhance your next event. Whether planning an intimate gathering with friends or a grand summer soiree, include these unique products for an unforgettable event.

To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

Hot Trends for Your Summer Soiree

Hot Trends for Your Summer Soiree

It finally feels like summer and I’m ready to get outdoors! Y’all know I love to have a little fun in the sun and my friends at CORT Events have shared the absolute hottest trends for outdoor gatherings this summer. With botanical themes and eclectic furniture, these trends really sizzle!

Environmentally Friendly

Being environmentally friendly is totally in right now and it makes you feel amazing! Tap into this conscious trend and move toward planning zero-waste or waste-reduced events. It’s the little things, sassies, that can make a big difference. Try subbing plastic products for paper products that can be recycled and reduce your carbon footprint by choosing sustainable, natural fabrics like cotton and linen to add natural texture to your event. Your guests will love it and so will Mother Earth!

Event by Perfect Surroundings, Intl.

Organic, Botanical

Sassies, there is no such thing as too much and this season, botanicals are back and better than ever. I’m going bigger and bolder this summer with grand topiaries to create a tropical getaway for guests. Bring in trees and over-the-top florals to create a lush garden for your event space. Create an intimate oasis in your large event space by adding faux foliage, like the Boxwood Hedge, for alcoves of privacy and break out spaces for mingling attendees. Complement this with the woven, wicker features of the Boca Collection and offer seating that plays up your organic setting. Create delicate, dancing natural light around your space by adding candles to your event décor for a sweet, simple touch.

Wedding at Willowdale Estate. Designed by Perfect Surroundings. Photo by Evan Carbotti.

Industrial Chic

One of my favorite indoor trends has made its way outside – industrial chic furniture is everywhere for outdoor events this season. I like to mix and match metals for a refined look that doesn’t feel stiff. Pair Rustique benches and barstools with Hayworth cocktail and end tables to create an eclectic atmosphere that feels special and unique, but still makes guests feel comfortable and relaxed. Create different points of view throughout your venue by mixing seating elevation. Use smooth, simple, modern lines to add balance to decadent florals and textures.

2018 Emmy Awards Governors Ball

Sassies, don’t forget to get personal with CORT Events’ personalization services, including custom design assistance on dozens of products! You won’t have to lift a finger because CORT Events provides an elite level of service that lends distinction to every event. Their personalized products arrive ready for use, and you can trust that their furniture will be delivered on time and add a unique touch to every event.

With the natural world as your backdrop, outdoor events are as big and bold as you want to go! With CORT Events’ hot trends, and a personal touch of your own, your upcoming summer soirees are sure to make a fabulous splash!

To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com. To learn more about CORT’s home and office solutions, visit www.cort.com.

Bespoke Options for Your Best Event

Bespoke Options for Your Best Event

My friends at CORT Events always give me the inside scoop on what trends are hot and, sassies, this season it’s you! That’s right. Personalizing the details of every event you plan this year with branded furnishings is happening. It’s all about letting your brand story shine through, in every area of your event. CORT Events always makes it so easy for me to set the mood and let my clients shine.

Make your event stand out with CORT Events’ personalization services, including custom design assistance on dozens of products. You won’t have to lift a finger because CORT Events provides an elite level of service that lends distinction to every event. Their personalized products arrive ready for use, and you can trust that their furniture will be delivered on time and look exactly how you had planned.

They can make your event space dazzle with a custom graphic on a bar, lighting, ottoman cover or pillow that reflects your unique design inspiration. It’s CORT so you know you won’t have to worry about a single thing. This year, elevate any event or gathering with these bespoke products:

2018 Emmy Awards Governors Ball

Lighting: Set the mood with CORT Events’ Luna Lighting Collection. These versatile lighting fixtures allow event planners to customize the sides and top of the Luna Column or Pedestal with a company logo or amazing graphic. The playful light that Lunas provide add an effortless glow to every venue for easy ambiance. They’re absolutely striking and so fun!

Gettysburg College Campaign Weekend

Bar: Make your brand the life of the party! Whether displaying a client’s logo or custom artwork, the Posh Bar comes with endless personalization options. The Maxim and Midtown Bars look amazing in any venue and add sophistication to your space!

The 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, “The Greatest Show on Grass”, broke attendence records with over
700,000 during the week. With a team of 30, CORT delivered over 10,000 pieces of furniture.

Soft Seating: Branded pillows can add a custom element to any event, but you know I love to take it up a notch. CORT Events’ Endless Round Ottoman can transform a simple piece into a showstopping statement. Another customizable piece is the Vibe Ottoman, adding a pop of personalization in unexpected places. Customized covers and pillows are a great option for adding that unique touch to an office space or future event, and you can take them home with you – the party never stops!

MPI Houston – September Social

Sassies, the best part about this hot trend is that it celebrates you and your brand! Add a touch of exclusivity to an event and make your client stand out with personalized elements that provide a true one-of-a-kind experience. These personalized products will help you add custom charm and elegance to create an event unlike any other! Tell me how you made your event perfectly personalized on Facebook!

IMEX America 2018 in Las Vegas, NV.

Incorporating elements of the trends that speak to you will elevate your events in the coming year. I, personally, can’t wait to make these trends the focal point of every event I host this year. So fun!

To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com. To learn more about CORT’s home and office solutions, visit www.cort.com.