Upcoming Events

Visit the MPIPHL Events page to register for our next events!
Register Today

Top Performing Chapter Award



Trends that have come and gone over MPI’s 50 years


By: Jim Cohn | Nov 30, 2022

So, I was asked to come up with a few trends that might not be in style these days and had to give it some thought. But first let’s put things in perspective.

I guess now that I am one of the ‘seasoned’ people in our chapter (best way of putting it that I am older), I have seen a lot that has come, gone, reconfigured, and possibly have stayed. None of these are earth shattering but just from my perspective.

  • When we first started our Magazine back in 1987, I remember planning a handful of events on a few paddlewheel boats on the Delaware river. Yes, that is one trend that has not returned to the Philadelphia market and along with that, went the carved Steamship roast seen on the all-you-can-eat buffets. I am assuming that this entrée maybe has been transformed, rebranded, and possibly still being served.
  • Balloons have changed and all for the better. But, balloons filled with confetti and being unloaded like it is New Year’s eve or a political convention (when it is not) over dinner tables at a gala. I think they have blown up.
  • Sparkles in invitations! They arrive, you open the envelope and bam, they are all over your clothes and floor. Even worst was when I received an invite from a beach resort and yep, sand was all over the place.
  • Large punch bowls with whatever liquid concoction and possible fruit mix…you know, the ones with the big ladles and small cups. 
  • Did you think I was going to say chocolate fountains? Not as popular and sanitary situations have changed this, but I do still see them off and on and some have transformed for the better.
  • Plastic wine cups with removable stems. Always fun when the stem detaches as you’re ready to put them down. Right?
  • Certain types of Ice breakers. When registration staff hands you a badge that says ‘Mickey’ and you must find the one person that is wearing ‘Mouse’ or maybe ‘Minnie’ or that ‘Nuts’ must find ‘Bolts.’ How about when they pin something to your cashmere sweater and you have to ask someone to help you determine who the heck you are supposed to be. Always hated those games. It was more like a singles mixer. 
  • Oh, and pin badges.
Some other mentionables are –
  • Turducken (yep, had that at one of my first sit-down dinner events). Never saw it again listed on a menu.
  •  Raised, embossed lettering on event invites. Some invites are still unique, but less are being printed…and we used to be a printing company.
  • Sealed Karaoke booths have now turned into more staged rooms and more fun.
  • Mass fax blast of invitations has been replaced with mass eBlasts of invites. I am guilty of that.
  • Slide projectors have given way to much, much better technology at meetings.
  • Polaroid ‘instant’ pictures have been replaced with more sophisticated tap screens sending images direct to your email or social media.
  • Toga Parties. I threw one for my hockey team (1980’s) and 200 showed up in Animal House fashion and even MPI threw one for the gala one year at the University of PA. Probably not seeing any these days.
  • Celebrity look-alikes. Only use those companies or people who really, really, really can pull it off. Last U.S. President brought more look-alikes out than I have ever seen before.
  • Big trend that went away, were ‘budgets did not matter’ back in the old days and you could do most anything then.
  • And, Privacy.


Jim Cohn
Jim Cohn
Publisher / Editor / Gentleman at Mid Atlantic Events Magazine

Load more comments
New code
Comment by from




Connect with Us

Chapter Advertisement

Job Postings