I just spent a whirlwind 24 hours in Las Vegas. I wasn’t gambling. I was there to give a talk at the new Las Vegas Furniture Market. I squeezed this trip in between two trade fairs in Europe when Laura Van Zeyl, my long-time colleague at Vance Publishing, publishers of Accessory Merchandising Magazine (I have written a column called Trend Watch for that trade pub for more than a decade) asked me to appear on behalf of the magazine. Laura is one of the few people I would agree to add onto my chaotic January/February travel schedule for.
One of the great things about being in Las Vegas is being able to see Leah Pennig, who worked in our Minneapolis office before moving to Las Vegas. We had dinner last night, joined by my assistant Laura Colón and office manager Cathy DeBono. Laura had already been two days in the furniture market by the time we all met for dinner at Chinoise in Caesars Palace. She and Leah will attend the Surfaces show tomorrow while Cathy and I rejoin JoAnn, Amy and Linda in the office.
When I arrived at the South Pacific Ballroom J to set up for my talk this morning I found about 120 chairs. I was worried that every one of them would go empty. That’s because the Mandalay Bay Convention Center did not have one sign indicating where my presentation would take place—or even that it would take place. Those banners and print pieces were widely available at the Market Center instead. Even the digital marquee outside of Ballroom J had no indication that TrendWatch Live! was to take place inside. I had a hard time finding the room and was convinced that others would, too.
But people did find it. Lots of them found it. So many, in fact, that extra chairs had to be set up twice. In the end, we had about 180 people in the audience. Cathy and Laura had a chance to meet many of them after my talk when they came to our product table to purchase color forecasts and trend reports (I usually make products available at my talks).
I was pleased to meet several subscribers to The Trend Curve™ who had come to hear me speak. Pat Bowling, who ably manages the press room at the High Point Furniture Market was there (thanks again, Pat, for picking up a Diet Pepsi for me to sip at the podium!). I also saw Chandra Palermo, my current editor at Accessory Merchandising Magazine, renewed acquaintances with some colleagues from Color Marketing Group and had a chance to say hello to Debra Gold, who arranged for me to speak at an event in California last year. And I met lots of new people that I hope I will see again.
I feel privileged to be able to share my forecasts for the future with members of the industry. I love writing about color and design trends and how I believe they will evolve yet I am constantly drawn to the podium where I can convey my forecasts in a more personal way. I get something different from each experience—a different energy—that somehow motivates me to keep searching for the next trend. As the markets and trade fairs pile up for January and February and the travel comes fast and furious, that boost of energy is especially appreciated!