The no-so-basic basic for every eventby Terah Shelton | Published in April 2010 Features | event furnishings
The no-so-basic basic for every event
One of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition is to offer the newest and hottest event rental furniture. You look like you know what’s trendy—and of course you do—and you boost your clients’ confidence in your business and services.
Jeff Corbin, manager of Snyder Lounge, says it’s essential for event planners to stay informed about new furniture products not only to satisfy the needs of existing clients, but to attract new ones.
“People will always see the latest stuff on television and in the magazines,” Corbin says. “They want to incorporate the ideas that they see in their next function and the professional event planner has to be ready. They will have to not only know what is fresh, new and sexy, but where they can find it.”
Tricia Schmitt, marketing director for Room Service by AFR, agrees. “The event industry is all about ‘freshness,’” she says. “It is about making something out of nothing, the extraordinary from the ordinary. That is what furniture does. It gives a base and can set the mood for an entire event.”
Steve Novich, president of Jersey Street Furniture Rental, says: “New and custom designs will create an atmosphere or environment that helps clients differentiates there events from others. Planners want to wow their clients when they walk in the room. When a planner adds a few new elements to an event with furniture it helps to create that buzz.”
Plantation benches and bars Before Corwin purchases new inventory, he consults with designers to see what their needs are. “The good ones know what will be hot for the upcoming season,” he says. One of the hot items the Synder Lounge will carry for the 2010 season is plantation benches and bars.
The custom-colored plantation benches in white, red and Charleston green are created in-house to meet the constant demands of the Charleston market. These hand-painted 8-foot benches are made of wood. They are used outside at many of the plantations in Charleston, hence the name. Although the design is simple, the benches are versatile—and fit the local market.
“They are great for events because they can go anywhere, inside and out, and they can seat five to six adults per bench,” Corwin says. “Just picture 40 of them with 20 on each side of an aisle under huge, majestic live oaks at a Low Country plantation. They are extremely affordable, durable and versatile. If we have a client that is planning a huge wedding and they need purple benches, then we can produce them.”
The benches can be matched with hand-crafted plantation bars. Available in white, black, mahogany and metal, the bars are 9 feet long and come in four sections. Two sections make the base; two the top. With four units, the bars fold flat for easy transport. Corbin says the bars can be produced with different themes and designs, depending on designer feedback.
Modular furniture Modular furniture has been around for a while, but today’s modular rentals look fresh and offer options not seen before for a diverse range of events.
“Modular sectional sofas have provided a great new building block for design, allowing you to break away from the traditional three-seat sofa look and create interesting shapes and pit groupings,” says C. Aaron Sayre, creative services manager for Hello Florida, Inc. “They can consist of chairs, benches, chaise lounges, sofas, ottomans, etc., freeing you up to really get creative with the arrangement.”
Schmitt says modular furniture gives planners the ability to create their own environments, depending on how they configure the furniture. AFR’s offerings in modular seating include three collections: Sophistication, Continental and Building Blocks.
“Furniture is a multipurpose item and can be used in many, many ways,” Schmitt says. “Lounges, modular groupings, white collections, color collections, etc.—all create different looks. They can be dressed up to create a chic, club, formal, or casual look.”
Custom tufted bars When Remy Novich, daughter of Real Housewife of New Jersey Danielle Staub, turned 16, Bill Zolna, owner of Wilshire Grand Caterers turned to Jersey Street Furniture for something different and unique. One of those items was a custom-made tufted bar.
“This party was over the top and used the tufted bars, oversized ottomans, custom colored upholstered couches and logoed pillows of the birthday girls throughout the room,” Zolna says. “The room was liked so much that the network used it on one of the episodes for the new season.”
According to Novich, custom tufted bars are available in more than 100 fabrics and colors and mirrored bars. The bars start at 4x4-foot sections and can be made as long as needed.
Glow furniture Glow furniture using LED technology is making a much larger splash this year with several companies creating new lines, according to Sayre.
The lighted product is battery-operated and available in nine different colors and several speeds and capabilities. The cubes are an 18-inch square and the pedestals are 15x15 inches and 3 feet high. The pub tables are 42 inches round. Schmitt says they offer lighted cubes, pedestals, lighted quarter-round ottomans and pub tables.
“Glo furniture pieces are ideal for events because they are versatile,” Schmitt says. “They can be used as seating, as lounges; they work as décor elements, as branding tools; they can be used together or separately. Glo modular furniture can be used to shape the mood and change the mood of an event, and modular groupings are adaptable, no matter what the space is.”
Barstools Ask Julie Kenning, production assistant for Multi Image Group about the must-have piece of event rental furniture and she says the familiar barstool—with a slight twist.
“The black and chrome banana barstools are a mainstay of our events,” Kenning says. “We use this stool nearly every time we need a bar stool because it offers enduring quality and comfort with a stylish profile that looks current and fresh. Our clients consistently provide great feedback on the stools.”
The chair measures 30 inches high by 21 inches wide and is available in black or white. The barstool is ideal for events because it has a modern contemporary European look and feel, but is still very comfortable and stable, says Kevin Dana, director of marketing and product development for CORT Trade Show and Event Furnishings.
“It’s our most popular barstool and we have an enormous quantity which means a client can use thousands for one event if needed,” he says.
Overall, Corbin advises event planners seeking to incorporate new furniture to do their research by reading magazines and attending the trade shows to see what’s new. “The internet is their best friend as it puts numerous ideas/contacts at their fingertips,” he says. “They also need to know their market very well. What is hot and fresh in New York might not go over so well in rural Alabama.”