Forecasting the Future: Key Event Design Trends to Dominate in 2024

Forecasting the Future: Key Event Design Trends to Dominate in 2024
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Forecasting the Future: Key Event Design Trends to Dominate in 2024

It’s hard to believe we’re talking about a new year again. It seems like 2023 just started and we were discussing the trends that this year brought. Those trends are growing and shaping the nature of events, and they’ll continue to make an impact. But with the dawn of the new year comes even more exciting trends. 

CORT Events experts recently attended the IMEX trade show, which is the largest trade show in North America for the business events industry and came away with some insights and takeaways for what’s coming in 2024. We’re going to look at these trends, including the use of warm lighting, personalization, biophilic design, and campfire seating, and how these insights align with the trends we will continue to see in 2024.

The Warmth of Lighting in Event Spaces

Stark, harsh fluorescent lighting that looks like it came from an interrogation room is a thing of the past. Instead, warm lighting is a big trend coming down the line in 2024 as event planners mark a shift away from fluorescent to warm light.

“Lighting plays a pivotal role in setting the desired tone and ambiance,” writes Studio46 Media. “By utilizing appropriate lighting techniques, event organizers can create an environment that exudes elegance, sophistication, and credibility. Soft, warm lighting with well-balanced brightness levels can create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, encouraging attendees to engage and participate actively throughout the event.”

Warm lighting creates a more inviting and intimate atmosphere for attendees, and there’s a definite role for both warm lighting and cool lighting. “Warm lighting can help create a cozy, social atmosphere, while cool lighting can help create an atmosphere for focus and concentration,” writes Dr. Sally Augustin at Psychology Today.

Designs featuring warm lighting were everywhere at IMEX, where uplighting, light fixture installations, LED screens in a light-negative space, and adding additional canned lights in the ceilings were shown as ways to enhance warm environments. 

CORT features LED accent lights that work well with drapes to completely transform the lighting — even in spaces with stark bright white lights. Table lamps and floor lamps are great additions to smaller, more intimate spaces to add warm lighting. 

Embracing Greenery and Biophilic Design

One of the most prominent trends at IMEX was biophilic design, which emphasizes the incorporation of natural elements. This trend places a focus on elements like wood grain, natural materials, plants, and organic shapes, and it’s only continuing to grow — pun intended.

“Biophilic design aims to bring outdoor experiences into indoor spaces,” writes Wally Rashid at Woodland Post. “It's more than just adding potted plants; it involves using patterns found in nature, maximizing natural light, incorporating water features, utilizing sustainable materials like wood and stone among others.”

Biophilic design is the outgrowth of the realization that natural elements are beneficial for health. “People have woken up and realized that being surrounded by nature can have a positive impact on their mental and physical health and boost their mood,” says Irish designer Clodagh. 

When it comes to biophilic design, CORT’s catalog has plenty of options for pieces that incorporate natural elements like wood and marble, along with greenery. Greenery is an increasingly popular option for dividing and softening spaces. The Boxwood Hedges and Palm Dividers are great options for defining spaces while bringing natural elements into your design.

Personalization With Drapes, Uplighting, and Details

Customization is another trend that’s growing in popularity in the new year, and it’s easier than ever to personalize an event design. IMEX revealed how event spaces are becoming more detailed and brand-specific, reflecting the unique identity of each host.

Personalizing an event design ensures that the event doesn’t have a “cookie-cutter” look. Incorporating brand colors and even logos can make the event space more memorable and leave a lasting impression. Drapery and lighting can help you enhance the brand aesthetic and create unique and memorable atmospheres. Logo projection and uplighting in corporate colors allow you to make an event your own.

In addition to incorporating branding with drapes and lighting, CORT has an impressive array of customizable products. It’s easier than ever to transform surfaces into whiteboards or add the graphic or logo of your choice to pillows, ottomans, tables, bars, lighting, and more. 

Soft Seating and ‘campfire’ configuration

Another innovative trend that emerged from IMEX is the concept of “campfire” seating arrangements, which involves the use of soft seating in creating informal, intimate spaces for interaction and networking. 

“A popular event design trend emerging now involves seating arrangements,” writes The Event Planner Expo’s Jessica Stewart. “More and more event planners are opting for more unconventional seating charts and arrangements, which are introducing unique guest interactions and vibe.”

In 2024’s events, incorporate smaller-scale soft club chairs for one-on-one appointments as well as lounge spaces for semi-private seating. Think informal and casual rather than stuffy and formal.

“Much like people sitting around a campfire listening to someone tell a story, a campfire session at a conference is an informal way of presenting and discussing topics with meeting attendees,” notes the blog at Event Leadership Institute. “Less structured than a typical breakout session, campfires are designed to allow attendees to easily drop in or out as their schedule and interest level permit.”

Design your soft seating areas made up of accent chairs and ottomans throughout the event space. Areas like this are more intimate than typical lounge areas, and they’re perfect for smaller gatherings and one-on-one conversations. CORT also offers a wide range of soft seating options to fit any design aesthetic, and its 2D and 3D Space Planning Tool is essential to help you configure multiple areas of campfire seating throughout the event space.

Ready To Design an On-trend 2024 Event?

There’s no doubt that 2024 is going to be an exciting year for event planning. Harnessing new ideas like personalization, “campfire” soft seating configuration, warm lighting, and biophilic design will ensure that you’re on trend in the new year.

CORT Events is committed to leading the way in event planning innovation with an extensive catalog of furniture, decor, lighting, and drapery, along with cutting-edge planning tools and creative inspiration galore. When you’re ready to take advantage of the trends that are gaining momentum in event design in 2024, count on CORT.

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