10 Themes for Fall Meetings

10 ways to make your autumn meeting one to remember.

The days are getting shorter and the weather is cooling down, so now’s the time to get a jump-start on your fall planning. From stylish décor to modern color schemes to tasty treats, these 10 seasonal trends will keep your events and meetings looking and feeling fresh.

Foraging

Incorporating local and seasonal flowers, plants, berries and leaves into the décor is a fresh way to enliven any event; it will also highlight the region where the gathering is taking place. Autumn is the ideal time to gather foliage from just outside your door to create colorful centerpieces and tablescapes. Add in local berries, nuts, twigs and perennial fall-blooming plants for a truly unique tablescape.

 

Creative Party Pumpkins

Party Pumpkins Elevate one of the most traditional fall items with artistic statement-making details. A rainbow of pastel-painted pumpkins pairs perfectly with an elaborate dessert table, while boldly patterned wrapping paper creates stylish decoupage. Dip pumpkins in gold glitter or decorate them with sequins for glamorous accents or even place-card holders.

Calming Colors 

According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, modern-day stresses brought on by technology, financial insecurity and even the presidential campaign have created a need for calming colors. Follow Pantone’s lead and feature muted shades such as Airy Blue, Dusty Cedar, Potter’s Clay and Lush Meadow in your event décor. All are from Pantone’s 2016 fall lineup.

Maple-Syrup Cocktails

This fall staple can be incorporated into beverage options in inventive ways. Combine the syrup with whiskey for a delicious smoked maple Old Fashioned, add a dash to hot butternut rum, or stir up some bourbon-spiked maple cider. For flavor-filled seasonal mocktails, mix maple syrup with tart juices like cranberry or grapefruit juice.

 

Artisanal Charcuterie Plates

A classic meat plate can be raised to a new level with a beautifully arranged assortment of artisanal options, such as house-cured salami, gourmet pate or rillettes, and a country terrine. Adding pickled vegetables and seasonal jams from local farms and purveyors emphasizes the event’s location and the surrounding community.

 

Mixed Metallics

Stylish metallics in warm gold, bronze and copper add elegant autumnal style to any event. Incorporate them into everything from plates and utensils to chic barware, trays, decorative pillows and balloons.

 

Curry Bites

Curry is a delicious fall flavor that offers an exotic element of surprise. Add it to hummus or a yogurt dip or use as a topper for deviled eggs. Curry is also a great choice for bite-sized appetizers, such as lamb meatballs or spicy shrimp.

Textured Materials

Textured materials in a neutral palette make for a gorgeous fall-friendly table. Think burlap tablecloths or placemats, wooden utensils, or linen napkins tied with twine. These nature-inspired touches act as a perfect backdrop for deeper tones and bolder autumnal accents, such as pumpkins and apple.

Vegan Doughnuts

Combine two of the most popular foodie trends—doughnuts and vegan cuisine—into one delicious sweet. Look to popular bakeries, such as Oakland-based Pepples Donut Farm, which creates mouthwatering seasonal flavors like green apple and pumpkin-pie spice, using 100 percent organic ingredients. Or create a homemade apple-cider version packed with cinnamon, nutmeg and other fall spices.

Tea

Tea is a popular alternative to coffee for an end-of-event drink. Choose fall-inspired options like apple-cranberry, English breakfast or chai, which offers a natural pick-me-up rather than a heavy dose of caffeine.