How to Anticipate the Next Big Thing

WeddingIQ Blog - How to Anticipate the Next Big Thing

(Editor's note: We're thrilled to feature another guest post today from one of our favorite people, Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting!  More information about Meghan appears at the end of the post!)


Trends – we love them and we shake our annoyed mason jar disliking fists at them.  No matter how you feel about the latest and greatest, your couples will surely be coming to you with their Pinterest boards filled to the brim with inspiration.  It’s with this in mind, that it’s imperative for wedding pros to be on the lookout for the Next Big Thing- whether that be the hottest colors, décor or regions couples are flocking to.
 
So how does one stay ahead of the trends?

Hit the {Fashion} Runway

Often, simply taking a step back and looking outside of the industry can forecast up-and-coming wedding trends. “It’s always best to first look at trends in the art and fashion world,” suggests Resha Zazueta of Something to Celebrate. “Typically, trends hit the runways before they make it down the aisle.” 

Think Globally

In addition to paying close to attention to other industries, being mindful of what’s going on beyond your backyard is vital. What many may not realize is that the political landscape around the world can have a great affect on the wedding industry. In fact, this is especially the case as more countries welcome marriage equality.
 
“As acceptance for same-sex marriage gains momentum, it’s prudent for our team to remain vigilant about staying ahead of any new developments” shares Rebecca Hochreiter of Destination Wedding Travel Group, which encompasses GayDestinationWeddings.com. “By identifying up-and-coming regions early, we’re able to expand smartly, while also better serving our customers.”

Mind Your Pantone Colors

One of the hottest trends to look out for each year is the Pantone color of the year, as well as the other stylish palettes released by the color experts. “Pantone colors are used not only in areas like fashion shows and home décor, but they frequently make their way into a couple’s color choice for their big day,” explains Jennifer Taylor of Taylor’d Events. Being knowledgeable of hip hues will help create a better vision when your couple decides they want to use one for their wedding theme.

Technology is Your Friend

As brides and grooms become more connected through diverse methods, it’s important to embrace technology to better understand what’s next on the horizon. “With crowdsourcing becoming more popular, we chose to embrace it at Azazie, as it allows our future customers to choose what styles and what colors they want to see on our site,” shares Charles Zhong of Azazie, an online boutique that specializes in custom wedding dresses. “This has been seen a bit in the fashion scene, but is not nearly as prevalent in the wedding industry. Who knows what’s ‘in’ more than the couples who dictate these trends?”  
 
Consider analyzing the user activity on your website to determine where your visitors are going and which items are growing in popularity. “When you have such a large inventory, it can be difficult to discern which are the up-and-coming items,” expresses Igal Sapir of 100 Candles. “Web analytics can provide great insight into market trends, which allows you to adjust your marketing tactics accordingly.”

Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Oh My!

Social media is a great place to start – follow leaders from within your industry and beyond across all platforms. You’ll no doubt start noticing a pattern among the posts.

Get Your Education On

Want a whole lot of inspiration in one place? Attend conferences to see what kinds of fabulous ideas are in the works. Join local networking groups to see what the buzz is in your area, as well as surrounding regions.
 
The good news? The signs are out there if you know where to look. So take time in this off season to start looking ahead for the Next Big Thing. 

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting, which specializes in getting wedding professionals their brides. She is a highly sought after industry speaker and serves as a Public Relations adjunct professor for Virginia Commonwealth University.