Goldfish and Hops: the upcoming Special Events trends of 2016

by Ashley Zalta

The Special Events department of the Houston Museum of Natural Science annually attends the Special Events Conference, the industry’s premier trade show and conference for event professionals. The conference is attended by over 5,000 event colleagues, exhibitors, and mentors who can select from over 100 education sessions, attend seven showcasing events, network with fellow event pros, and browse through thousands of products on the exhibit hall floor. We would like to share with you some of the fun facts we learned:

9. The average attention span of a person is now down to only nine seconds… The same as a goldfish!

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8. Since 1963, Pantone has chosen the color of the year, and for the first time ever, the 2016 color of the year is actually two colors: Rose Quartz and Serenity. Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

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7. The color of the year affects industries from events to fashion, to home décor. Last year, however, although the color of the year was Marsala, the number one paint color sold was sage green.

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6. This year, the floral trends of the year will be variations of the garden rose and hops. Yes, the ingredient found in beer!

A couple of our favorite garden rose colors are the Pashmina, which is a lovely combination of green and pink petals.

Conf63The Salamansar rose is a member of the coral color family also known for having big, fluffy blooms.Conf62

With craft beer becoming such a popular thing, using hops in bouquets and boutonnieres will be a trend you will be seeing more of.

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5. The average wedding age is currently 29 for males and 27 for females.

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4. No longer is DIY only for the bride on a budget. It’s also a great way to show off your creativity and personalize your event — things like paper flower arches for ceremonies and hanging picture frames featuring your family tree or special movements in your relationship.

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3. A current booming trend in food presentation is DIY food stations. In this option, foods are completely cooked, but assembly options allow the guests to customize exactly what they want. Examples to get you started are the make-your-own taco bar, make-your-own bloody Mary, and make-your-own caramel apples.

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2. You may not be interested in planning a social event, but you can use our suggestions in a big 2016 trend of unconventional meetings. Studies now show people want more interactive and engaging meetings with people getting up and moving, and this can be achieved by holding your meeting at an unconventional location such as a museum like HMNS!

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1. With the neverending need for us to be connected to our technology, our last trend provides fashionable comfort with the ability to recharge in charging furniture.

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We hope you enjoyed these fascinating details. We sure did! For more information on how to plan your special event at HMNS, check out our web site. Happy planning!

Editor’s Note: Ashley is the Special Events Manager for the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 1/18-1/24

Bust out your planners, calendars, and PDAs (if you are throwback like that), it’s time to mark your calendars for the HMNS events of this week!

Last week’s featured #HMNSBlockParty creation is by Jasmine.

block party 7

Want to get your engineering handwork featured? Drop by our brand-new Block Party interactive play area and try your own hand building a gravity-defying masterpiece. Tag your photos with #HMNSBlockParty.

Extended Hours at HMNS Hermann Park on Martin Luther King Day (Monday, Jan. 18): 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Behind-the-Scenes Tour – La Virgen de Guadalupe
Tuesday, Jan. 19

6:00 p.m.
Going back to the 8th century in a struggle between Muslim and Spanish naval forces and on to the appearance in the Aztec capital in the 15th century, Virgin of Guadalupe was adopted as a symbol in Europe and the New World during times of friction. Through the artwork and artifacts on display, your guide will trace the increasing role the Virgin of Guadalupe played in society.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour – Out of the Amazon
Tuesday, Jan. 19

6:00 p.m.
HMNS has an unparalleled Amazonia collection which is made up of rare artifacts from thirteen tribes. Priceless pieces of the collection-ceremonial objects, masks, body costumes, headdresses and more-are on display in the special exhibition Out of the Amazon. Tour this temporary exhibition with HMNS master docents who share stories of everyday life among rapidly disappearing indigenous groups.

Class – Growing Fruit Trees in a Small Space
Wednesday, Jan. 20
10:00 a.m.
Homeowners with the smallest urban lots can grow fruitful gardens of increased variety and beauty. Instructor Angela Chandler will teach the techniques known as high density orchard, which enables the urban gardener to quadruple the variety of fruit they can grow without buying a single square foot of land. Maintenance is made easier by employing simple changes in the way home orchard management is approached. Practical and decorative techniques are will also be included. Fruits covered include stone and pome fruits, as well as tropical fruits, small bush fruits and berries.

Lecture – Terrorism, ISIS and Emerging Threats – Evolution of Terrorism Strategy by Brit Featherston
Wednesday, Jan. 20
6:30 p.m.
Most of the post 9/11 terrorism plots are foiled by the observant public and by an attentive local, state and federal police response. Hear how law enforcement tools have worked to protect us, and how enforcement techniques must evolve to meet the dynamic threats we will face.
Former police officer, Brit Featherston, J.D. is First Assistant US Attorney and Chief of National Security Division of the Eastern District of Texas US Attorney’s Office. He works with local, state and national law enforcement officials, emergency first responders and officials, and others on protection of our homeland.

 

Son of ‘Bridge of Spies’ pilot to deliver father’s story at HMNS Wednesday

When it comes to American espionage, few people are as close to the truth as Francis Gary Powers, Jr., and fewer have a story to tell as exciting as his father’s — one that inspired director Steven Spielberg to make a movie out of it. Bridge of Spies (2015) tells the declassified tale of New York lawyer James Donovan, who brokered the international prisoner exchange that brought home American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, Sr. The narrative lives on through Powers’s son, who will tell his own story of historical preservation Wednesday night at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

bridge of spies

May 1, 1960, during the height of the Cold War, Powers, Sr. was shot down over Russia during a spy mission to take photos of the ground from an altitude of 70,000 feet. Using specialized camera equipment, Powers’s plane gathered information on ground movements from 13.25 miles above the Earth’s surface, more than twice the cruising altitude of a commercial airliner.

Powers’s U-2 was damaged by an SA-2 anti-aircraft missile, which exploded near the tail section, breaking off a portion of the tail. The plane disintegrated as it fell through the atmosphere, tearing off both wings. According to his son, Powers never ejected but still survived the crash, and the middle of the aircraft remained nearly intact, leaving advanced technology available for Russian engineers to investigate.

Francis Gary Powers, Sr.

Francis Gary Powers, Sr., in the specialized pressure suit that allows U-2 pilots to survive at 70,000 feet.

Powers pulled himself from the wreckage and was later captured by the Russian military and detained in a Soviet prison for two years. In the media and history books, his capture and brokerage back to the United States became known as the U-2 Incident of May 1960.

At this point, Powers’s story grows muddled in rumor and conspiracy theory, which his son has passionately and patiently resisted for decades through his work with the public. Many Americans considered Powers as a traitor, believing he should have taken his own life to preserve U.S. secrets and that perhaps his return home meant military secrets had been exchanged.

U2_Powers_Senate_model

Powers, Sr. used this model to explain in legal hearings how the aircraft broke up as it fell to the ground.

“It’s never too late to set the record straight,” Powers, Jr. told the Houston Rotary Club at a special luncheon Tuesday, where he delivered his story as a guest speaker. He explained that the U-2 Incident happened when he was a child living in California, but he was old enough to understand his father’s POW status.

Later in life, after his father published his 1970 memoir, Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident, Powers, Jr. became instrumental to the preservation of the U-2 Incident and Cold War espionage. His father died in a tragic news helicopter accident in 1977, and after many years of mourning, Powers, Jr. picked up the torch.

overflight

With the help of John C. Welch, Powers, Jr. founded The Cold War Museum in 1996. Inspired by decades of research into declassified documents, his father’s memoir and personal experience, he first established the museum as a traveling collection with the preservation of truth in mind. Over the years, the museum traveled around the world to build interest in the creation of a permanent home, and in 2009, Powers, Jr. announced a physical address in Vint Hill, Va. He currently resides in Richmond.

For 15 years, Powers, Jr. pitched his father’s story to the film industry to further build interest in the museum, the memoir and the U-2 Incident. In July 2014, Steven Spielberg requested to option Powers’s book for Bridge of Spies, released last October. The movie stars Tom Hanks as Donovan.

Powers, Jr. will deliver a lecture Wednesday in the Wortham Giant Screen Theater at HMNS. He will discuss the U-2 Incident, the history of Cold War espionage and his experience establishing The Cold War Museum and serving as a technical consultant for Bridge of Spies. Tickets available online or at the box office.

Don’t miss our temporary espionage exhibit Spies, Traitors, Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America, open through next Monday, Jan. 18. Learn the secrets of spies before they disappear!

Still interested in espionage and counter-terrorism? Come back next week for a second spies lecture titled Terrorism, ISIS, and Emerging Threats — Evolution of Terrorism StrategyWednesday, Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Wortham.

Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 11/16-11/22

Bust out your planners, calendars, and PDAs (if you are throwback like that), it’s time to mark your calendars for the HMNS events of this week! 

Jingle Tree 3

Film Screening – The Northern Lights: Nature’s Spectacle with Pal Brekke
Monday, Nov. 16
7:00 p.m.
Imagine what it must have been like for the first northern inhabitants to raise their eyes to the dazzle of the Northern Lights. The Aurora Borealis still casts its mysterious and colorful spell over us, and Norwegian solar physicist Dr. Pal Brekke has captured that enduring fascination in a new documentary, The Northern Lights: A Magic Experience.

Sip ‘n See Open House & Luncheon
Tuesday, Nov 17. 
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
HMNS at Sugar Land
Next up is our open house Sip n See, Tuesday, November 17, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. This fabulous strolling lunch event will allow you, your friends and associates to see the trees up close and perhaps even “pre-buy” the one you fall in love with!

Lecture – Fire Masters: Cooking and Feasting 10,000 Years Ago by Andrew McCarthy
Tuesday, Nov. 17
6:30 p.m.
The food we eat and its preparation define us as humans as few things do. Archaeologists theorize that cooking and feasting enabled the human brain to expand. Excavations on Cyprus reveal the presence of large stone ovens much larger than a single tribe required, apparently for the purpose of sharing feasts in the Neolithic period dating to 10,000 years ago. Dr. Andrew McCarthy will explore how cooking and feasting may be decisive steps toward the development of civilization. Perhaps the origin of our holiday feasts is result of humankind³ greatest prehistoric inventions.

Drink and be Merry Happy Hour and Auction Closing
Thursday, Nov. 19
5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
HMNS at Sugar Land
We’ll wrap things up with a cool Happy Hour, Thursday, November 19, an evening filled with cocktails, tree viewing, on-line bidding and a fabulous live auction. All bids close that evening at 8:00 pm!

Class – Atlatl Workshop: Stone Age Spear Slinging
Saturday, Nov. 21
9:00 a.m.
Journey into prehistory by literally chucking the past! Experimental archaeologist Dr. August Costa will introduce you to the science and prehistory of hand-cast projectiles and biomechanics of their use. Participants will build their own cane dart and learn how construct throwers. After instruction on using the Stone Age spear-throwe–the atlatl, participants will fling full-scale replicas at stationary targets. The class will culminate in a tournament competition, with a sharp grand prize.