Good morning. I hope you are all well and getting back into work and home routines after the holidays.  As promised in  last Friday’s post I have more party trend ideas to share with you, this time from different areas of the childrens party industry and other party bloggers. 

I think that in the UK creative parents and party stylists alike will continue to draw inspiration from the US and Australian party markets. There is a focus on the detail, making each party unique, personal, not off the shelf and visually stunning whilst still appealing to children. Take Anders Ruff Lego party, so many unique ideas but a real hit with children as well. The wow factor is still important in children’s parties.

 Katie Burnett, Event Director, Les Enfants
In 2012, I expect to see alot more of the bright, bold, and modern style party designs. While the rustic and romantic will continue to be a hit, I think that we will start seeing more mod and bright patterns, dessert tables with a graphic appeal and more simplistic elements. I think less will be more when it comes to the amount of foods presented and the wow factor will come through from the design elements like the backdrop, the paper items, the linens, and original food presentation ideas.
Kori Clark, Paper & Pigtails
I think with the prevailing global economics, customers and designers are going back to basics and creating lovely, but more “realistic” parties. The huge dessert tables and extravagant set ups are giving way to a more cosy, handmade style – from decorations to the food!
Owner, Bird’s Party
Joanne as a pirate – Act One Parties
Looking at my bookings already for 2012 I can see a bit of a shift away from Pirates and Superheroes as top themes for boys and a move towards more Transport based themed parties.  I am sure the release of Cars 2 at the cinema and on DVD last year has something to do with this move.  Space and Robots seem to also be very popular and I’m sure the release of Star Wars in 3D at the cinema around February half term will perpetuate this.  However I am confident that when the Aardman Animations film Pirates is released later in the year, we will see Pirate themed parties being rejuvenated.

For girls princesses will be eternally popular but there seems to be a move towards more “Fairytale” themed parties to include Knights and other non-princess characters.  I am also seeing a rise in girls parties wanting to do some sort of performance which I am sure is influenced by the many talent shows they see on television.

Joanne McGowan,  Act One Parties
With the renewed interest in home baking and decorating cupcakes I  have had more requests for Cupcake Toppers, Mini Cake Bunting and custom Food Labels for the most wonderful desert tables with  inventive names to go with their party theme.  So I could see more Tea Parties and Teddy Bear’s Picnics maybe baking and decorating their  own cookies and cakes.
Catherine, Owner, Bumpkin

Best of British…
At Notorious we feel this year is going to be all about British spirit what with the Olympics, Queens Diamond Jubilee and also clients still running on the back of the Royal Wedding. We have been asked to create many Royal Wedding parties for little girls and boys where the girls learn how to move/dance like a princess and boys learn soldier skills with inspired crafts such as crown decorating or royal crown cookie decorating led by our very own Prince & Princess.
With the Olympics coming up we are creating some sport themed parties reflecting team GB as well as other countries. Entertainment such as team games & races, learning new skills such as gymnastics & football, there is such a wide scope of fun ideas to be explored with this theme.
Strictly, X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent….
As we are in a media frenzy culture the TV shows our children watch are a huge influence on trends. With Strictly Come Dancing, X Factor & the up and coming Britain’s Got Talent we are creating some really fabulous performance parties based around these themes.
Children can learn new dance skills and funky moves with professional choreographers, vocal coaches teach favourite songs which can be performed or recorded in a studio, and we can even create full makeovers for the ultimate celeb look. This will be loved by both boys and girls.
With Britain’s Got Talent we can explore other skills such as circus skills, football freestyling, magic, different styles of dance, the list is endless..
Victoria Pearce, Notorious Productions

In harder economic climes, people are looking for ways to save so ranges that work for both adults and children are very popular. There will be many reasons for the whole family to celebrate together this year, with the London Olympics, so these ranges are perfect for large indoor or outdoor gatherings. Bunting and helium balloon kits will be at the top of the party shopping list. Let’s hope for a warm and dry summer so people can celebrate outside!
Cupcakes are still a big hit when it comes to planning party food, but fun cake pops have already hit the scene in a big way and will be even bigger this year we think.
The vintage tea look will be big again, as people increasingly hold bridal showers and baby showers. Our Utterly Scrumptious Range is very popular 

As ever, themes are very popular amongst children and largely depend on what’s they are into at school, Moshi Monsters are big right now for example, but perennial favourites include Disney themes, Lego, Peppa Pig and Super Mario.

With the focus on sport in this Olympic year, many people will opt for outdoor parties around this theme, so parties featuring games and activities will be popular. 
Sarah Reynolds, The Party Times

Food presentation is gaining momentum – not just for dessert tables but for savories as well. Anything served in bite size or individual portions is a winner, especially when served in unexpected containers like glass votive holders, shot glasses, etc.
After a 2 year love affair with vintage styling, we’ll see refined glamour making a come-back. Look for modern design with gilded elements, graphic patterns, and brilliant colors.
Less is More. The elaborately styled dessert tables with budgets the size of a small state will make room for “real life” sized tables with more homemade items or store bought items that the host can embelish her self.
Chris Nease, Celebrations At Home
The Inspired Occasion are keen party followers and we a seeing a trend towards attention to detail, specifically dessert stations being themed around our all time favourite story books weather it be Alice in Wonderland, The Hungry Caterpillar, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Pinoccio, The Little Prince. We love making these children’s novels come the life, with some parties being very specifically themed around a specific chapter, element or favourite character.
Alex Shaw, The Inspired Occasion
A huge thank you to everyone who has helped with this post.  Now we all wait and see what 2012 will actually hold and if our trend predictions are correct!
Have a great day everyone,