Summary of Opening Session - How to thrive in 2021

TPIE 2021 Online is on

TPIE 2021 Online took off yesterday with an Opening Session by Max Luthy, the Director of Trends & Insights at TrendWatching. In this session, he discussed 4 trends; Brand care, contactless economy, virtual concierge and creative challenges; and showed how other industries are adapting to these trends. According to him, important to realize is that “we re still humans with same old human needs” and that nowadays, several innovations are not brand new; they are prioritized. The theme of the session was 'How consumers will thrive in 2021', it was sponsored by LiveTrends, and attended by more than 300 people.

For Luthy, this is his third TPIE experience. Last year, he discussed 5 trends and for 2021, he put together 4 trends which he demonstrated with several real examples from existing brands. Below, we will give a small overview of all trends discussed. First is brand care. What we see more often these days is that brands show how they care for the community. Lidl, for example, announced that they installed hospital grade air filtration systems. This may have been a strange decision to do and announce in the pre Covid-19 period, but isn’t now. The second trend he discusses is contactless economy which is eliminating risk, convenient and gives peace of mind. However contactless doesn't have to mean joyless. You can show more product information via the tags for example. The third trend is virtual concierges. The Covid-19 impact on ecommerce was to take us from 2020 to 2030. However, shopping online isn’t the same as visiting a store. Therefore, many brands invested in the shopping experience. There are 2 approaches, he explains, the personal, with livestreams, video calls and so on, and the immersive approach, with 3D or virtual reality. The final trend is creative challenges. More than half of the gen z consider themselves as creative and more and more companies are trying to get their consumers engaged in their creative process.

What about the ornamental industry?
According to Luthy, the ornamental industry can learn from the initiatives taken in other sectors. “There are several sectors of which you do not think they are able to adjust to these trends, but by being innovative and creative, they are doing it. So, my advice is to look at other industries.”

The Q&A session. Bisser Georgiev of LiveTrends on the left and Max Luthy on the right. 

Plants has become an habit
In the Q&A part, a question was raised if the ornamental sector will remain at this high level or if, the sales will go down to their old level when the situation normalizes. Luthy does not expect the demand to the level pre-Covid-19. “It will probably go down, but will stay higher than pre-covid because people created a habit. To create a habit it takes time, but to get rid of the habit as well. So, all in all, a positive outlook.”

Any other trends in 2021 box
Another question raised was if there are other trends in the 2021 box that have not ben mentioned in this session. According to Luthy environmental impact is still an important trend. "Many people want to know the carbon footprint of their product for example. This may also be an interesting challenge for the ornamental industry to show the environmental impact of the product."

Maxwell Luthy
Maxwell Luthy is the Director of Trends & Insights at TrendWatching – one of the world's leading trend firms – and author of the book, Trend-Driven Innovation. He started in advertising, with a detour to start a record label before beginning his career in trends. As the global head of TrendWatching's team of analysts, Max now delivers innovation workshops to help clients ranging from Google to Disney to the Dubai Government. He delivers keynotes around the world at conferences from San Francisco to Sydney to Budapest, for professionals to better serve the customer of tomorrow.

TPIE Online
TPIE 2021 will be held online this year and there is a lot to see. Besides the exhibitors, one can also see their Press ReleasesShow Specials and Videos. One can also cast their vote on TPIE Cool Products Awards! On top of that, there TPIE’s Create Theatre sessions are available to watch any time here and can search exhibitor plants, products and services any time 24/7 by visiting the TPIE Product Gallery here

TPIE 2021 Online started yesterday (January 20) and will run till January 22. Next year, the in-person event will take place from January 19-21, 2022 at the Tampa Convention Center in Florida, USA. 

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