Think back 20 or even 10 years and remember what we all thought the year 2020 would be like. Did we think we’d have self driving cars and robot housekeepers? It seemed so distant!

Yet here we are, with the new year just around the corner. As we reflect on a wonderful 2019 we also can’t help but look to the future. What will 2020 bring? We know that in our world of corporate event planning, remaining on the cutting edge (without going too far beyond it) is essential. At Strategic Event Design, we believe in keeping things timeless while blending in new trends to remain current. If you’re looking to up you event design game, take a look at the event decor trends to keep an eye on in 2020 and beyond.

1. Minimalism: Minimalism is becoming more and more popular. Minimalism means less is more, but doesn’t mean you can just skimp on the event décor altogether and call it good. There’s an art to minimalistic design. It means decluttering, neutralizing color and finding focal points and letting them speak for themselves.

2. Eco friendly: From images of plastic islands in the ocean to plastic straws being banned left and right, these days, people are increasingly aware of how their actions affect the environment. So it will be appealing to your attendees if you provide eco friendly décor that reduces waste and highlights sustainability. When it comes to branding, printed material and even food, there are eco-friendly options galore. Also be sure to seamlessly incorporate recycling stations for the guests.

3. Digital Integration: It wouldn’t be a 2020 event without a digital element. There are a lot of different ways you can implement tech into your event. iPad usage for ticketing and registration is nothing new, but controlling design elements like lighting with just your voice is.

4. Open Concept: Good news for event planners! Open concept buildings are cool and trendy. This means you don’t have to fill up every corner of your venue, only what’s necessary. On the other side of that coin, could this be the end of those unsightly room partitions?

5. Sustainable Greenery: Florals and plants may be a big focal point of typical event décor, but this event décor trend emphasizes sustainable foliage. There are many options for alternatives. If you don’t want to go the route of paper or plastic florals, you can rent real plants from places like Interior Foliage Design. If your event is recurring, keep the same plants alive in your office and re-use them every year.

6. On-point Lighting: Lighting is often overlooked when designing a corporate event. But it doesn’t matter how great your other décor is if your lighting is poor. Manipulating the lighting allows you to create the type of atmosphere you are aiming for. Cooler lights are great for tech events while warmer lights create a cozy, more intimate space. Lighting is also important for photography which is tied to post-event sharing as discussed in #11 below.

7. Home-worthy Furnishings: With the exception of more formal business meetings, comfortable, high-end furnishings are all the rage. Consider folding modern frames, artwork and stylish couches to the mix. If the purpose of your event is for attendees to make connections, they will feel more comfortable doing so in a relaxed environment, something that makes that feel at home.

8. Mix Your Metals: Don’t be scared to mix and match your metal and wood finishes! Combining black matte metal, bronze and light walnut washes gives off an eclectic, vintage feel.

9. Abstract Art: Abstract art is easy to mix and match with your other decor. And it can double as a great conversation starter, too. Go the extra mile and hire a local artist to create something meaningful to your brand or company. This is budget-dependent but certainly would make an impact.

10. Water Features: A water feature works great at an event because not only does it provides a visual focal point, it gives off consistent white noise throughout the event. White noise comes in handy because it prevents an echoing sound, muffles conversations when there are few guests, and camouflages the roar of attendees when there are many. When searching for a venue, consider whether it would be able to accommodate a water feature.

11. “Snap” and “Gram” Worthy Features: It’s a great sign that your event was a success when the attendees share photos of it with their friends on Snapchat, Instagram or other photo-centric social media platforms. For example, create a unique hashtag for the event and display it on napkins, swag and on printed programs or menus. Another idea is to set up a beautiful photo booth where guests can take and share cool photos.

12. Unusual Locations: Just a decade ago, it would not be on trend to host an event in an abandoned warehouse, an unused subway tunnel, a closed down mine or a historic railroad station. But today, these unique and unusual locations can serve as high-end design. The great thing is, they lend themselves to conversation and don’t require many additional décor touches.

13. Letting the Outside In: Similar to an unusual venue, when your location has great windows and use of outdoor space, décor becomes secondary. In short, let Mother Nature do the decorating for you.

Event Décor Trends Gallery

Depending on your budget and event size, you can integrate a few of these modern event décor trends at your next engagement and it will surely be memorable for your guests. If you’re in need of more ideas for pulling off an amazing corporate event, our blog has lots of great resources. We’re always here to chat with you about your next event opportunity. Give us a call at 212-877-4744 or email