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Event Trends of 2017

Though 2017 has just begun, a host of new event trends are already making waves. Modern accents and nature-inspired looks are a clear departure from the vintage themes of 2016, and as interaction with the crowd becomes necessary, events move into uncharted tech territory. From business dinners to holiday bashes, activations to festivals, here are the trends you’re sure to see in 2017.

Decor

Decking out a space with trendy digs can push a party from good to great, and staying ahead of the curve can give an event a much needed edge. The revival of shabby chic has finally gone stale, and 2017 vows to make a change. After the soft colors and reclaimed materials of yesteryear, 2017 is channeling something tougher and darker. Swap out vintage accents for metallic ones and say yes to marble. You don’t need a full slab to make a statement, we promise. Soft pastels dominated the color scene last year, but earthy tones steal the show in 2017. Pantone’s color of the year is a leafy green that lends a freshness to even the stuffiest of spaces. As far as fabric goes, planners may be taking a page from the runway’s look book. Velvet may have already had its style moment, but as an event trend it’s just getting started. Natural materials, earthy tones, and sumptuous fabrics have planners doing a 180 as they dive into 2017.

Food

The way to the heart is through the stomach, and this holds true for event-goers. However, in the new year it may take more than the usual dessert table to leave attendees wide eyed. In 2017, ditch the buffet line for an on-trend—and tasty—food selection. Here in Austin, we’re no strangers to food trucks; in fact we’re famous for them! The wheeled phenomenon has evolved into a trendy event addition, popping up at conferences and festivals alike. As food trucks started their engines across the nation, Austin chefs decided to challenge the status quo. Opting to revamp the trend with innovative fusions and gourmet-style eats, Austin food trucks changed the rules of food—yes, even for events—yet again. The farm to table and sustainable food trend may have roots in former years, but 2017 spells sure success for the movement. As the population becomes ever-conscious of their impact on the environment, the demand for eco-friendly options will continue to grow. Locally grown food sources and restaurants that make pledges to give back are rising in popularity, and planners aren’t off the hook. Going green has never been more delicious.

Tech

While 2017 may not look as futuristic as our favorite 80s films, hi-tech event experiences are continuing to push the boundaries of technology. The need to share is a driving factor for live streaming events, which can be done on numerous social media platforms. Limited to business conferences in the past, live streaming is now one of the most effective ways to reach those who have been previously inaccessible. 2017 will also usher in a new era of virtual reality at events. The end of 2016 proved that VR is here to stay, but the familiar tech could undergo a facelift for a wider reach. Bulky headsets and one-size-fits-all experiences will give way to more interactive and immersive options in the coming months. The future of events is here, no hover boards necessary.