Event Lighting and Décor Trends to Monitor in 2020


The special events industry is always changing, but one thing remains the same: Clients drive demand for what they consider trendy at the moment and, as event professionals, we must be prepared to meet those expectations. Will those trends go out of style at some point? Most likely. We’ve seen as much with rustic chic and all things nautical. Even Gatsby had his moment.

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Yet, the events industry runs on trends and, in order to give clients what they want, we need to stay on top of them. Here’s a look at what you can expect in the way of event lighting and décor in the year to come.

Industrial Inspo

We’ve seen the rise of industrial décor in recent years and, in 2020, it’s taking over the (gilded) spotlight as we see mixed metals, exposed brick, and raw wood filling up Pinterest boards as far as the eye can see. This aesthetic seamlessly blends the cold and harsh lines of metal features with soft, welcoming lighting for a breathtaking juxtaposition of elements. Think of a geometric-inspired copper chandelier with a warm Edison bulb inside or, similarly, a strand of twinkling bistro lights dressing up a backdrop of distressed paint. 

A toast to throwbacks

Nostalgia is all the rage at the moment and we’re seeing a lot of 90s-inspired elements in the special events space. If you’re in tune with the fashion world, this may not come as a surprise as the bold patterns and neon colors of most millennials’ childhoods already hit the runway. Sure, we may not see the teased hairstyles and puffy sleeves of days past, but expect lots of bright colors and sentimental details from yesteryear. So, it might be worth updating your playlists, collecting old cassette tapes, and DIYing some paper fortune tellers — just in case.

Remote technology

In a world where most things can be done with the press of a button, the growth of remote technology has made its way into the special events industry. It’s not new, per se — we’ve been able to remotely turn lights on and off for a while now. But, now, technology has advanced to allow more precision and control over lighting, whether you need to time a specific pin light for a toast or adjust the color of uplighting as the sunsets.

Digital video mapping

For years, gobo washes were must-haves at events. They projected stationary, still-frame patterns on walls, ceilings, dance floors — you name it. Then, video mapping became more accessible and, suddenly, it replaced gobo washes as the go-to lighting design element. With video mapping, you can project moving patterns and animated graphics on anything from a tiered cake to a sweetheart table. If you’ve ever been to Disney World, you’ve likely seen a grander version of this. Today, this technology is more affordable than ever before, making it a top choice for lighting design in the events industry.

Knowing the top trends is one thing, but the question you have to ask yourself is how you will use them to your advantage. Get creative and consider how you can put your own spin on these trends and more to provide your clients with what they want but in a unique and innovative fashion. 

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current international president for WIPA.





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