After nearly three years of built-up demand—and as people get more comfortable gathering post-pandemic—the events industry is seeing a return to higher headcounts at events. Here are the latest trends we’re seeing as we head into the new year.
Set the tone with tent style
Tents remain a popular rental item. Higher-end tents such as sailcloth are an increasingly sought-after choice. And while sailcloth tents were once more exclusive and harder to access, these days, there is more availability as rental companies have added to their inventory to accommodate demand. People are also gravitating toward larger tents to give guests more of a fresh air feeling.
Sailcloth tents feature sweeping visual lines, high peaks, and timber-style posts and create a softer, more sophisticated look compared to the straight lines and sharp angles of other frame tents.
The semi-translucent fabric of a sailcloth tent is optimal for dramatic interior lighting options at night. Event professionals can use sailcloth tents to create an elegant, translucent glow through the fabric for a “fairytale” look.
If used during the day, a sailcloth tent allows natural daylight in, but unlike a clear top tent, will still provide shade for guests.
Editor’s Note: Find out more about how to incorporate tents here.
Upgrading outdoor events with flooring
Outdoor tents are also seeing an upgrade in flooring. Historically, artificial turf, or nothing at all, was the norm. Now, guests are stepping foot on everything from actual hardwood flooring to luxury vinyl plank, or a variety of plush, colorful carpeting.
Upscale flooring brings the drama and formality of being inside at an outside setting. A planner can use this to sell the vision of luxury and high-end design inside the tent with the bonus of an open-air environment and 360-degree views when looking outward (if using an open-air tent without sidewalls or window sidewalls). It brings together the best of both venue options.
Upping the WOW factor
In addition, people are upping the wow factor of their events, and luxury is the name of the game. For instance, while farmhouse style and linen-less table options remain popular, rental companies are seeing increased requests for designer linens and custom textile choices.
Linens add impact through color, texture, and pattern. This allows the other key components like floral, glassware, and flatware to add depth and dimension, completing the overall look.
Event planners can use linens to achieve the theme or desired mood. Popular combinations include monochromatic neutrals with a pop of color or combining textures, such as sheer linens with a velvet runner.
Planners can also use linens to convert a space. A modern industrial venue can be transformed through table sizes and linen selection to create a warm and welcoming environment.
Stylish seating comfort
Distinctive soft seating arrangements are also soaring in popularity. The events industry is reporting an increase in unique, colorful, functional, and stylish furniture for weddings, galas, corporate events, and meetings. The days of boring seating options are in the past. It’s all about variety, easy elegance, comfort, and the introduction of splashes of color.
Soft seating configurations or lounge seating areas are regularly seen around bars and during cocktail hours. What was once only high-top and standard-height cocktail tables with traditional chairs has been replaced by a mix of seating options, styles, heights, and comfort materials.
Bolder colors that correspond to the event theme are on trend for social settings, while traditional black and brown leather seating options remain staples for corporate events.
Let there be light
And speaking of color, a wide variety of lighting options has become more accessible at events as the use of low voltage, energy efficient, and affordable LED lights have become more prevalent across the rental industry. With almost infinite color combinations and the ability to change the entire theme of the room with one click of a button, LED accent lighting fixtures are in high demand. More extravagant LED chandeliers in tents have also increased in popularity.
Event planners should work closely with a professional AV rental company to incorporate lighting that compliments the theme and colors used for the event. Lighting can be bold and completely change an event space. At the same time, lighting can also be used in a subtle way to enhance a certain décor feature or moment during the event.
The use of lighting isn’t only limited to evening events. Daytime events can feature wash lighting and spot lighting in targeted areas to create highlight areas of interest, traffic flow lines, and movement.
Choosing a façade
Handsome and stylish bar and stage facades are a growing trend. Several styles and configurations add a unique and prestigious flair to any event. Popular options include textured front panels that incorporate intricate designs or traditional wainscoting styles. Event planners can use these facades to turn what historically has not been a focal point of an event into a unique component of the overall décor.
Pop of color
People hosting events are infusing accents of their favorite shades in their linens, furniture, bar and stage facades, flooring, and more. Gorgeous hues and vibrant pops of color are showing up in new ways. Greater variety and rental availability of these items offer more options and opportunities to be creative. Lush darker tones, monochromatic and neutrals combined with a playful pop of vibrant color are all popular choices.