Traditionally, corporate events have been held in large cities, attracting attendees with the allure of vibrant urban settings. However, in 2023, rising travel costs due to inflation and labor shortages are making it more challenging to plan events in major cities. As a result, event planners are seeking alternatives by organizing smaller events at the regional level or in locations that require less travel for attendees. But how can you capture the excitement of a big-city event in a smaller city or town?
In this article, we'll explore some tips on how to bring a big city feeling to smaller, regional events.
Incorporate Exposed and Raw Materials
One effective way to establish the feeling of urban living is by incorporating exposed and raw materials into your event design. Materials such as concrete, metal, and exposed brick can help achieve this aesthetic.
“Using metals is essential — steel and iron were very common in the Industrial Age where this look first developed,” notes the SohoConcept blog. “This can also be contrasted with wood or some bright colors. Unpolished and unfinished areas are also common in many urban lofts. Keeping concrete or steel columns untouched, leaving ductwork visible, and using cables, cinder blocks, bolts, and nails as decor are all great ways to make your space appear unfinished.”
Even if your event space doesn't have exposed brick or pipes, you can still bring in these elements to create the desired atmosphere. CORT Events offers a Clear Divider Wall Set, which is a freestanding clear acrylic divider featuring a metal frame, base plates, and connectors to link together and create custom walls. By applying a brick-patterned design on the dividers, you can evoke the feeling of exposed brick. Additionally, furniture items like the Regis Bench/Table or Rustique Metal Square Bar Table, with their metal elements, and the Atherton Chair or Lena Chair, which offer modern leather seating with metal accents, can further enhance the industrial ambiance.
Use Modern Furniture
Although the industrial look originated in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it is often associated with modern style due to its urban sophistication. Industrial designs are typically unpolished, edgy, unfinished, minimalist, and utilitarian, which aligns with modern design principles. Large-scale furniture with low profiles and strong, clear lines is characteristic of both industrial and modern styles.
"Incorporating comfortable, lounge-like group vignettes with design details such as gleaming metals - Twist Side Table or Geo Cocktail Table - and lux, rich fabrics - Low back Emerald Ottomans grouped together - attendees can focus in on a central activation or stage set, " shared Stephanie Byrd, CORT Events Associate Marketing Manager. "As an added bonus, guests are in the perfect cluster to comment and start an energetic dialogue in their vignette. While VIP seating rows of the plush, oversized Sterling Accent Chair look impressive in a ballroom, the energy is often tapered amongst attendees when the room is arranged this way. To foster a 'city feel', groups must feel as though they are part of not only the entire experience, but that they have an additional, personal connection to the event as well."
Another way to bridge the gap between industrial and modern, opt for neutral furniture pieces with metal frames. For example, the Endless Low Back Sectional with Arms, featuring a sleek design, neutral colors, and chrome legs, combines both styles effectively. The Munich Sofa with Arms, sporting a gray fabric and black base, and the Naples Chair, a vinyl black chair with a silver base, can achieve a similar effect. Complementing these furniture options, the Atomic Round Table, with its glass top and chrome metal base, serves as a versatile addition to the industrial-modern theme.
Select Bold Lighting
Lighting plays a crucial role in setting the ambiance of any space, and it can make a remarkable difference in creating an urban atmosphere. Incorporating industrial-style lighting, such as hanging pendant lights, spotlights, and raw bulbs, can add a dramatic effect. The prominent use of basic light bulbs, especially Edison-style bulbs, is characteristic of industrial design. Consider adding floor lamps, table lamps, and pendant lights to your event space. The special detail of an open-scale cage that showcases the bulb's cool look can further enhance the industrial vibe. CORT offers various lighting options to achieve this style, including the Movie Lamp, a bronze plastic LED lamp that resembles exposed metal, and the Delano Floor Lamp and Delano Table Lamp, which are modern industrial black metal lamps.
Stick With Neutral Colors
Neutral colors are essential in sophisticated urban design. Bold, bright colors that might work well in other design themes aren’t effective in a modern industrial style.
“In industrial style, as [in] contemporary style, always keep your colors neutral,” LinesHub points out. “Mainly you’ll be dealing with shades of grey, brown, black, and white. If you want to go bold in certain spaces, then brick red, burnt orange, and dark green would be a good choice.”
Some of the furniture suggestions we mentioned earlier like the Munich Sofa with Arms and Naples Chair are neutral options that are perfect for an industrial style design. Be sure to stick with neutral-colored accessories and accessories without a lot of patterns. Solid White Pillows fit the bill, and you can add solid bronze Planter Pots if you want to include a little greenery.
Bringing a Big City Vibe to Your Regional Event with CORT Events
Are you struggling to bring a big city feel to your smaller, regional event due to travel costs and other constraints? Don't worry, you can still create an industrial design aesthetic that will transport your attendees to an urban environment.
Incorporating raw and exposed materials, modern furniture, bold lighting, and neutral colors can help bring the big city vibe to your small town event space. By designing your event area to reflect the industrial style, you can create a unique atmosphere that will leave a lasting impression on your guests.
But how can you execute this vision? Look no further than CORT Events. With their extensive rental options and planning tools, you can easily bring your industrial, urban event design to life. Plus, their team of experts can provide guidance and support to ensure your specific needs are met.
So don't let travel costs and logistics hold you back from creating an unforgettable event. Partner with CORT Events and bring the big city to your small town.