There’s a good reason #ThrowbackThursday is a thing. People love to look back at bygone times – and scientifically, it’s proven that nostalgia is able to ward off feelings of boredom and depression in lieu of contentment and happiness, as reported by the New York Times.
In 2018, the media has proven that nostalgia reins king: Jumanji is top of the box office, new Will and Grace episodes are on NBC and a Roseanne reboot is coming soon. This week we’re taking a look at how to harness the positive effects of nostalgia to make for an amazing event your guests will love to look back on for years to come.
Set the Mood Before the Party.
Social media is a powerful tool for marketing events – and in this case, a perfect platform for inspiring nostalgia. Start building your retro aesthetic by snapping sneak peeks of your vintage event decor, post photos from past events (with or without a retro filter), or reminisce about a city where prior events were held.
If you have a long-running annually-recurring event, reach out to the oldest attendees you can identify and see if they’re willing to share stories from past events you can post. Not only will this bring in nostalgia, but it can also help foster a fear of missing out in this year’s attendees.
Lastly, use printed invitations on colourful, retro-inspired stationary to give a truly vintage feel instead of an e-invite. These disco-inspired invites from RachaelRee are a perfect way to get people nostalgic even before the party’s begun.
Get creative with your theme
If you’re hoping to evoke a sense of nostalgia, get creative and match the theme of your party to the event you’re celebrating. For example, if you’re hosting an anniversary party, include food, decor, and images from the year the couple met. This works for corporate events too – imagine if Coca Cola hosted a retro event with a 50’s diner theme? If applicable, get the guests to join in on the fun with costumes to match.
Visit your local thrift or vintage store to find one-of-a-kind statement pieces to give your guests a true blast from the past. Swag or event giveaways and promotional items can go a long way in connecting your attendees to the past, and you don’t need to blow your budget to add this touch. Nostalgic tie-ins can be anything from candy popular in that time period to small but highly recognizable items, such as a Rubik’s Cube for the 1980s.
Include retro activities to boost nostalgia.
Invite your guests to participate in the nostalgia by including nostalgia in your event activities. Instead of having an #instaworthy photo wall, why not set up a Polaroid photo station where users can create their own event keepsakes with a vintage flair? Instead of getting a DJ, let attendees dance the night away to a cover band, or an Elvis impersonator? Find a local small businesses that rent out novelty items like jukeboxes or 80’s arcade games for your attendees to enjoy (trust us, pinball is always a hit!). Or, if you’re having a more small-scale personal event, gather your friends around the dining table for an old fashioned vintage board game – read: 80’s era Trivial Pursuit, Dungeons and Dragons, or Mystery Date.