New Rental Items

7 Dazzling Trends in Event Design We’re Watching in 2019

New trends will create loads of opportunities to connect, innovate, and inspire at your next event. Here are the big industry trends you can expect to see this year in 2019.

1. Interactive Experiences

In 2019, we’re seeing a shift to even more interactivity in events: think active over passive, and from static to dynamic.

In a development that’s absolutely shocking to no one who’s ever sat in a boring lecture hall, event planners have discovered that people like doing things. When a guest is kind enough to commit their time to your event, they want to participate in creating an experience. And in 2019, people want this experience even more.

Creating interactive events not only entertains your guests, but it gives you the opportunity to forge long-lasting memories and customer relationships. People remember experiences. And that’s what event attendees (most notably, millennials) want: experiences.

Your event is an opportunity to engage with your customers in real time- forging connections and creating intrinsically valuable experiences and forging real, meaningful connections. That goes farther than any marketing campaign ever can.

2. Digital Integration

Pole Tent Rental LED Lighting with Digital Integration Event Design Trends
Pure lighting with digital integration and purple-tinged atmospheric effects on dance floor.

The term “digital” has long-past become ubiquitous. Digital features are just features. That being said, many private or small business events have been slow to fully utilize the potential of digital integration. Whatever happens at your event, it’s going to be photographed, recorded, and shared. In 2019, as in 2018, we’ll see increased integration of marketing with social media and the tools digital provides us.

On-demand Snapchat Geofilters or augmented reality filters are relatively inexpensive and encourage guests to participate in your event. Photo staging backgrounds for guests to take photos for their personal social media are also popular (and, again, relatively low-cost). Guests want to create their own memories- help them out.

If you’re hosting a wedding, impress your guests by turning that old-school bulletin digital. Apps could feature seating charts, course menus, check-in or digital guestbooks, maps, FAQ, vendor listings, or even social media integration.

Digital event features make it easy to impress, but they also play into the next big trend we’ll see in 2019: custom everything and openness.

3. Social Furniture & Open Spaces

Structure Elegant Wedding Party Furniture Rental Design 2019 Trends

Lounge furniture arranged to create an open, interactive event space.

Creating an interactive event makes your guests feel important, and custom everything plays into this- even down to the atmosphere created by your layout. Features like social furniture, crowd-responsive lighting, and open lounge spaces will be big in 2019. Again, we’re shifting from static to dynamic. It sounds kitschy, but the right furniture and layout design truly create an atmosphere that no playlist, menu, or app ever could. We’ll see a lot more focus on utility, versatility, and guest comfort.

People like the feeling that they have choices and can direct their own experiences. You’d be surprised at the difference the right event layout creates. Speaking of design, not everything is getting a futuristic upgrade.

4. Contrasting Linens and Rich Colors for Retro Vibes

Contrasting Linens and Rich Colors Banquet Table 2019 Trends

While retro’s been a persistent design trend for most of 2018, experts predict that throwback-inspired decor is not over- yet. Instead, designers will use its classic appeal to create new takes on modern design.

“Retro is art nouveau, it’s art deco, it’s minimalist, it’s hippie chic, it’s Hollywood glam—it’s everything,” says L.A.-based design marketer Michael Zimmerman. “I think the retro vibe is going to carry over.”1

This could mean new takes on how we think of retro, with 70s and 80s styles not disappearing, but adopting a new retro look that’s both trendy and reminiscent of what your grandparents would call “the finer times.”

Think texture, contrast, and sharp lines. “Rich velvets and suedes,” event manager Kristen Rollins says, “ [patterns] sometimes reminiscent of your grandmother’s house–will continue to be a popular fabric for linens and lounges, as they provide texture and a pop of color to any look.”

5. Mid-century Modern Rental Furniture

Lighting Under Clear Frame Tent Rental 2019 Trends
Colorful lighting under frame tent rental with integrated shadow effects and added visuals.

Speaking of retro chic, rental furniture will roll back the clock even further with mid-century, 1950s-era style furniture pieces making a comeback at events.

“Mid-century styling is emerging as the go-to for rental furniture… and seating… favoring clean lines, bold colors and a lower profile,” predicts Minnesota-based design strategist Sheree Bochenek3

Since most major events rely heavily on rentals, these specialty pieces such as traditional-modern table rentals and lounge decor could see the industry play a vital role in the age of Instagram (and no, we’re not just saying that).

6. Crowd-Responsive Lighting

Creative use of lighting is one of the event designers’ oldest tricks. In 2019, you’ll see even more audience-focused event lighting uses. Creating areas with crowd-responsive LED lights, whether you choose a dance floor or a gazebo, can ignite the senses of your guests and go a long way in delivering a memorable experience. While crowd-responsive lighting was once a feature reserved only for art displays and large concerts, we’re seeing more and more use of it at events from conferences to wedding receptions. Responsive lighting coupled with the right layout creates an atmosphere that’s not only invigorating to the senses but virtually impossible to forget.

7. Sustainable Thinking and Social Consciousness

Elegant Sustainable Design in Pole Tent with Leaves and String Lights 2019 Trends
Elegant tablescape decor event design with pole tent by Peerless Events & Tents.

Yes, going green was already a popular vibe. But ethically-sourced goods, locally grown foods, and cruelty-free or environmentally low-impact status will continue to be a symbol of quality, class, and, well- being a decent human being. The eco-conscious 2018 Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who requested donations to favorite nonprofits in lieu of wedding gifts, set the tone for a new wave in high-profile social responsibility.

With consumers becoming consistently savvy and businesses more accountable, sustainability is definitely on companies’ radar. As Michelle Oliver of Mars Corporation recently said at last year’s Cannes Lions panel, “It is just business common sense for a company to want to be here on a sustainable planet, in a sustainable way.”

4 Additionally, tying sustainability into your event makes your guests feel like they’re part of something positive. We all know that party rental items are one of the most sustainable things you can add to your event. And at an event, you have everyone’s focus and attention: why not use it do good whenever you can

Need help planning your next event?

Peerless Events and Tents will help you bring your design dreams to life. Contact one of our helpful representatives, or browse our online party rental inventory to start planning your next event today.

  1. Michael Zimmerman of Bright Event Rentals in Special Events Magazine, Winter 2019.
  2. Kristen Rollins of Peak Event Services in Special Events Magazine.
  3. Sheree Bochenek, “Event Decor,” Apres Blog.
  4. Michelle Oliver of Mars Corporation, Ad Age, 2017.