2020 was a year we’ll never forget. Through all the difficult days, we still managed to appreciate the little things. From Walgreens coming through with oh-so-precious toilet paper, to Dropbox providing seamless collaboration while working from home, and the return of NBA basketball, we’re looking back on the brands and companies that kept us going in 2020 — and highlighting their branded celebrations from years past.
1. Amazon was at Its Prime
By now, we know that swoop on the side of our packages like we know our own name. While staying safe at home, Amazon was there to deliver all the essentials. From groceries, school supplies, and even quarantine puzzles and games, we couldn’t leave this powerhouse off the list.
Speaking of supplies, by now you may know that Amazon’s back-to-school backyard event is one of our favorites. From two adorable photo ops and celebrity attendees to the chicest display of products, this event is surely one to remember.
2. Target Transformed Our Homes
Where would we be without the occasional mask-wearing Target run? We’ve all walked through those red-framed doors with a checklist and walked out with plenty of things we definitely didn’t need — and now can’t live without. From holiday decorations to candles, throws, slippers, wall art, and more, we have to thank this brand for sprucing up our homes during the year we needed it most.
So to top off our love for Target, we’re sharing one of its most brilliantly-branded events. From a recognizable logo-shaped bar to products in the shape of, well… targets, we’d say this event was a success from the photos alone.
3. Slack Kept Our Team on Track
Seriously though, where would we be without Slack? From the PartySlate team’s daily exchanges of “you have to see these new event photos!” to “we’re waiting for you on Zoom,” we couldn’t work from home without Slacking up a storm each and every day. And yes, the company name is now a frequently-used verb in our vocabulary.
After you Slack your team about this article, go inside the event that blew us away from the moment we saw it. The branding is unparalleled — every inch of the event space was beautifully decked out in the company’s four recognizable hues, from the bar to the bowling alley, food presentations, and even the sauce bottles (talk about dedication).
photographer: Scott Clark Photo | planner: Twenty Three Layers (23 Layers) | venue: Union Park | fabrication & signage: Brand Activation Services | graphic design: Wittig Design | premiums: Canary Marketing | printed material: Type-E Design
4. Dropbox Simply Rocks
Working for a photo-rich platform like PartySlate, Dropbox is a tool we hold near and dear to our hearts. With “cloud-like” storage and the ability to easily share large event albums, we couldn’t have efficiently organized the thousands of event photos that were submitted to our team in 2020 without our dear friend Dropbox.
And on the topic of photos, the images from Dropbox’s Curiosity Ball are a true treat. Guests meandered from room to room with no idea what they would stumble upon next, from whimsical moss-covered walls to lavender-lit lounges. When large-scale celebrations return, we can’t wait to see what Dropbox has in store.
photographer: Nirav Patel Photography; Angela Decenzo; Amy Anaiz Photography | planner & design: POP! by Yaz | floral: Waterlily Pond | venue: The Palace of Fine Arts | production & a/v: Vox Productions | caterer: Foxtail Catering & Events | rentals: Blueprint Studios; Found Rentals; Bright Event Rentals
5. Just Google It
Yes, we’ve all ugly cried watching Google’s end-of-year video, smiled with John Krasinski as he debuted his YouTube show Some Good News, frantically searched for presidential election updates, and learned about a virus that would change our world forever. In a year like 2020, the ability to ask questions, discover resources, and find information is one we can’t value enough.
Although Google and YouTube’s corporate holiday party won’t look quite like this striking green and red celebration this year, we know both brands have plenty of fabulous events in their future.
6. A DoorDash a Day
Supporting small businesses while also treating ourselves to a feast on the futon? Say no more. It’s only a slight exaggeration to say we ordered daily food delivery, which shows that DoorDash was our go-to brand when it came to crazy cravings — or simply indulging on a Friday night. With new in-app features and search tools, the platform’s 2020 updates made it easier for consumers to support small and Black-owned businesses. Their mission is to “empower local businesses” — a mission we can proudly support.
If you need help deciding what to get, take a look at their “Dash-a-palooza” holiday party, which of course, brought in an assortment of unique cuisines, from dangling donuts to a make-your-own nachos bar.
photographer: Harley Bonham Photography | venue: The Where?House | caterer: M Culinary Concepts
7. Netflix & Quarantine
How would we have gotten through March without the distracting craze that was Tiger King? And we can’t forget when everyone jumped to order label makers after binging The Home Edit. In 2020, we’re forgiving Netflix for dropping our beloved Friends thanks to new content like The Queen’s Gambit to Big Mouth. They gave us back Gilmore Girls, shared a new season of The Crown, introduced us to the calming nature of The Great British Baking Show, and the list goes on.
So as you prepare for an exciting weekend on the couch, we think you’ll appreciate the photos from Netflix’s throwback soirée — and how their signature orange hue was used in the most mesmerizing ways.
8. HBO Was Euphoric
Any brand that gives us more Oscar-winning Nicole Kidman is going to get love from our team. HBO outdid themselves this year with entertainment that took us out of 2020 and into a variety of new worlds, from The Undoing to Euphoria (and even some classics like Entourage and Sex and the City).
HBO Max has big plans on the horizon, and as we patiently (or not so patiently) await the Friends cast reunion and a Gossip Girl reboot, we’ll distract ourselves with one of their many extravagant celebrations. Floral floors, decadent bites, and larger-than-life branding reminds us why this company is so iconic when it comes to events.
photographer: Gabor Ekecs Photography | design: Billy Butchkavitz | venue: The Pacific Design Center | lighting: Images By Lighting | projections: Bart Kresa | caterer: Wolfgang Puck Catering – Los Angeles
9. All You Need is Spotify
We waited all year for our personalized end-of-year round up from Spotify. The platform gives you details on your 2020 listening habits, from your favorite decade of music to your most played artist and the songs you had on literal repeat (raise your hand if Taylor Swift’s Folklore album was all over your list, too).
This brand is clearly in tune with its music-loving consumers, and when it comes to their celebrations, they always hit the mark. Take this 2017 holiday party. From the elongated, LED-lit tables to the neon photo ops, we’d love to be a fly on the wall (or a guest on the dance floor) at one of their future fêtes — and you just know the music will be epic.
photographer: Osh Images; One Night Cereus | planner: TINSEL Experiential | venue: Grand Prospect Hall | photo booth: A1-Array | rentals: Taylor Creative Inc. | lighting: BML Blackbird; Pegasus Productions
10. Pandora’s Stuck in Our Head
If there’s one thing we appreciate most about Pandora, it’s the wonderful assortment of podcasts and playlists you can discover on their platform. The radio-style app is perfect for those of us who don’t want to select each and every tune ourselves, thanks to their curated selections.
It’s no surprise a company that prioritizes a pleasant consumer experience also hosts memorable experiential events around the world. This sleek gathering took place in France at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, and we are so envious of every guest that got to enjoy the breezy bash by the water (with amazing music, nonetheless).
11. TikTok Around the Clock (Literally)
Where do we even begin with TikTok? A launch of fresh-faced teenage influencers, new dance crazes, play-with-your-pet trends, and the introduction of our beloved Blink182 to today’s youth, it’s hard to believe that the social media platform gained popularity just this year. Somehow, minutes turn to hours when flipping through complete strangers’ humorous and heartwarming content — and we’d have it no other way.
It’s no surprise TikTok’s global rebrand launch was filled with creative details and video-worthy backdrops. Plush cotton candy-inspired walls, rows of neon lights, and a chalk board for content creators are just a few of our favorite elements.
photo courtesy of, production & design: GRADIENT
12. Instagram Upped Our Screentime
You guessed it: Instagram easily made the list. The social media giant helped us stay connected while staying apart. To say that 2020 was hard would be an understatement, but Instagram brought us the content we needed to stay inspired, entertained, and the list goes on. We love following endless accounts, from @tanksgoodnews to @upworthy, which bring smile-worthy content to our daily scroll.
And of course the app’s own events are completely Instagram-worthy themselves — just take one look at this stunning dinner party, and you’ll be convinced the brand was made for event hosting.
photo courtesy of, planner & caterer: Foxtail Catering & Events | planner: Marissa McCombs; Amanda Stoloski | floral: Rito Ito | venue: Capitol Art | lighting: Got Light | rentals: Blueprint Studios | menus & decals: Dynamite Digital
13. Bumble Kept Many Buzzing
In a year where the bar scene was cancelled, many turned to Bumble for precious social interaction. From finding a peer to chat with on BFF (Bumble for Friends) to connecting (and might we add, flirting) with others, the Bumble app kept 2020’s youth safely mingling.
While we wait for the return of this brand’s fun parties, we’re looking back on one of our favorites. The “Winter Bumbleland”-inspired event brought après ski to the desert with “frosted” trees, winter igloos, and a slope-inspired water slide. If anyone knows how to get on the list for this brand’s post-COVID events, please let us know.
14. Peloton Swapped Our Sweatpants for a Sweat
By now, every Peloton rider has their favorite instructor, class, and pedaling routine. Cycling reached peak popularity in 2020 and provided an outlet for many while staying at home. Now passionate conversations between fitness gurus have turned from which fitness company’s cycling class you love most to a debate on the most engaging Peloton classes. The at-home machines provide a small sense of normalcy for those who had community-based exercise highly ingrained into their routines.
We love how Peloton hosted a pre-pandemic product launch that took guests to the tropics with Caribbean-inspired décor and branded, ratan swing photo ops. The photos alone have us craving vacation (after a high intensity spin session, of course).
15. Twitch Fueled Our Gaming Itch
If you’re not familiar with Twitch (a live streaming application for gamers), maybe you know the platform’s star streamer, Ninja (and if you still have no idea what we’re talking about, go ask a younger relative). Twitch has reached peak popularity as professional gamers stream themselves playing the latest video games for those of us quarantined at home.
Kylie Jenner’s famous baby daddy, Travis Scott, drew in millions of viewers in April as he dropped a new song through a virtual Fortnite concert. Not to mention congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, attracted hundreds of thousands to the platform in her live stream of the game Among Us in November. If you didn’t know Twitch, now you do, just in time to check out their annual tech conference after party.
photo courtesy of, planner & design: Level Events
16. Starbucks Gave Us Energy (Thank You, Venti Cups)
Starbucks kept us caffeinated during quarantine with pickup stations outside of stores across the country. We eagerly await their seasonal beverages, from Pumpkin Spice Lattes to Peppermint Mochas, and we love the brand’s inclusive policies. Starbucks opened its very first US “signing store” in 2018 in Washington, D.C. to support the deaf community, and recently dedicated an Annapolis store to hiring special needs individuals and offering them a space in the workforce.
Although the Starbucks-themed event we’re highlighting wasn’t hosted by the company itself, we think the design’s on-point branding (with a feminine twist) was too good not to include for our coffee-loving friends.
photographer: Bashful Captures | planner: Twenty Three Layers (23 Layers) | floral: Van Vliet + Trap | venue: Current | premiums: Canary Marketing | printing & signage: Bombshell Graphics | rentals: Taylor Creative Inc.
17. The NBA Brought Us the Bubble
From the tragic loss of beloved Lakers star Kobe Bryant to a Los Angeles championship win in his honor, the NBA reminded us why we love live sports. At the start of the summer, the franchise took the league’s playoffs to what’s now known as “the bubble” in Florida, where they successfully finished their 2019-2020 season. And while basketball revived a sense of passion and entertainment in our homes, players from around the nation also brought a powerful social statement to our screens (sporting jerseys in support of the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement).
From former favorites to current champions including Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard, this launch party was filled with basketball stardom we can only hope to see more of in 2021.
18. Kim Crawford Was a Wine Saver
If you’re suddenly a wine connoisseur in 2020, you’re not alone. And by connoisseur, we mean you have gone through too many bottles and brands to count. But Kim Crawford will always be a favorite — and not only because the label has hosted some of the most amazing corporate events.
This launch kicked off the sale of the company’s first rosé bottle, and the details are too good to leave out. From wine-infused popsicles to a literal wall of rosé (and blush florals to match), there’s more than one reason we always come back to this beautifully branded celebration.
photographer: Chris Costello | production & design: Jessica Fels Event Production & Design | concept: SHADOW | venue & wine-infused push pops: The Beverly Hills Hotel | bar floral: Eric Buterbaugh | furniture: Designer 8
19. Head to Walgreens for Toilet Paper Reams
Who remembers the early days of 2020, going from store to store in search of hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and toilet paper? Walgreens was one that always had our backs, with supplies in stock and safely social-distanced service. Every year, Walgreens dedicates a “Red Nose Day” to giving back to children in need.
Their philanthropic efforts are going virtual, but in years past they came with beautiful events like this crisp and clean gathering that boasted a few catchy hashtags — and a lot of sleek red and white décor.
20. ABC (& Matt James) on Our TV
ABC shows are basically scheduled into our 2020 weekly routines. From an audience-less season of Dancing With the Stars (with their highest ratings ever, hello quarantine), to casting their first-ever black lead on The Bachelor (long overdue), their reality shows have our attention like never before.
If you’re not currently watching Tayshia steal numerous men’s hearts (along with our own) on The Bachelorette, or excitedly replaying the trailer for Matt James’ new season of The Bachelor, you might not appreciate this red rose-filled premiere as much as we do. Nonetheless, the floral photo backdrop is truly a stunning sight.