When planning an event, you want to go above and beyond for your guests. Event themes can go a long way in impressing event guests and earning rave reviews – whether it be a corporate retreat, a nonprofit fundraiser or a private party. These 10 event themes will wow your guests and provide a great time for everyone.
1. Tropical Island
A tropical theme is a perfect way to transport attendees from a corporate event to an exciting getaway – using only food and atmosphere:
- Outdoor venue. Whether you go for a beach or lakeside venue, or you simply recreate a beachy atmosphere elsewhere, hosting the event outside will be much more effective than in an indoor location.
- Tasty cocktails. Think pina coladas, margaritas, and anything fruity. For non-alcoholic beverages, you can serve mocktails or virgin daiquiris.
2. State Fair
A favorite childhood memory for many is going to the state fair. Bring back the nostalgia with these tips for a great party:
- Carnival games. Make your party feel like the midway with ring toss, skeeball, bobbing for apples, and more. Invite circus clowns or people to make balloon animals for the kids.
- Fair food. No guest will be able to resist carnival food. The smell of funnel cakes, nachos, and popcorn is sure to make your guests hungry. Turkey legs, corn dogs, and pizza work great, too.
3. The Big Game
Whether attendees are sports fans or not, recreating a tailgate can be fun for everyone. Some great ways to kick off your event include:
- Cornhole. This tailgating classic will take your guests back to their college days. It’s a simple bean bag toss game that guests will love.
- Grilled classics. When you walk by tailgates at a football stadium, the smell of the grills cooking hot dogs and hamburgers is bound to make everybody hungry. These favorites, plus wings and beer, will please any crowd.
4. Backyard Barbecue
Whether it’s for Memorial Day, Independence Day, or any occasion, backyard barbecues are a fan favorite. You don’t need a backyard to create the atmosphere, though. Having these features at any venue will give it that classic barbecue feeling:
- Smoker. The best part about a barbecue is the food itself. For the best results, have your meat and other foods prepared in a smoker, where they’ll cook slowly for hours and fill the air with the beautiful smell of barbecue.
- String lights or lanterns. Any kind of lighting you might find on a backyard patio will work to emulate the homey, cozy environment.
5. Garden Party
A botanical garden theme is perfect for any elegant event, such as charity galas or weddings. Here are the essentials
- A botanical venue. A nature-based location will provide almost everything you need to master a garden party. Look for a botanical garden, arboretum, or outdoor pavilion that hosts events. You won’t need to worry about decorations when the venue is naturally surrounded by flowers.
- Classic hors d’oeuvres. A garden party calls for simple, elegant foods. Provide a selection of scones, fruit platters, lady fingers, and tea for the perfect classy affair.
6. Las Vegas Casino
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? To make your guests feel like they’re on the Strip with a Sin City-themed party, you’ll need the following:
- Large venue. This party will require a lot of space for the different games and activities. You’ll have different sets of machines, tables, bar areas, and food vendors.
- Gaming tables. This is where the fun part happens. To get that casino feeling, rent slot machines and tables for games like blackjack, poker, craps, and roulette.
7. International Heritage
This type of party is great for embracing world cultures and allowing guests an opportunity to learn about how people in other countries celebrate. Be sure to include:
- Input from the people. Cultural appreciation is better than appropriation. If you want an authentic party, get as much information as possible from natives who will help your party shine and make guests feel like they’ve traveled to another country when they walk into your venue.
- Local food. For an international party, the food can go a long way in satisfying your guests. Find a local restaurant or caterer with experience making food authentic to the culture you’re celebrating.
8. Red Carpet Premiere
Walking down Hollywood Boulevard with a tuxedo or fancy dress on will make your guests feel like they’re fighting off the paparazzi. Include these to get that world-premiere feel:
- Projector and speakers. For this type of party, it’s apt to show an actual movie, so be sure to get a projector with a sizable background if you expect a large crowd. Having loudspeakers will help people farthest away hear, too.
- Popcorn and snacks. What’s a movie without popcorn? Get rolling popcorn machines and soda fountains to give your guests the full movie experience.
9. Halloween Holiday
Who says it has to be October to have a Halloween-themed party? Get into the spirit of the season with these ways to make your event stand out:
- Costume party. You had to have seen this one coming. Dressing up with costumes is what makes Halloween the popular holiday it is. Have costume contests for the kids, for adults, and for awarding the scariest costumes.
- Trick or treat. Why do kids dress up on Halloween? They do it for the candy! Having different stations where kids can trick or treat will send the kids home with their favorite pieces of chocolate and gummies.
The road of nostalgia is a fun trip to take. Reminiscing on the days of old will make your guests feel like they’re teenagers again with these ideas:
- Decade-specific party. If your guests are close to the same age, pick a decade they’ll connect with the most. The music will help guide the theme, whether it’s disco in the ‘70s, rock in the ‘80s, or hip hop in the ‘90s.
- Look-alike contest. Since the guests will dress up according to the decade, having a contest to see who can do the best celebrity impersonation will turn heads and bring laughter.
Impress Your Guests
Whether you’re planning a corporate party, a fundraiser or a wedding reception, setting the event themes can make your event feel cohesive and unique. The attendees are sure to enjoy and remember the themed event for years to come.
Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine Revivalist, and she enjoys keeping up with the exciting world of event planning and hospitality. Follow Cora on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more life, style, and home inspiration.