Issue #27

Design with Hygge

Cozy comes to events, thanks to a Danish concept known as hygge.

It has been the year of hygge. If you haven’t heard of it by now it’s the Danish concept of a “cozy” lifestyle that looks good and makes you feel good, too. It has found its way into internet memes, articles and interior design magazines—and, not to mention, events. While soft candle lighting and inviting refreshments like cakes are considered the literal interpretation of hygge, you’ve experienced the trend if you’ve noticed meeting spaces filled with plush furniture, natural elements and yes, warm lighting. We’re at the peak of this trend, so it’s worth acknowledging its influence.

For example, hygge has influenced interior design, office and meeting spaces. In fact, Steelcase.com, in an interview with Susan Lyons, president of Designtex, named the cozy concept a top design trend for 2017, explaining that a shift in office culture is occurring where softer materials are becoming accepted as a way to help people be “more comfortable” at work. It’s all part of an office life “renaissance” focused more on “wellness” and “human-centered” experiences, Steelcase.com writes.

Beyond office spaces, you’ll find the concept across trade shows and events—even high-tech ones like CES this year, where booth designs leveraged natural materials like woods, filament lightbulbs and soft furniture brought a warmth and inviting feel to an otherwise overwhelming and sterile environment. Also in the b-to-b space, at C2 Montréal an overflow area for the general session offered bean bag loungers that were comfortable, cozy and, we think, made attendee connections feel more casual and natural.

And then there are the hygge-inspired event experiences, like Hygge Festival held this past February in Grand Marais, MN, “all day every day” for approximately one week. Attendees enjoyed the “splendors of a classic North Shore winter vacation” with dogsledding, stargazing, fireside gatherings, Scandinavian menus, full moon readings, cabin concerts and other cozy elements. At the Philadelphia Home Show this year, exhibitors nixed hard topics like gutter guards for “snuggling” and winter survival with sensory activations like a Scandinavian skills workshop featuring Danish paper heart-making.

For marketers looking to infuse a little hygge into event experiences, consider textures, seating, a soothing beverage bar—maybe an after-hours networking fire pit—and a cozy pair of branded socks as a takeaway, rather than the tired tote bag.

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Explore Cramer and Event Marketer’s first 30 trends of 2017.

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