Lounge spaces and the snazzy furniture that fills them are the latest trend in tented events, from corporate functions to eco-conscious backyard weddings. Depending on the setting of the tent and the client’s budget, a properly fitted tent can now feel like an extension of the client’s home or a posh city nightspot. The newest look seems to be a modified version of midcentury functionalism, with sleek, simple pieces that lend themselves to any kind of complementary decor.
“Contemporary is very, very big,” says Dave Flory, sales and marketing director, Cort Event Furnishings. Cort’s clients are requesting clean lines and neutral colors. Neutrals help planners “create a canvas that they can take and turn into what their particular event needs to be,” he says.
Tented event professionals appreciate the ability to change the feel of an event, since clients are often fickle. “Things that are modular in nature are very much in demand by the event planners,” Flory says.
Rental companies, too, are demanding items with flexibility from their suppliers. Roberta DeCillo, of Event Equipment Sales LLC, Hodgkins, Ill., says that more of her company’s rental customers are switching to portable floors and chairs that can be used both indoors and outdoors. Cort’s new line of convertible pieces, each of which serves a dual purpose, has been well received.
Unusual furniture uses are indicating a renewed appreciation for functional design. Flory says Cort’s retro-looking Globus chair, which might seem more like a lounge or specialty piece, has been ordered by the hundreds to outfit conferences.
The push toward function will undoubtedly continue as the event industry embraces sustainability. Companies might struggle to meet clients’ green demands, but those who work with tents and rental can take heart that they are one step ahead. As Flory notes, “Rental in and of itself is green by nature.”