Many students returned to refreshed environments when in-person learning resumed during the pandemic. Schools, colleges, universities, and other learning institutions adapted their spaces with an eye on new priorities: safety, health, and community-building.
As in-person meetings and events continue to come back, campus design trends can provide inspiration for refreshing event venue design.
Event planners and organizers can tap into the design, aesthetics, and experience that learning institutions provide. Take a page from these five campus design trends to inspire your event venue design:
- Scaled spaces with safety in mind
COVID-19 forced schools to reconfigure classrooms, lunch spaces, and other communal learning spaces to more individualized spaces, complete with dispersed desks, room dividers, plexiglass barriers, and social distancing reminder floor decals.
While many of these physical safety precautions have slowly eased, the trend of smaller, scaled spaces continues at many events.
Balance creating a sense of event community with safety for attendees by:
- Incorporating movable, easy-to-clean furniture.
- Setting up socially distanced seating layouts throughout the event.
- Provide small lounge spaces that allow event attendees a place to unwind, take a break from the crowds, or process learnings from the day.
- Plan and visualize new layouts by using floorplan design tools, like Allseated OPS.
- Make use of multi-purpose spaces
It’s an old-fashioned idea that learning only occurs in the classroom. However, research has shown that all spaces in a school are possible hubs for learning – whether in the classroom, makerspaces, hallways, common areas or even outside.
With this idea in mind, move event session layouts away from a traditional classroom, one-size-fits-all room set to those that are more flexible, adaptive, and experiential.
- Change up a cavernous ballroom that may seem intimidating for introverts by using moveable walls and partitions to set up small learning and networking hubs.
- Add bar-height tables, seats, and small tables to coffee lounges and meal spaces, which can also do double-duty for fast-paced educational session talks.
- Place AV and monitors in covered exterior spaces to allow attendees to keep learning and connected even if they move outdoors.
- Intentionally use color accents
Because the power of color is strong and affects a person’s mood, attention span, and motivation to learn, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities use color intentionally for everything from safety guidelines, wayfinding cues, and other informational signage.
Calming colors take a cue from nature, reducing stress and putting people at ease. For event lounges or conversation spaces, add touches of sky blues, fresh greens, and earthy neutrals to create a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere where attendees can concentrate and connect.
Educational designers are also adding pops of colors to liven up spaces. For example, at events, incorporate highlights of reds, yellows, and oranges to generate feelings of energy in general sessions or networking spaces.
- Incorporate comforts of home and convenience
Comfortable, home-like design is a trend seen across nearly all industries. Education is no exception. Students are more likely to feel motivated and learn when they are surrounded by functional and beautiful designs that inspire — and make them feel safe and comfortable.
Choosing warm and inviting event design elements can have a similar impact too. Now more than ever, attendees want to feel safe in a more homelike setting, which can also often result in positive learning outcomes.
Comfortable furniture, natural accent elements, and other home-like touches throughout an event can help event attendees feel safe, grounded, and connected.
Higher learning institutions are also infusing convenience into buildings and educational facilities. For example, many colleges and universities feature coffee shops, fast-food markets, or even pop-up shops in academic buildings, which means students have the convenience to grab and go based on their schedule instead of visiting dining halls at designated times.
Event designs can benefit from a similar concept. Aside from providing attendees with the flexibility to grab and go snacks and drinks at their schedule, this approach can also help alleviate large crowds during a singular designated mealtime.
- Always connected technology
Schools aren’t exempt from an infusion of technology. Blackboards and overhead projectors are being replaced by intelligent systems and features that make learning more collaborative, interactive, and interconnected.
Event planners and organizers can follow the trend for venue design by providing ample charging stations, WiFi, and tech-fueled tools for attendees to problem-solve and innovate together.
The demand for touchless technology is growing 17.4% per year and is projected to reach $15.3 billion in 2025, up from $6.8 billion in 2020. Touchable surfaces are being phased out at education institutions, with sensor and voice-activated technology shifting from luxuries to must-haves.
Events can benefit from touchless tech at high-frequency touchpoints, like entrances, bathrooms, and light switches. And new technologies like motion-activated screens allow event attendees to navigate interactive displays without contact.
Event planners can get inspired by using collaborative, comfortable, and tech-fueled environments in education for event venue design. For additional information sources of event inspiration, event designers can also look to the retail and office industries.
Wherever you are in the design process, the Allseated team is here to help. Try our virtual tour technology and floorplan design tools to put these design ideas into practice and make planning and selling events easier!