As the world begins to slowly open up again, events are returning to their full extravagant potential, and the event design trends being seen are a telltale sign that the events industry has been changed forever. Most of these trends, which were discussed at NACE Experience 2021, are clearly emerging out of COVID-19, as people are now hyper-aware of health, hygiene, and personal space. People have begun placing a higher value on comfort, space, and accessibility when it comes to the events they attend. Following these trends is not only great for COVID-19 safety concerns, but it will impress clients both new and old, meaning more business and more success! Here’s a look at some of the newest event design trends you’ll be seeing in 2022.
An interesting design trend that has begun to pop up since the beginning of the pandemic is the concept of layered seating. Layered seating is when seating is arranged in sloping tiers so that guests in the back can see over the heads of those in the front. This is seen most commonly in cabaret seating or theater seating, and it places an emphasis on giving your attendees options to be comfortable. This also allows guests to have space between them as the separation of chairs comforts guests, along with having 6-foot tables only seating 2 people adding to the dedication to guest’s space.
Yes, green. While it’s a simple and small touch, the color green is sure to be seen a lot more when it comes to event design trends. Green is the color of wellness and having it at events in decorations, the furniture, tables, etc. is sure to comfort guests. Greenery also adds a sense of “softness” which will also make sure attendees feel safe at events.
As we look to 2022, the constant washing of hands and surfaces won’t be slowing down anytime soon. This constant cleaning will also affect event design trends and manifest itself into designers choosing surfaces that are easy to clean. Making cleaning easy will also ensure seating is arranged to allow for an easy flow of people and crowd avoidance, along with wide walkways that combat guest congestion.
Photo by Justin James Muir
A change will come in the preferences of style trends for event furniture. Jewel tones will be placed in the spotlight along with colors that were popular in the 70’s such as bright green and blue, black and white, yellows, pinks, and purples. Velvet will also be rising in popularity, along with soft, curvy furniture. Again, making guests feel as comfortable and safe as possible is the goal, and nothing is comfier than a soft, velvety, cushy chair!
ADA Accessibility (for disabilities)
While events should always strive to be as accessible as possible for everyone involved, an industry-wide trend will be increasing ADA Accessibility for those with disabilities. This will come in the form of wider walkways, textured fabrics, brighter lighting, accessible table heights, armless seating, and accent tables. There will also be a better eye kept out for rogue wires to minimize tripping hazards, along with ensuring that printed programs are large enough to be ready by everyone, along with implementing QR codes to make materials accessible.
Supply Attainment Issues
The pandemic led to a lot of industries facing shortages in ways that couldn’t have been foreseen, including the events and design industry. Some important things to note when dealing with shortages or supply attainment issues is to use your existing inventory in creative new ways. Plus, you can always rely on your vendor friends and sub rent from them. Getting your clients to do some of the work for you is a great way to free up your time for supply management, along with ensuring that you have a fully scheduled out, day-of schedule with ALL vendors. This will make the setup and teardown process much easier!
COVID-19 has been difficult for everyone in the events industry, however, it’s important to look to the future to see how those involved have adapted to the demands of guests and their safety requests. When setting up your events, it’s important to remember to allow for space and accessibility to accommodate people with different comfort levels and abilities. Accessibility and safety are the highest priority for events in 2022!