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2017’s need-to-know event trends

When creating an event experience, you want it to be unforgettable, unique and an experience worth sharing with your friends. But in order for this to happen, you have to get your special event to stand out from the norm. And one of the best ways to do that is to discover current trends that will make your event absolutely extraordinary.

This can be challenging since the event industry is in a constant state of evolution and as such, pioneering strategies and concepts that are as successful as they are original is no easy task. So to help you on your journey to host an extraordinary event, we’ve compiled a list of the event trends that are taking the industry by storm in 2017.

Décor trends

Organic and earthy designs

We’re seeing a shift towards using earthy colours and mixed materials in furniture. Major event planners are adding more eclecticism into ever popular Mid-century and Danish modern-inspired designs in order to build comfortable, organic environments. Rich fabrics, textures, unusual shapes and mixed materials are also making an emphasised appearance.


Functional elements (e.g. phone-charging tables and powered seating) helps with changing expectations set by the millennial generation and also facilitates networking and engagement.

Eclectic modern designs

This year, you’ll see a good mix of wood, marble, metallic finishes, lush fabrics and greenery at the bigger events in the industry.

“The look of the season is marble surfaces.” – Jordan Carbotti.

Activation trends

Live video

2017 is all about what’s happening NOW! Facebook Live, Snapchat Live and Instagram Live Stories will connect large audiences to live events with additional ways of allowing them to remotely engage and interact.

Influencers as co-creators and advisors for brands

“Digital celebrities” will begin to work closer with brands to co-develop products and services that they’ll, in turn, help promote.


Stage-to-audience digital interaction has slowly started to emerge and is set to take off in 2017.

Augmented reality technology such as Blippar blends augmented reality and real life, as developers can create images within applications that blend in with real world content.

We’ve also seen a surge in silent events, as well as more experiential elements and gamification at events. And don’t spend anything on 3d glasses for you guests – they won’t need them for today’s 3D visuals.

Food trends

Food is becoming part of the event experience as taste and technology merge with Sublimotion or a projected plate, creating an unforgettable 3D dinner experience.

Other 2017 food trends cater for Generation Z, the exponentially more health conscious, and thus we will see resurgence in vegetarian, vegan and Banting cuisine.

We’ll see hero vegetables such as purple cauliflower, leeks, onions and aubergine replacing carb elements in many dishes.

Marbling in desserts like meringues, wedding cakes, macarons, doughnuts will be very prominent. And when it comes to colouring for food, you will never guess the colour that’s come back in fashion. That’s right: we’re going back to Black – food charred over hot coals, black rice, squid ink, black brioche and even activated charcoal drinks. You’ll also see guests at this year’s events finishing their plates. Literally! Edible plates and cutlery are becoming increasingly more popular.


Beverages are taking a refreshing turn for the better. Modern events will include these items on their drinks menu:

  • Spiced drinks (ginger/turmeric)
  • Non- alcoholic cocktails
  • Alternative drinks (orange wine) and unique variations
  • Dry ice in drinks
  • Theatrical drinks
  • Tastings
  • Beer craft events

Colour of the year – Pantone 2017

The official Colour of the Year, each year, is having an increasing influence on global design, fashion and décor trends – and the events industry is taking heed.

“Greenery” is 2017s Pantone Colour of the Year and you can see the colour influencing this year’s event trends. Click here to read an article about the colour of the year and how it influences trends.

We end with a quote from our Head of Events, Debbie Nortje:

“This year I am all about Mastery and mastering my comprehensive knowledge and skill in this industry.

The more aware of your intentions and your experiences you become, the more you will be able to connect the two, and the more you will be able to create the experiences on trend and innovate beyond client expectations. This is the development of mastery. It is the creation of our own authentic creative power.”