5 Trending Event Themes You’ll Want To Know About
By: Tina Martinez, 360DG’s Vice President, Design & Development
Why have a theme for your next event? Simply put, they’re fun for your guests – and for you! Well-executed event themes can turn your gathering into an experience. They bring an added layer of enjoyment and excitement, allowing attendees to step out of their everyday routines and indulge in something new. Through elements like themed activations and interactive decor, your guests can explore their own creativity while connecting with others. (How would you rather break the ice and bond with other guests – at a corporate, presentation-heavy meeting or a Bridgerton-themed dinner party?)
There are of course the longstanding, traditional themes: a groovy ‘80s night, a glamorous masquerade, and a tropical beach bash, to name a few. However, this year, some new ideas are surging their way into event planning and design. So, if you’re wondering what’s trending, we’ve got you covered. 360DG has years of experience – and just as many success stories – crafting events to remember through so many incredible themes. Read on for our hot take on what’s tried and true, what’s trending, and what’s not.
Trending Event Themes in 2023
The trends for 2023 are focused around two ideas: brand-new themes, as well as a twist on the ones we’ve come to know and love. First, here’s a rundown of what’s trending.
1. MOTHER NATURE
In a world that’s increasingly passionate about the environment, it’s no wonder that we’re looking to Mother Nature for a little inspiration. Today, we’re seeing decor ideas plucked straight from the outdoors. Think: an entire event centered around a particular flower, a soiree that brings flora and fauna indoors, or a dinner that puts a locally grown fruit front and center on the menu (and decor!). At 360DG, we’ve helped put together themes featuring bougainvillea in Palm Springs, oranges in Florida, and olives, lavender, and pixie tangerines in Ojai.
2. VIBRANT JEWELS
This is a popular choice for many awards events and galas. The color palette starts with a neutral-heavy base and glows up with gorgeous, jewel-toned accents. We recently created an event that had emerald and blue accents (glassware, for example, or gemstones as decorations) over focus colors of cream, gold and black. We’re also seeing a lot of requests for deep red. This accent color combination is the perfect way to maintain a consistent look for repeated events throughout the year – while changing things up to match the season or occasion.
3. OUTER SPACE
Beyond earth, more and more events are taking cues from the celestial world, spurred perhaps by our growing interest in outer space (human mission to Mars, anyone?) We’ve been seeing themes that revolve around the sky, space exploration, science, and celestial landscapes. This presents a myriad of opportunities for stunning decor and entertainment like projection mapping, themed ceiling decor, costumed greeters, and strolling atmospheric characters. You can also channel the sky through food and beverage presentations like cloud-themed cotton candy, and smoky, bubbling cocktails.
4. YACHT ROCK
Forget the overplayed nautical theme! The traditional blue-and-white stripes, ropes, and buoys have been replaced with captain’s hats, boat drinks, and killer playlists. An evolution of the old nautical theme, “Yacht Rock” taps into the smooth, soft-rock sounds of the ‘70s and ‘80s, bringing to mind breezy marinas and tranquil seascapes of the West Coast. The theme has been one of the most popular at 360DG – and it’s easy to see why. It’s fun, laid-back, and a reliable crowd-pleaser!
5. HOLLYWOOD ON HOLIDAY
The silver screen never goes out of style, but over the past couple of years, it’s been getting an upgrade. A fresh take on the red-carpet theme, “Hollywood on Holiday” takes guests out of the movie studio and straight to a glam getaway. (Think: a 1920s movie star on a chic beach vacation!) At 360DG, this translated to an event space outfitted with a mix of palm leaves, a palette of golds and black-and-white stripes, and chic cabanas with an Old Hollywood vibe.
How to Level Up Your Event Theme
The theme doesn’t have to begin and end inside the event space. You can continue the vibe with planned activities. Here are a few ideas based on some recent events:
- Getting Outside: For nature-themed events, include activities that allow guests to indulge in the outdoors, like hikes, whitewater rafting, or an option to camp under the stars.
- Something to Take Home: Themed swag, either given as a room drop ahead of time or presented during activities, is a great way to not only tie the event together, but give your guests a thank you at the same time.
- Guest Stars: A celebrity or Olympic athlete with ties to the theme can really raise the excitement level. Think: a renowned tennis star for a sports theme, for example, or an actor who’s starred in a relevant movie.
- Fun Team-Building: Create a scavenger hunt or friendly competition that not only expands the theme, but also encourages team-building.
- Themed Lunch: If you have multiple events happening at the same time, bring them all to a close with a themed lunch at a central location.
Event Themes: What’s Out
Finally, we wanted to take a look at the themes that once had their heyday, but now seem to be taking a back seat to other ideas. While they haven’t disappeared, we’ve definitely seen fewer requests for white parties or “glow” parties. Today, these parties still offer attendees a theme beyond just wearing white. What’s more, beer and wine-themed events don’t seem to be as popular in 2023 as they were in past years.
As we mentioned earlier, traditional event themes that bring no creativity to the table are fading away. Today, old favorites – like disco, Wild West, and more – are gussied up with neon signs, pops of color around the room, out-of-the-box centerpiece decorations, and interactive Instagram-worthy elements. Most importantly, we’re seeing a bigger emphasis on creating unforgettable experiences. Remember: Your themed events are not just memory-makers for your guests – they’re also testimonials for you.
If you’d like a partner in planning your next event, please reach out to us! We’re experts in helping you craft the perfect theme and can guide you every step of the way.