Winter Meetings Trends to Warm Up to

Inspiration for your next event

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about the festivities it brings with it. From décor inspiration and color schemes to food and drink ideas, we’ve got these top tips to keep your event feeling fresh!

Ice, Ice Baby

For an icy winter wonderland, use blue and gray to anchor your color palette. Pantone is centering two crisp shades of blue—Riverside and Airy Blue—in its fall collection, alongside silvery-gray Sharkskin. This cool collection of hues is the perfect trio for creating a winter theme for your event. Add silver accents for a frosty, luxe finish to the look. 

Festive Flowers

Whether you’re looking to stick with traditional arrangements or you want to change things up, flowers are a sure way to add a lift to any event. The tried-and-true poinsettia is a holiday classic in either red or white. For a more youthful look, opt for white and blush tones together, which will complement red, green and gold elsewhere in your décor. 

Mull It Over

Mulled wine is a terrific traditional winter drink, hitting all the right notes for a holiday get-together. Made with red wine, cinnamon, star anise, orange rind and more, this spicy drink can be made in a nonalcoholic version, too. Serve it warm and in porcelain or glass mugs with an orange slice garnish studded with cloves.

Lighten Up

Light up your winter party with glowing strings of lights! Available in a wide array of colors, string lights help fill a room with warm, ambient lighting. You can incorporate single strands into tabletop décor or add multiple strings across the ceiling to create a twinkling canopy overhead. 

Spice It Up

Showcase complex flavors that bring the heat, but also try some more unique takes on spice. Korean gochujang has a sweet and spicy taste, while Ethiopian berbere spices are a bold, aromatic blend that will introduce guests to a new and exciting flavor profile. For a flavor that’s a little closer to home, opt for fried chicken (a crowd favorite) doused with Nashville-style hot sauce!

Use Smells of the Season

For daytime or business meetings, bringing in seasonal scents can help maintain alertness and make the event more memorable. “For long seminars, you can use peppermint or rosemary to increase alertness and keep attendees focused,” says sensory expert Jennifer Dublino, of Think Sensory

Dublino says amber or vanilla can encourage people to feel relaxed and comfortable and can be great scents to consider for events where attendees will be collaborating or negotiating.

Dessert Indulgences

The holidays are a time for once-a-year indulgences such as gingerbread, shortcake and other favorites. Food trends are taking treats to the next level with extreme versions of old favorites, like over-the-top milkshakes. And though it may have been previously, “fat” is no longer a bad word for most people. Serving buttery sweet treats people wouldn’t normally make (or buy) for themselves makes a lasting impression. 

Drinks All Around

Many people don’t drink alcohol, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have something nice to drink at your event. Including fun, delicious nonalcoholic drinks is a must for any holiday party. Mocktails, like the one mentioned here, and artisanal sodas are a thoughtful way to make sure every guest has something tasty to sip. 

’Tis Better to Give

There’s something about a gift that helps make people feel noticed and appreciated, especially around the holidays. A small (or large) token of appreciation can be a nice gesture, particularly when it’s unexpected. Device chargers or battery packs make great giveaway items at a meeting. If budget is a concern, handwritten thank-you notes from the event organizer or leader are worth the time it takes to write them.