4 Trends Shaping Event Design for 2016

4 Trends Shaping Event Design for 2016

Events of all shapes, sizes and types are changing on a daily basis from the look and feel of the décor to attendee engagement. Event planners work hard to stay on top of trends in the events space, because attendees always want something new, exciting and unique when it comes to the experience of any event. Event design in itself can make or break an event – leaving attendees happy or wanting more.

Event design is a big area where planners can explore lots of ideas from one event to the next to keep attendees happy and on their toes. Event design continues to change year after year, with some ideas coming across as amazing, and others as a wash. Below are a few top trends in event design you can implement into your planning for 2016. Test out a few that look like they will work for your event, or tweak an idea to mould to what you’re trying to accomplish for your event. Design will definitely make a big impact on your attendees if done correctly.


Start With the BIG Picture!


For a long time, most conferences have been held at hotels or “conference center” type locations. New trends in event design have leaned towards selecting unique venues to capture the event theme, and keep attendees intrigued. A few examples of new venue types are concert halls, art galleries, or smaller boutique hotels that have a fun, and intimate atmosphere.

It helps to explore cool venue locations during the event planning process. Most planners will find that they receive great feedback when an event is not in a boring ballroom, but instead in an outdoor space, or fun environment. It can become a boring routine for those who attend events throughout the year, and have to sit in a dull conference room. Having art around you, or a cool space to network in throughout the day is vital to keeping attendees attention spans on point. Be sure to mention this option to your team when planning your event design themes for next year!

The More Creativity You Use, the More You Have


Be sure to think through your event design style during the planning process as well. The design style reaches all areas of an event, from the chairs and set up of the room to the trends in food, beverages, and networking events you have. What style matches your event theme? Maybe you’re going for a “lounge” theme. If so, you could create an atmosphere using comfortable seating. You can bring in lounge chairs and couches to set up comfortable areas for attendees to hang out, or network in. You can also get creative with your food and beverage stations. Fun names for food stations are a great idea, and for a lounge theme you could incorporate a “dive bar” look for your drinks and bartenders!

Step Up Your Tech Game


Another nice touch to add to your design style could be advanced technology. Just like the iPad ordering options at restaurants today, you could potentially use iPads for your event attendees to order their food options at events! This would be an amazing touch point to include in your plan to make attendees super happy.

Another great idea for tech-savvy audiences is using cool festival-like lighting options. Research lighting and design companies when planning your event, and review your theme with them in order to come up with a fun look and feel. If you haven’t noticed, all music festivals, concerts and citywide events incorporate an overall theme with fun lighting, cool giveaways, and a great atmosphere – all cool ideas you can use for conferences! You can never go wrong with a consistent theme – it will keep your event attendees excited for what’s to come year after year!

Effects are Everything


As event attendees become more and more tech-savvy, planners will need to go the extra mile to keep engagement going. “Pushing boundaries” is a great mantra to keep in mind when planning any event. A few ideas that push boundaries in event design are the use of AV effects and lighting. Why pay for event entertainment to fly across the country to you, when you can set up holograms and have multiple acts perform for your attendees? Trends like these are already taking place, and make a huge impact. By streaming live acts to events, you’re saving a ton of money in the long run on travel, and time for entertainers. You can reach a global audience by going this route as well!

In Conclusion

Event design is a cool area to think through with your team in order to create a fun experience for attendees. If done correctly, your event designs will be buzzing online in no time, and become a staple for trend followers to use moving forward. These are just a few ways design can be executed in a new way, but there are so many more ideas out there for you and your team to brainstorm on!

About The Author
Holly Barker
Holly Barker is a Digital Native with a passion to help shape events and brands through storytelling, creativity and digital magic. She has over 10 years of experience consisting of social media marketing, events and promotional management, digital marketing, and brand development. Follow Holly at @holsk.
Julius Solaris
Editor, Julius Solaris

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