Elegance and informality: Both are in. Restraint and frivolity: Either one works today. Contradictory? No—as long as whatever theme you choose, your event has the feel of authenticity, says Jaclyn Bernstein, president and partner, Empire Force Events in New York City. Gimmicks are out, she adds. Today’s events are inspired by specific goals, by the venue, and by fashion trends.
What’s Hot/New York:
North of the border, says Grant Snider, president, JPdL Destination Management, Toronto & Niagara, Canada, “we may be further into the recovery than the U.S., so we see more frivolity and fun this year.”
Heading south you'll find theme events inspired by vintage settings like the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Designed in 1954 by flamboyant architect Morris Lapidus (who once wrote, “If you create a stage and it is grand, everyone who enters will play their part”), the resort was made famous in films (“Goldfinger,” “The Bodyguard”), on TV (“The Sopranos,” “Top Chef”), and as a result of its 2008 restoration.
It’s no wonder that glamorous 1950s- and 1960s-inspired theme parties are no-brainers here. “Planners ‘get’ that Morris Lapidus created a fabulous stage set,” says Jake Eldridge, CMP, director of catering and convention services. Who wouldn't love to dine in a ballroom that looks as it did when Frank Sinatra sang there?