In the kaleidoscope of event trends, 2024 is the year of “intentions.” With nostalgia-driven design and sustainable solutions, clients and guests alike are looking for the meaning behind the events they host and attend. Welcome to the year where events don’t just happen; they unfold as stories, leaving lasting impressions on attendees.
The Theme is…
In 2023, Barbie reigned supreme. From neon nights to disco soirees – we were all Barbie girls living in a Barbie world. However, her force will be reckoned in 2024 with the release of a barrage of reboots and sequels. From Mad Max to Planet of the Apes, Twisters to Beetlejuice – the film industry continues tapping into Millennial nostalgia, and event design will follow. But, don’t think pink is going anywhere… Mean Girls (the movie, based on the musical, based on the movie) is coming in hot in 2024 design.
Sustainability is Essential
Sustainability is an important aspect of any industry, and the hospitality sector is no exception. From LEED-certified venues to farm-to-table catering, our clients are asking for sustainable options in all aspects of planning. Here are some of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to implement sustainability during your events:
- Venue & Hotel Selection: When sourcing your hotel, cut costs and carbon emissions by making sure there are plenty of venues, restaurants and cafes within walking distance. If your location is locked in, just ask your planner to source venues that implement sustainability in their everyday practices.
- Catering: This is an oldie, but a goodie: opt for ceramic dinnerware and glassware, instead of single-use plastics. Mixing vintage china patterns gives a funky, upscale vibe.
- Decor: If the venue doesn’t provide basic rentals, linenless tables may reduce water waste while providing a change of scenery.
- Design: LED centerpieces can be a great accent or replacement for single-use floral. Think futuristic neon strip lights or a modern lamp for a more formal aesthetic.
- Fight Waste: One event’s surplus is another food bank’s treasure. Your edible leftovers can help feed the local community.
- Giveback: Take a page from Hosts Global… we plant trees to offset carbon emissions!
Ultimately, sustainability is not just a buzzword or a trend – it is a critical component of our collective future. By implementing these practices, you can make a significant impact on the environment and meet the growing demand for sustainability in the industry.
Inclusivity by Design
As more employees are seeking companies that reflect their personal values, we as planners are doing the same with our events. Attendees are searching for ways to connect and belong; however, it is not sufficient to simply check off a list of requirements to make an event “mostly” accessible. We must establish a welcoming and inclusive environment for individuals from all walks of life and abilities.
In the early stages of planning, we are considering attendees’ unique needs and strive to create a space that embraces diversity. If planners are looking to provide a space for neurodiversity within their events, they may consider offering quiet zones or activities to help accommodate sensory overload. With more attendees combining work travel with family vacations, it may be worth offering experiences that are kid friendly. Wellness will be top of mind for many travelers, so offering options that meet their physical and mental care needs will be important.
On trend with self-care, attendees 25-45 are more “sober-curious” than ever. They are now searching for the non-alcoholic route when kicking back and relaxing. Think kombucha bars, mocktail stations or specialty coffee carts for a caffeine boost to keep the party going.
Create a Lasting Impression
As costs continue to escalate, we’re seeking innovative ways to provide exceptional programs that won’t strain our clients’ budgets. Taking cues from Gen Z, we encourage shifting from conventional souvenirs to investments in meaningful experiences. In an era dominated by social media, guests crave shareable moments. By opting for boutique experiences over mundane throwaways, we craft memories that endure, striking the perfect equilibrium between quality and budget.
Originally from Texas, Cat began her hospitality journey in New Orleans as a bar manager and events coordinator for a Southern art museum. She seamlessly juggled bartending duties and managing NBA All-Stars on the same exhilarating nights, marking the beginning of her enduring venture into the events industry.
Cat first joined Hosts Global as a Creative Services Manager in 2017, where she delved into sales, operations, and proposal writing, but discovered her true passion lies in crafting unconventional programs featuring distinctive decor (think a colossal Dr. Pepper water tower) and unexpected entertainment (like Big Freedia teaching tech experts how to bounce).
Returning to Hosts Global in April 2022, Cat assumes the role of Associate Director of Creative Strategy and Event Design. Armed with experience in graphic design, event production, sales, and copy writing, she helps in leading her team to success, while designing events across the US. You might spot her mostly in New Orleans, her heart beats for Texas and Nashville events, a nod to her country roots.
Cat is a firm believer that you can get anything done with a little E6000 glue and a pot of coffee. (You should see her costume closet!) When not envisioning the next big event, you’ll likely find Cat at a local festival, enjoying precious moments with her family.