If you want your event to stand out, there’s one thing you need to be aware of: color. It’s the first thing attendees see when they enter a room. Embracing event color trends can make sure they start to get the message right away, according to Kate Smith, a chief color expert at Sensational Color consulting firm. For a corporate event, it can be the difference between everyone constantly checking their phones and them being totally immersed in the atmosphere and more tuned into what’s going on.
With the event’s message in mind, you can pick a color scheme to match. While it’s a good idea to incorporate the company’s logo colors into the design so people are constantly reminded of why they’re there in the first place, it’s also important to pick shades that represent what you want people to feel about your message and what kind of info they walk away knowing.
Passionate reds stand for action, newness, and power while a placid blue signals peace and stability. It’s called color psychology, and marketing professionals already know all about it. You should take a page out of their book and consider the moods each color provokes.
Setting the Right Mood
Mood is also important. You should ask yourself what you want attendees to feel in certain spaces and what you want them to be doing in them before deciding on the colors. Velvet Chainsaw Consulting recommends warm or dark colors and a variety of lighting types for relaxed spaces, like waiting rooms or lobbies, and saturated colors and brighter lights for active spaces, like conference rooms where participants will be doing breakout activities.
A color scheme that matches the tone of the event and the message helps cement it in attendees’ minds, according to Smith. They’re more likely to remember what went on if they have some visuals to fall back on.
The 7 Biggest Event Color Trends of 2015
Here are the newest event color schemes to keep in mind for trendy, but still informative, events.
1. Plein Air Palette
Pantone Color Institute, the most famous color matching system in the world, is a major trendsetter. This spring, the institute has chosen to highlight a palette of natural, soothing shades that never go out of style. “It’s all about how the color makes us feel, regardless of the season,” says Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone’s executive director. Incorporating these retro pastels and brights into the décor guarantees a stylish presentation.
2. Sleek Chromatics
There’s something stunning about an all-white room, but what about all blue? One shade of a color would be too harsh, but using different shades — there are plenty of blues in this season’s Pantone selections — can have the same tailored effect as just using white.
Or stick with the white theme and add a burst of just one color for the accents. “To me, seasonless neutrals with a dash of bold color make for the perfect style combination,” says Kendra Scott, CEO of Kendra Scott Jewelry. Take style to the meeting room and use an inviting color like teal or pink against an otherwise all-white setup. The effect will be stunning.
3. Futuristic Metallics
Gold and silver have been in the spotlight for a while, but the insiders at the Staging Connections blog say pewter, bronze, and copper are going to be making an entrance. Use shiny metallics for a futuristic vibe and to put people in the mindset that the event is going to give them information about something cutting edge while more understated matte tones would signal sophistication and taste. Gold-dipped glassware adds instant but still understated glam.
4. Rustic Charm
It’s difficult to go wrong with a rustic theme for an environmentally focused event. Thankfully, this trend isn’t withering away anytime soon. Earthy greens, blues, and browns combine with vintage elements and real plants to bring a bit of the outdoors in and remind everyone why they’re attending in the first place.
“In our technical, turned-on world, people are hungry for tactile, visceral, and experiential images — and color plays a huge role in that,” according to Lindsay Morris, manager of creative planning at Getty Images. The natural colors of a rustic, environmental theme are a perfect way to give guests the sensory images and settings they crave.
5. Color-Blocked Visuals
This is a great way to display information in an eye-catching way. Use squares of colors that go together as the background for the information, then arrange them on a wall like at Travel and Leisure magazine’s bash, or even just on presentation slides. Viewers’ eyes will be bouncing around from piece to piece to take it all in, and they’ll soak up some information along the way. A collage fabric display like this one from APG Exhibits is another easy way to incorporate attention-grabbing color blocks.
For smaller events, color blocking even works in the food: just dip sugar cookies in melted chocolate that matches the event’s or company’s colors.
6. Elegant Marsala
Pantone says its color of the year, Marsala, “exudes confidence and stability while feeding mind and soul.” It’s perfect for a legacy brand that wants to project relevance and innovation, but it’s not the easiest to incorporate into events. Pair it with brushed gold to convey a sense of elegance and class, and use deep red-hued roses on the tables — or as a backdrop for photos, as the Museum of Modern Art did for its film benefit a few years ago.
7. Light the Way
Colored light is a stylish way to mark the boundaries of spaces at the event. If many companies are being represented, different shapes of lights in each one’s colors can easily show visitors where to go. Using a rainbow of colors, or different shades of a single color, throughout the event can move visitors in a particular flow.
For example, if the entryway has bright red lights and the next room has a lighter shade, visitors are more likely to follow the progression of colors through each space in the venue. It’s a great way to make sure they’re seeing what they’re supposed to in order.
Choosing elegant and impactful colors for your event is one of the most powerful ways to make your event stand out, and these 2015 event color trends are sure to get you there. Whether you opt for dazzling metallic or keep it natural with a rustic presentation, neutral, seasonless tones and rich reds are the way to go in 2015.
PS: Want to see our predictions for the event trends of 2015? Read our blog here.