No matter who you are in the special event industry--be it caterer, rental operator, designer, planner or another role--what you do and how you do it is influenced by the latest trends.
You can be good at the mechanics of your job without staying ahead of the trends, but you can only truly achieve expert status when you are able to identify, embrace and deliver on the next big thing. Rather than just respond to what’s popular, you can use actually use your knowledge of trends to enhance your expert status.
Wondering how you can leverage the latest trends to build credibility? Here are just a few tips to help you get started.
1. Stay current.
Industry leaders have to do just that--lead. They can’t follow others into the latest trends. They have to recognize that today’s hot blog or magazine cover represents what was popular last year, and know where to find out what the next big thing is.
Not sure where to look? Skip Pinterest if you’re trying to predict the future, and instead haunt the interior design blogs, runways, foodie blogs and graphic design journals. Learn how to recognize color trends at the home and hardware stores, especially in the paint aisle. Grab catalogs from home stores (the expensive ones that almost no one can afford--not the ones where you can buy last season’s gems at deep discounts).
2. Choose your social media wisely.
While Pinterest is the realm of what was popular last year, Instagram is to-the-minute current.
Spend your Saturdays witnessing trends in action as photographers post sneak-preview photos live from the latest weddings and events. Over time you’ll begin to develop an eye for those emerging details that make up the next big trends.
3. Demonstrate your knowledge.
Post pictures of your latest work on your own social media feeds and create opportunities to exhibit how cutting-edge you are through inspiration shoots. Actively work to have your photos featured on blogs, and make it easy for people to spread the word about your skills. Visibility is key to securing your expert status.
4. Offer to guest blog.
Make guest blogging part of your marketing strategy. Seek opportunities to write about the latest color trends, service styles, flavors, products and services. Blogs are always looking for fresh content, and trend articles tend to draw in big readership. Become the go-to source of trend information in your field and your reach will expand indefinitely.
If becoming an expert in your field is on your list of goals, make identifying and spreading the word about the latest trends a major part of your strategy. Peers and consumers alike will soon recognize that you have something others only aspire to, and you’ll quickly be on your way!
Kylie Carlson is the owner of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.