As the end of the year draws closer, we get excited about what’s trending for the next. The event industry experiences a shift in styling and trends from year to year.  And as a global community, we’re more aware of the footprint we’re leaving.  And the experiences we’re giving our guests. Here’s our take on three trends we see taking a foothold in the event industry next year.

Sustainability from End-to-End

Event bar serving reusable cups

Thankfully, the days of printed tickets and massive waste are changing.  It’s a slow wheel to turn, but there’s no doubt that event attendees are expecting more in terms of the event’s impact on the environment.

As global citizens, part of what makes a stand-out event is thoughtful planning into the whole attendee experience. Electronic ticketing is now the norm and waste sorting stations (general, recyclable and compostable) are more readily available.

We’re expecting to see more adoption of re-usable serving ware (glasses, plates, cutlery), or recyclable and biodegradable options.  And hydration stations for attendees to fill their BYO water bottles.

Event communications encouraging people to take public transport will continue to be common practice.

And multi-use ideas, such as the event program and promotional messages placed on event lanyards, cutting down on unnecessary printed material.

Recycled and Casual Furniture

Use of natural, recycled materials are on the rise. Our pallet furniture and industrial furniture range were in high demand this year and we see this continuing.  From corporate or community events, bar/bat mitzvahs to weddings, recycled furniture such as pallet furniture, cable drums and milk crates were used as furniture hire alternatives.

“Not only do they look great, they’re very functional and work in a range of settings”, says Kay from Chillizone. “Our industrial furniture creates a very different look and it’s great for events planners wanting something new.”

Add in deck chairs and bean bags, a move to more casual settings is also popular. “We’re seeing a real shift from the formal white leather or linen look, to a mix of colour, natural and relaxed settings”, adds Kay.

Bat Mitzvah celebration in Melbourne
recycled and pallet furniture
Wedding reception in Melbourne

Adding Experiences to Event design

Millennials (Gen Y, born 1980-1995) and Gen Z (born 1996-2015) prefer experiences over material things (Eventbrite). For attendees to get the most out of an event, adding experiences definitely makes an event more memorable and improves audience engagement.

 According to Eventbrite, the most popular types of Australian events in 2019 were based around experiences.  Some fun facts:

Graphic showing popular events by city
Source: Instagram post 21 Aug 2019
  • Sydney had over 1600 yoga events and enjoyed events celebrating gin
  • Melbourne loved whiskey and wine events
  • Brisbane was all about the cheese

Immersive experiences are on the rise – think art installations that attendees walk through, such as The Rain Room that opened in Melbourne in 2019.  Food and beverage are also an experience, with food/wine/spirit themed events, like wine & cheese festivals, gin festivals etc.

Event photography made a breakthrough in 2019, with personal photo galleries now being delivered straight to an attendee’s phone.  Australian tech company Elementice released WalkerKam, a new solution for photographers to give immediate delivery of their images to a person’s photo gallery. They won ‘Best Technical Achievement or Innovation’ at the Australian Event Awards in 2019. (See full article here.)

The reaction of attendees here, demonstrates the heightened engagement this brings:

We experienced it recently at an event and not only is it a great talking point, attendees get immediate access to all of the event images.

But don’t forget about experiences that have been around for a long while, such as photo booths. The experience doesn’t have be a new one.  It’s all about knowing your audience and designing an event for best audience engagement. Through a greater focus on experiences, we believe event design will be factoring in a range of ideas, from old to new.

Photo booth with Elementice technology
Photo courtesy of Elementice

Browse our Event Suppliers for ideas on how to bring experiences to your event.

So there you have it – our take on 3 trends we see taking shape for next year.

Hiring furniture for your next event you can bring the atmosphere and style to a whole new level. To see how Chillizone can bring your next event to life, check out our event furniture hire page or call us on 1300 88 48 06