Trend Report: 2020


If there’s one thing that stands the test of time when talking about the events industry, it’s that what’s “in” one day could very well be “out” the next. When you work in a business that’s all about pleasing your guests, it’s important to stay on top of these ever-changing trends.

Anticipating the next big thing can be difficult, especially when you work in such a demanding field. Don’t waste your time stressing about what’s going to be hot in 2020 because we’ve got you covered. I present to you my prediction of four trends that will rule the hospitality and events industry in the new year.

Unique spaces

In 2019, we saw event planners scrambling to create unique experiences for their guests. In 2020, it’s all about unique spaces. If your venue already has a unique feel to it, then check this trend off of your to-do list and continue on. But for those of you that are working with bare bones, it’s time to dust off your inner Picasso and show off your artistic abilities. You don’t need to do an entire revamp of your private event spaces; instead, think of some innovative ways to transform them on the fly. For example, decorate with greenery and string up patio lights to bring the outdoors into your space. Take photos of your newly revitalized space and post them to all of your social channels and your website. Or go a step further and create a virtual 360-degree tour of your venue and add it to your website. The leads will fill up your inbox in no time.


Anxiety? Pain? Stress? I mean who hasn’t suffered from one, if not, all of these ailments? Enter Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. This THC-free derivative is turning up everywhere from infused seltzer waters at your local grocer to saturated cocktails at your neighborhood bistro. The CBD trend is not only gaining momentum, it’s blowing up.

But don’t hit send on that bulk CBD order just yet. This trend does have its limitations. First is simply the science of it. Most CBD is ingested in oil form, and in order for the oil to have its calming effect, you have to place it under your tongue and allow it to dissolve. Certainly not an easy feat when you’re trying to mix it with water, alcohol or really any other liquid. Another roadblock is the legality of it. Although you can purchase CBD oil off the Internet or from your local mall and corner store, the legal lines of serving it in your restaurant or at your event are blurred in most states. Also, CBD isn’t cheap so you want to ensure you’ve done your homework and checked off all of the regulatory boxes first. My advice: Do your research.

And if for some reason it’s not feasible in your city just yet, don’t stress. Adopting this trend in your home for personal use is just as beneficial and can really alleviate some of that event planner tension.

Sustainability upgrades

I know, I know. You’ve heard it time and time again, sustainability is the trend to watch out for. But can we even still call it a trend if it’s been ongoing for over a year now? I’d love to answer no to that question and say it’s no longer a trend movement but instead a normal way of life, however that just isn’t true … yet. I’m not going to bore you with a long explanation about what sustainability is; we’ve been there and done that. What I will speak on is the shift this trend is taking in 2020.

Environmentally-focused individuals will soon be looking for venues with things like LEED certifications, energy efficiency, and out-of-the-box answers to minimizing their carbon footprints. We’ve gone beyond the days where clients simply wanted to see paper straws (or no straws at all) in place of plastic, and farm-to-table fare. Stepping up your sustainability game will surely be worth it. The environment’s issues are real and tangible and its crusaders are not going anywhere. Taking a sustainable stand shouldn’t upset your regular clients, but it will certainly garner new ones.

Technology updates

The use of technology at events and in hotels and restaurants is not a new concept; Tripleseat knows that better than anyone. But technology in hospitality now means so much more than just front of house POS systems and back of house event management software, although those innovations are still important.

2020 will be all about reimagining technology in hospitality. Human interaction is still king in our industry, so finding the right balance of technology and person-to-person connections will be key. For hotels, this means upping your in-room media options or implementing keyless doors that open using a guest’s phone. For large scale events, projection mapping will be at the forefront of trendy technology. And for all you restaurant and bar event professionals, the next step will be, if you haven’t already, integrating your event management software with an online payment option or making use of tabletop and hand-held payment systems.

Event technology is still an expensive luxury, one that many hospitality professionals view as out of their monetary reach. If you’re not there yet, hold tight, I believe that in 2020 and beyond, event technology will become more affordable as the desire and necessity grow.

Embrace something new this year

Our takeaway? In this fast-paced industry and ever-changing world, adopting flaky trends can ruin your events business. But I feel confident that these trends for 2020 will only continue to gain popularity. Every venue is unique and you’ll have your own set of needs as well as roadblocks. If you’re interested in adopting any of these trends, start small, experiment, and continue to move forward. You know what will work best for your venue or events business. Pay attention to what fits your brand and your customers’ needs and you’ll be sure to succeed.

If you’re looking for more trend ideas, check out our Events Industry Handbook series for guides on food, drink, decor, increasing event bookings, career tips and more.