Nostalgia: Your Go-To Feel-Good Event Idea

Take attendees on a stroll down memory lane

From your first bike ride sans training wheels to feeling like royalty at your senior prom to the first time you landed an A-list client, recalling a fond memory not only makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, according to science, it’s good for you too.  

A study from the University of Southampton in England found that drawing up bittersweet memories served a positive function, contributing to better mental health and an improved mood. And, as it turns out, the types of nostalgia that make us feel good run the gamut—cooking a particular meal, looking at old photographs or playing a sentimental song. 

So why is this important for meeting planners and events, you ask? Because adding a dash of nostalgia—whether with retro décor, throwback foods or old-school music—can serve as a mood booster (and help ease the tension of an otherwise serious Decide or Educate meeting). Here, we outline five feel-good ideas. 

1. Cookie Crush

Whether or not you still believe in Santa (hey, we’re not judging), a classic cookie-and-milk pairing is sure to emit a bounty of warm, childlike feelings. Top off glasses with a dash of sprinkles for extra color. 

2. Rock On

Whether it was the first real album you owned to attending a rock concert featuring your favorite band, music is inherently emotional. Depending on your attendees’ average age, try to book a band that’s up for playing all the feel-good hits.

3. Breakfast of Champions

Ditch the colorless and semi-sweetened adult-oriented cereal types for a day and offer attendees a selection of their favorite classic cereals. 

4. Tatted Up 

Who didn’t love those old-school temporary tattoos that were applied using water and hand pressure, and somehow never lasted more than a few hours? Help attendees relive their childhood tat phase with a temporary or henna tattoo display. 

5. Pass the Popcorn

Like music, watching a movie cloaked in nostalgia can transport us to another place and time. Pick a flick to stream that was popular during the era in which most of your attendees grew up.