One decade’s behind us. A new one has begun. With it comes fresh eyes, an eagerness to push the envelope on the event innovations and technology that already reside in the planning tool kit, and blazing a bold path forward to the next level of creativity and inventiveness.
Here’s an overview of a few trends and ideas that we’ll see this year:
Follow A Theme
Gatsbyesque: The Roaring ’20s is a natural theme partner for 2020. Jazz, elaborate floor shows, speakeasies, champagne, and glamourous settings capture the opulent, culturally dynamic positivity of the era.
Try This: Celebrate the Jazz Age on the dance floor with pop-up guest lessons in the Charleston, Breakaway, and Lindy Hop.
Get Groovy: The nostalgia of the ’70s never fails to entertain. Cue up the Hustle and Studio 54 vibes, the get-down-boogie decade is back in vogue, with disco-dedicated places like the recently opened Supernova Ballroom spinning soundtracks (and remixes) of the era to the delight of all generations.
Try This: Absolutely dust off those disco balls, but also projection map the room with neon flower power images, old record albums, and ’70s mod and iconic graphics.
Healthy And Mindful: Event wellness awareness first emerged in the form of smoothie bars and massage stations. As wellbeing and mindfulness hits mainstream culture, it’s having a major influence on many event elements, from programming and menu planning to design and gifts.
Try This: Seamlessly weave wellness into events with mood-enhancing colours, chill-out and no-device lounges, laughing or singing meeting kick-offs, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness sessions that recharge attendees’ spirits and make them feel positive.
Design A Look
Colour Matters: Neutrals of the last few years move aside for brighter, bolder hues. Pantone’s colour of the year is Classic Blue — a tranquil, elegant hue – while leading paint companies predict back-to-nature green, pink, from rosy to pale, and varying shades of blue.
Try This: Embrace colour in unexpected places, such as glassware, food presentations, cocktails, floor treatments, and more.
Art Deco: The geometric shapes, linear lines and arching curves of the ’20s are surfacing in this year’s desired looks. Add in black and gold, gilded mirrors, pearls and feathery accents to truly time-stamp the era’s design signature.
Try This: Wrap the floor and wall panels in art-deco inspired patterns, hang luxe crystal and gold chandeliers, and serve bubbly in classic coupe glassware for an easy, thoroughly modern ’20s room transformation.
Modern Minimalism: Venues offering a raw setting are trending for their stripped-down aesthetics and unique vibe from which to play up simplicity and sustainability.
Try This: Marie-Condo décor choices, going for the less-is-more effect with clean-line furnishings, like mid-century sofas or Scandinavian-style seating, natural materials and monochromatic palettes.
Serve The Menu
Beyond Meat: Plant-based eating is revolutionizing our food preferences. Mushrooms are vying for cauliflower’s popularity, brussels sprouts are enjoying a moment, and chickpeas, oats, sweet potatoes, etc., are making for incredible can’t-believe-this-isn’t meat dishes.
Try This: Vegetables are far more visually appealing than meat, so pay due homage, and tantalize the taste buds, with inventive plating and vibrant, stylishly designed tables and stations.
Grazing Tables: This dining trend from Australia goes far beyond charcuterie boards with tables piled high with a wide assortment of one-bite deliciousness, from crudités and fruit to cheeses, meats, savouries and sweets.
Try This: Use these stunning help-yourself tables as a light meal or a substantial replacement for passed canapes, and a way to keep conversations flowing, networking going, and budgets down.
Zero-proof Alcohol: With eating healthier, comes drinking smarter. Even big brands are jumping in on the no-buzz action. Shrubs (drinking vinegars), botanicals, bitters, unique syrups, and herb infusions are taking mocktails way beyond seltzer and lime.
Try This: Eliminate potential social stigma by serving a choice of elevated mocktails, non-alcoholic beer and wine from the same bar and in the same style glassware as alcohol drinks .
Deliver An Experience
Sustainability: Your entire event, or as much of, must be green-minded and eco-friendly. Think water stations with reusable drinkware, compostable materials, recyclable or reusable tableware, digital signage, etc.
Try This: Plan programming that includes a sustainable activity, such as tree planting, community clean up, or use living décor, like rooted florals and herbs and potted greenery that can be planted.
Immersive Activities: Interactive, hands-on and novel are key to creating activations that captivate and engage attendees, make events and brands stand out, and are oh-so-social-media shareable.
Try This: Think fun and unexpected, like puppy petting zones, a yoga flash mob, arty crafting stations, build-your-own food bowls, group karaoke singalongs, and more.
Use The Tech: Technology is your ally in engaging guests with individualized experiences. Attendee mapping, data capture, radio-frequency identification tracking, and near-field communication connections are must-have tools for collecting, translating, and delivering all the facts needed to create personalized content and interactions.
Try This: Use voice tech, like chatbots, to not only provide real-time answers to questions, but also gather invaluable feedback via surveys, and, even better, one-on-one interactions guests have with the chat screen.