image courtesy of: OA Experiential | production & logistics OA Experiential: OA Experiential
The Best of | Corporate Events

11 Corporate Event Trends for Memorable Branding & Experiences in 2020

Companies host celebrations to engage employees, consumers, and stakeholders of all kinds — to create positive experiences and, therefore, positive brand associations. More and more, brands are relying on events for experiential marketing experiences. At PartySlate, we reviewed more than 7,000 celebrations from across the world last year alone, and we’ve identified 11 corporate trends for 2020 that will leave a lasting impression.

Interactive Technology Engages Guests

interactive event with glowing purple lighting
photo courtesy of BlackOak Technical Productions

Trivia Keeps Guests Guessing

Interactive trivia writ large entertained partygoers at this vibrant corporate event. Technology made it easy for guests to compete in trivia and interact, as well as have fun in photo spots with a handy photo print bar.

design, décor, floral: Kehoe Designs | technical productions: BlackOak Technical Productions | venue: Wisconsin Center | plantscapes: Floral Exhibits

Decades Theming for This New Decade

great gatsby themed event with clawfoot tub
photographer: Natural Expressions Photography

The 20s Are Back — Back Again

The Great Gatsby has been inspiring partygoers for a century but the trend is at a peak this year as we again enter the 20s. This speakeasy-themed corporate holiday party utilized a clawfoot bathtub and wooden barrels to evoke the prohibition era, along with costumed staff and luxe red lighting. We also love the creativity at this 1950s-themed corporate celebration.

event planner: Cerbelli Creative | décor: A Creative Touch | photographer: Natural Expressions Photography | venue: Hudson Mercantile | caterer: Elegant Affairs Caterers | lighting: Bentley Meeker Lighting & Staging, Inc. | dj: Classic Event Productions

Corporate Give-Back Activities Feel Good & Create Cohesion

hulu employee giveback packing boxes at food bank
photographer: Scott Ball Photography

Hulu Employees Pack Emergency Kits

Hulupalooza, a national weeklong volunteer initiative, sees Hulu employees working in their communities, like this event at the San Antonio Food Bank. A friendly competition had teams compete to to build the most emergency boxes filled with staple food items. We also appreciate the give-back opportunities we’ve seen with other employee events for different companies, like maintaining NYC’s Governor’s Island and packing school backpacks with necessities.

event planner: Gravel Experiential | photographer: Scott Ball Photography | venue: San Antonio Food Bank | caterer: Catalyst Catering

Formal Sit-Down Dinners Make a Comeback — with a Design Twist

benjamin moore dinner with creative table runner
photographer: Benjamin Moore

Décor That Reinforces the Brand

Cocktail parties are wonderful for quick conversations, but more formal sit-down dinners are becoming popular again for their opportunity to really connect guests. A greater attention is being paid to chic, branded décor. We adore how this Benjamin Moore dinner party unveiled a new color line with a paint chip-inspired table runner. Check out this Instagram dinner to see how the floral design evoked the brand and how BBJ Linen used a creative place card wall to showcase samples.

venue: West Edge | caterer: Creative Edge Parties | photographer: Benjamin Moore | production: Sharp Communications

Oversized Product Installations Draw Attention

oversized keihl's bottle party installation
photographer: Union West

Keihl’s Makes a Big Skincare Statement

This event celebrating Keihl’s calendula-infused products features the line’s orange hue and cheekily-named stations like the “CalenduLAB.” But we especially adore this oversized bottle spilling marigolds. See more photos to get a peek inside the giant bottle. We also appreciate how guests can enter this giant LaMer jar at the Sephoria House of Beauty event.

client: Kiehl’s Design & Production | photographer & venue: Union West | design & production: David Stark Design and Production

Chef Demonstrations Engage, Teach, & Feed Guests

chef demo and talk at pacific standard time in chicago
photo courtesy of Pacific Standard Time

Learn to Prepare Seasonal Fare

Guests at this corporate dinner got an intimate demonstration of how to prepare some of Pacific Standard Time’s dishes while nibbling on delectable bites from the Chicago mainstay, like La Quercia Prosciutto and Shima Aji Crudo. Meanwhile, this totally-on-trend corporate campaign event featured a live chef demo, yoga, and more activities.

venue: Pacific Standard Time | floral: Bottle and Branch

On-Site Swag Creation Offers Personalization

on-site tee shirt printing at an event
photographer: Cage and Aquarium

Custom Tees that Fit to a T

This Ferrara Candy store opening had many elements to love, from hands-on activities to creative snack displays. We especially love the on-site t-shirt printing which served as both a take-home gift as well as a fun thing for guests to watch the being created live. At this travel-themed corporate event, custom printed on-site t-shirts displayed the coordinates of each guest’s “favorite place on earth,” creating a highly-personal gift.

planner: Crafty Events | photographer: Cage and Aquarium

Multiple Photo “Sets” Inspired by Pop-Up Installations

party set made to look like room from netflix stranger things show
photographer: TagPrints Digital

TV-Inspired Scenes Make Guests Stars

TagPrints launched their Chicago HQ with a “Tagflix”-themed event that showcased Netflix-inspired photo experiences. Guests were able to pose for pics in constructed sets from shows like “Stranger Things” and “Black Mirror.” Another cleverly branded celebration — this one for Amazon — featured photo spots related to their offerings; for example, bedroom and living room scenes befitting the hashtag #founditonamazon.

photographer: TagPrints Digital | décor, furniture, & set design: Kehoe Designs | event lighting: BlackOak Technical Production | catering: Limelight Catering | immersive photo experiences: TagPrints Digital | valet: V.I.P. Valet Service Inc.

Décor & Lighting Add Up to Totally Immersive Events

dinner party that looks like its aboard a luxury jet
photo courtesy of L’Atelier Rouge

In-Flight Dining — On the Ground

This Air France corporate event treated guests to a luxurious dining experience that felt perfectly-situated in an immersive airplane-themed environment. Circular windows offered cloud-like views and a curved ceiling added to the illusion, as did creative violet lighting. At yet another captivating corporate celebration, projection mapping created underwater and city locales for an Aflac dinner in Miami.

design & décor: L’Atelier Rouge | event agency: GRADIENT

Using Social Media for More than Selfies

adidas social media game dispenses vending machine prizes
photo courtesy of OA Experiential

Baseball-Themed Scavenger Hunt Engages Sneaker Fans

Beautifully branded & eye-catching vending machines (filled with custom, limited-release Adidas products) were placed in very busy sports bars near baseball stadiums. Codes hidden in social media posts when athletes achieved certain feats during the World Series sent eager fans lining up over three city blocks to collect their winning items from the fun automated machines.

production & logistics: OA Experiential

Oversized Games Bring Big Fun to Events

giant guess who game at corporate event
photographer: Villa Visuals

It Takes a Team

We also how this trendy corporate event used an oversized Guess Who game to pit teams against each other in a lighthearted match. The celebration also featured vintage arcade games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong projected large so that teams could cheer each other on. See more photos to see how the stairs to the event were creatively used for fun messaging.

photographer & videographer: Villa Visuals | floral design: Shawna Yamamoto | venue: AV Irvine | catering + bar: 24 Carrots Catering and Events | dj /halo booths/LED arcade/intelligent light: N-EFFECT PRODUCTIONS | performances: Champagne Creative Group | reception seating: Theoni Collection | lounge furniture: Found Rentals | decorative lighting: Revelry Event Designers | linens: La Tavola Fine Linen | glassware: Sig Party Rentals | graphics & branding: Album Agency | linens & atelier: BBJ Linen

Hands-On Art Stimulates Creativity & Fun

boy creating canvas graffiti art at chicago community event
photo courtesy of LadidadiXM

Guests Create a Community Mural

A community event in Chicago revealed a new mural in Lincoln Yards. To celebrate, partygoers engaged in interactive art stations that included large canvases for group graffiti as well as personal portrait-sized canvases for street-style names. Another interactive event offered a create-your-own terrarium and the opportunity to make a set of custom coasters.

event planner: LadidadiXM | dj: Toast & Jam DJs | catering: Carts of Chicago | activations: Preferred Marketing Group

Minimalist Venues Give Maximum Flexibility

puma sneaker art installation in nyc
photo courtesy of Studio 525 NYC

Stark Space Allows Focus to be on Product

Art and fashion merged in the Puma x Ader Error collection show in NYC, and choosing a well-lit, blank-canvas space allowed the new product to really shine. Electric blue lighting led guests through the space as one would approach a museum — with this exhibit featuring a creative installation of sneakers. In addition to this Studio 525 NYC event, we also love these flexible, minimalist spaces: Chicago’s Loft Lucia and The Lakewood, Los Angeles’ City Market Social House, Miami’s THE TEMPLE HOUSE, and New York’s CNVS Events (the latter two offering state-of-the-art in-house projection mapping capabilities for added wow).

venue: Studio 525 NYC