Evoke fond memories and perspectives by incorporating vintage components into your menu, decor and entertainment.

3 Nostalgic Elements to Entertain Attendees

Evoke fond memories and perspectives by incorporating vintage components into your menu, decor and entertainment.

Oct. 21, 2015, marked Back to the Future Day — the day Marty McFly traveled to in “Back to the Future Part II.” Brands such as PepsiCo, USA Today and even the defunct DeLorean (which the Canadian government jokingly recalled) celebrated their participation in the classic film with special product releases, including a gold DeLorean and limited-supply Pepsi Perfect beverage.

 

Fans were eager to celebrate because the film evokes nostalgia — balancing reminiscences of the 1980s with the expectations for the future and how far we’ve come. Creating similar nostalgia can beneficial for events, too.

Studies by professor Constantine Sedikides and researcher Tim Wildschut have found that nostalgia can be a powerful tool that can strengthen bonds, encourage altruism and promote spending. But it can also promote emotional equilibrium and provide people with a sense of meaningfulness and connectedness, which can arguably lead to more productive or enjoyable events.

Here are some ideas to help instill nostalgia in your next event:

 

Kid-Centric Foods. Childhood-friendly menu items, such as ice cream or milk and cookies, are simple ways to bring smiles to attendees’ faces and create a lighthearted atmosphere.

Vintage Decor. Make attendees feel like they’ve traveled back in time with turn-of-the-century props, such as old bicycles and cars, or a glitzy ballroom theme. Even menu signs can be used to promote a theme and start conversations.  

 

Thematic Entertainment. What better way is there to get into a historic frame of mind than with live entertainment? Whether it’s knights on horses or pop art-inspired performers, entertainment can play a huge role in providing a nostalgic experience. Sedikides and Wildschut also found that respondents were heavily influenced by music, so play creative tunes, even if only in the background.