End of year forecasting round-up

The mornings have turned frosty here in Yorkshire now and the balmy days of 2018’s hot, hot summer feel a long, long time ago.  But I was prompted to think back to the summer months recently when I was asked to write an article for the December issue of Housewares Magazine detailing our team’s activities over the last 6 months since the Exclusively Shows took place in June.

As the trend forecasting partner to the Exclusively Shows we were kept very busy during the late spring and early summer months preparing for and creating the trend features that inform and inspire Buyers at the ‘invitation only’ event (see full details of our trend displays at the shows here).  Then within days of the exhibition doors closing we began a non-stop period of trend forecasting and travel that took us around the world right through to the time of writing this post as we approach Christmas.

ABOVE: Trend Area at Exclusively Housewares & Exclusively Electrical, June 2018 featuring Veritable® (Right) and Victoria sporting a scented temporary Eucalyptus tattoo designed by Vincent Jeannerot for Tattly.

First we headed to the US to deliver 2020 design trend presentations to manufacturing clients so they could begin to develop product with confidence for launch during the Spring/Summer of 2020.  Then in July our core team, Phil Pond, Laura Greenwood and myself, flew to Melbourne for Décor + Design, Australia’s No.1 Interiors show.  The Trend Hub we curated there incorporated 3 large table displays of innovative material samples and products sourced from designers and manufacturers from around the world.  Together these displays provided the thousands of show visitors with an accurate vision of future design trends, helping them to design, buy, blog and plan ahead.  We also created an informal seminar lounge where Laura hosted a series of female speakers who presented empowering talks; bringing a new feature to the show floor for visitors as we continue to add engaging features that bolt on to the main Trend Hub area (you can see more images, trend info & a highlights video of our trend features at Decor + Design 2018 here).

ABOVE: The Bio-Tech trend table on the Trend Hub at Decor + Design, Melbourne in July 2018.  Laura Greenwood presents one her daily ‘2019 Colour Forecast’ talks as part of our ‘She Says…’ seminar series.

On the opening day of the 4 day show I presented a ‘2019 Design Trends’ seminar to an audience of more than 200 people, followed by a lunch and panel discussion for members of the Australian Press.  Phil and I also co-presented Trend Tours twice daily to enable groups of Interior Designers and Retailers to learn more about our selection of the best products at the show and how they linked to future design and lifestyle trends – it’s a great way for visitors to get direction for their buying activities and interior design projects and of course it is a fantastic showcase and publicity opportunity for the exhibitors we select for the tours.

ABOVE: Victoria delivering a trend seminar as part of the International Seminar Series sponsored by House & Garden, Australia at Decor + Design (Top Left) and in conversation with interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard during the Press lunch/panel discussion (Top Right).

During August Phil travelled to Dubai for several organisation meetings ahead of INDEX, the region’s largest interior design event, whilst back in the UK Laura and I arranged products and props and finished writing scripts for the exhibition.

ABOVE: Laura & Victoria at our UK base Waffle 21, a fantastic co-working space in Beverley and the NOFU654 Wardrobe by NOFU (Left) which featured on our Design Hub at INDEX.

I joined Phil out in Dubai early in September where we pulled our plans together for INDEX during a week in A4 Space, a co-working community venue in Askeral Avenue – the region’s foremost arts hub in the city’s Industrial Quarter.

ABOVE: Phil & Victoria working from A4 Space (co-working community venue), Askeral Avenue, Industrial Quarter, Dubai.

We then relocated to the Dubai World Trade Centre to oversee the building of a Design Hub space that included a seminar theatre where UAE-based speakers shared their expertise in Biophilic Design, Architecture, Sustainability and Renewables.  Across the 4 days of the exhibition we showcased a diverse range of Interiors products from local designers (in collaboration with Tashkeel who have multi-disciplinary studios, work spaces & galleries in Dubai) as well as overseas manufacturers, and shared design trend information with the international visitors who were hungry to understand how best to align their own work and business activities to future design, lifestyle and consumer trends.

ABOVE: The INDEX Design Hub mural designed by Laura.  Victoria being interviewed about Dubai’s design scene and 2019 trends (Left) visitors to the Design Hub at INDEX gathering information on products and designers (Middle) Phil presenting a consumer trends seminar (Right).

We created a highlights VIDEO sharing our INDEX journey, from the travelling, preparation and building work to the completed Design Hub, Textile Installation and seminar program.  Plus I put together a post of my favorite finds at the show, which you can see here.

Meanwhile Laura was back in the UK creating a Trend Hub at The Flooring Show in Harrogate and Suzy Makin from Apricot Lime then created beautiful room sets that brought the design trends to life.  Laura created a VIDEO of highlights from the show on her return whilst Phil & I travelled back to the UK in time to have a very grey, wet day at London Design Festival.

ABOVE: Product in the CLARITY trend flooring display (Left) the CLARITY trend translated by Suzy Makin of Apricot Lime interior design into a bedroom scheme (Middle) and Laura Greenwood discussing the trends with a visitor (Right).

Early in October we were invited by Le Creuset to visit their recently completed offices and factory in Northern France.  The impressive series of huge connected, minimalist cubes that make up the site dominated the landscape on the approach to Fresnoy-Le-Grand.  On the tour we saw the awe-inspiring sand mould, casting, fettling and enamelling processes that together create the incredibly durable, high quality products Le Creuset are world renowned for.

Once back from France it was time to present one of our bi-annual bespoke trend forecasts to the Buying, Marketing and Merchandising teams at Lakeland.  It is a trip we love making because of the stunning drive to their HQ in Windermere, the friendliness of the team there and of course the opportunity to shop in their stunning flagship store!

Soon afterwards our team flew to Switzerland and drove into Germany for a first time visit to a new client.  We toured their production facilities and then led a 2020 design trends workshop with their Product Development and Sales teams.

ABOVE: Working from our hotel in Germany.

On our return we were invited to stage a 1 day takeover of INDEX’s Instagram Stories in order to give their followers an insight into ‘A day in the life of Trend Forecasters’.  We shared images of some of the trend features we were working on, photos of our materials library, exclusive videos of client meetings and photos of site visits, plus polls (if you’re interested in inviting us to stage a takeover of your company’s Instagram to inspire your followers then contact phil@scarletopus.com).

Mid-November Phil was back in Dubai presenting a ‘2019/20 Design Trends’ seminar to the city’s design community at Mirage Project Point in Dubai Design District (d3).  Laura and I remained at The Waffle, the co-working space in Beverley we use as our base when not travelling.  Laura was busy organising material samples ready for shipping to America to be displayed on the Trend Hub feature at The International Surface Event (TISE), which takes place in Las Vegas in January.  I was preparing a lecture on Trend Forecasting for the final year Design students at The University of Huddersfield.

ABOVE: Victoria preparing a university lecture (Left) Samples from Anka Metal Coatings ready for shipping to TISE (Middle) and Laura laying out material samples in order to decide the final table displays for TISE  (Right).

As we look ahead to the New Year our first trend feature will be seen in Las Vegas at TISE.  You can join Laura on The DISH (stand 4737) 23rd-25th January to see 4 key design trends for 2019/20 and then guide yourself around the show floor using the 2019 Trends Audio Tour (available exclusively in the TISE mobile app) to discover our selection of products at the show that link with the these trends.  Laura will be sharing photos on instagram if you are not able to visit 😉

ABOVE: Laura presenting future design trend info and answering questions on The DISH at TISE, Las Vegas in Jan 2018.

Enjoy the holidays wherever you are and whatever you do and we hope to see you at an exhibition or event in 2019!

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