The Biggest Event Trends for 2022
Can you feel life gathering momentum again? The social invites and work requests are flying into my inboxes thick and fast at the moment! All confirming that events are truly back on the agenda. Hoorah. (Is anyone else’s calendar feeling FULL at the moment?!).
As brands and organisations get busy with planning this year’s calendar of events, it seems a good moment to share what we see as this year’s trends.
Whether you are planning a marketing event, a networking event, a work get-together or a team celebration, we hope our thoughts will give you some useful things to think about, and help you organise your special occasions.
Bigger doesn’t mean better
Demand is growing for smaller corporate events which feel more personal and tailored, with authentic opportunities for people to connect face-to-face.
Lots of brands and organisations are wanting more intimate occasions, which can be adapted to people’s needs, making their guests feel more comfortable and cared for.
Smaller events also enable guests to connect more easily, therefore enabling more meaningful connections and memories to be made.
Sustainability is key - an increased demand for eco-friendly events
By far, this is the biggest – and certainly most important - trend in events at the moment, as so many of us look for ways to improve our ecological footprint.
The events industry has traditionally been a big culprit of unsutainable and wasteful practices but there’s a growing movement in the industry, with more and more of us who are passionate and determined to create occasions that feel no less special, but come at less of a cost to the Earth.
We’re seeing many clients and suppliers getting serious about sustainability, and as audiences get more savvy on the issue, demand is growing for events that go beyond greenwashing, and instead make real sustainable commitments.
As sustainability rises higher up the agenda, it’s now a question of ‘how’ you’re incorporating this into your event, rather than this being a ‘nice-to-have’ element on your wish list.
Using a stylist with a commitment to sustainability can make a huge impact, and can really help you meet your aims in this area. Showing care to respect and protect our magnificent planet runs through everything I do at Wonderlands. As so much of my work is inspired by the earthly beauty I see around me, a passion for creating more sustainable events is really woven into our core values.
When it comes to sustainable events, following the guidelines ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ can take you a long way. Choose a stylist that has lots of items in stock and which are constantly being re-used in different ways. This reduces the number of new things that need to be purchased and dramatically reduces the footprint of your event.
I have a huge treasure trove of decor and hire items which you have full access to, when working with me. When planning an event, I get creative in ways to use what already exists in ways which fit the brief and have a stunning visual impact. I repurpose areas, items, and materials.
And in order to ‘reuse’ and ‘recycle’ items from the event, you can also work to create a circular economy around your event. Choose items that can be reused afterwards, and gift them to local community organsations, schools or care homes. This also adds social value to your event and is even something your brand can talk about in your social impact report.
Other things you can do to reduce the impact of your event include choosing venues with environmental policies, choosing caterers who source sustainably or locally and donating leftover food to local charities.
To help you plan an event or wedding with a smaller ecological footprint, I wrote an article full of more advice and tips.
Slow down / chill out
We’ve all had a lot ot deal with over the past two years and in a post-pandemic era many of us are more acutely aware of our (and others’) wellness needs (that’s one good thing to come from it all, at least).
There’s more acknowledgement of overwhelm and our need to slow down the hectic pace many of us have been living. Our need for quiet time and space is more accepted, and that need to “take a moment” is also very relevant at events.
Comfortable, warm, and uncluttered spaces are becoming a real event trend in a post-pandemic era, with audiences now more wellness-focused and embracing more mindfulness practices. And this trend is set to stay for now. We expect to see even more in the world of event design that aims to create tranquillity, wellness and peace.
When planning your event, don’t underestimate the power of a comfortable and tranquil space to help your guests feel nourished! Create a quiet area for guests that’s less intense and noisy, and/or a peaceful outdoor area to get some fresh air and nature time... somewhere to combat any rising overwhelm or fatigue or social anxiety.
Neutrals with the right pop of colour
This desire for calm, comfort and wellness that we’re seeing, also extends to other design principles too.
One of the most popular colour palettes at the moment is neutrals with pops of green, which aims to replicate the calming feel of nature and speaks to a call for a more simplistic, minimalistic, ‘less-is-more’ lifestyle.
Embracing earthy, nature-based tones and textures, this décor trend includes terracotta pots, dried grasses, driftwood and linen napkins to sit alongside soft, warm, sandy and honeyed colours. I spoke more about this in my article - 2022 wedding trends - my top 8 predictions.
Bright, optimistic colours
Alongside the trend for calming neutrals and natural tones, we’re also seeing a desire coming through for bright and bold splashes of colour, with these being weaved through event stying, especially in florals and other arrangements.
This reflects the shift towards growing optimism as we move out of the pandemic, and the need to have this optimism and empowerment mirrored and expressed around us, as encouragement and inspiration.
Flowers are always a powerful medium to spread joy, and we’re seeing more events using bright, cheerful, colourful florals to spread positivity amongst their guests. Along with florals, these optimistic colours can also be expressed throughout your event, using colourful glasses candles, and ribbons.
With the desire to create more meaningful, impactful and memorable events, we’re seeing more demand for unusual venues, for example rooftops, barns, greenhouses, gardens, museums and galleries.
As well as making your event unforgettable, thinking outside the box when it comes to your event venue can also create other advantages. By choosing an exciting and visually appealing venue, attendees are more likely to post images of the event on social media and tell others about it.