Get Your Gatsby On! 7 Ideas to Host a Roaring 20s-Themed Corporate Event in 2020

Looking to kick off the new decade in style? Click here to learn how the trends of a century ago can be incorporated into your corporate event!

It’s that time of year again. Companies all over the world are planning end-of-year events to celebrate their successes.

Events are a wonderful way to engage customers and recognize employees. So it’s worth taking the time to make yours great.

If you’re involved in event planning, chances are you’re scratching your head for ideas. You need a theme that hits the sweet spot between glamorous and fun to wow your colleagues and clients, right?

We have the answer. Here’s how to throw a 20s-themed corporate event that’s as memorable as the era it’s named after. 

1. Be Original

You don’t have to be a pop-history aficionado to pull off a great theme from times gone by. The internet is full of corporate event ideas to help you excel.

Turns out the 20s is a mish-mash of amusements that you can mesh into your event. There are plenty of sub-themes associated with the Gatsby era to choose from.

These include:

  • Cabaret
  • Prohibition
  • Jazz
  • Gangster 
  • Silent Movies
  • Art Deco

You can sprinkle elements of these throughout your event to add interest and whirl your guests back to those memorable times.

For example, a speakeasy bar works for drinks, jazz or cabaret will do for your entertainment, and art deco does the trick for decor. That narrows your focus in these areas and makes planning your 20s party a whole lot easier. 

Once you’ve got the big decisions out of the way, you can get down to the nitty-gritty details of planning your event. 

2. Getting the Word Out

We’re all on board with reducing paper waste, but an email hardly fits your 20s theme. 

Make up for the tech time-warp with a print-worthy invitation that you can insert in the body of your mail. A video clip is even better!

Match the theme by piling on the bold geometric shapes and colors like gold and black in your design. If preferred, you can hand-deliver copies of the invitation to VIP guests. 

3. Dress Code

Include suggestions for 1920s themed outfits in the wording of your invitation. You could also add links to websites with some great ideas.

It’s easy for guests to feel overwhelmed trying to decide what to wear, so a gentle nudge can often help get them on board with dressing up.

It’s pretty easy to dress to a Gatsby theme and the elegance of the era suits corporate events. Think bling, fringing, extra-long pearly necklaces, and jeweled headbands.

Men can accessorize a double-breasted suit with a cigar and a Trilby or Fedora hat and they’re good to go. 

4. Cheers to Good Times

The 20s are synonymous with a range of post-prohibition drinks. Ask your bar service to learn the art of gin rickeys, mint juleps, south sides, and Mary Pickfords. 

A champagne tower for pre-party drinks makes for a glamorous start to the evening. You can never have too much champagne at a Gatsby party, especially when it’s handed out by appropriately-dressed servers. 

Your bar decor should be suitably plush with crystal glasses and decanters on display. If you’re serving drinks at the guest’s tables, silver trays and white gloves are in order.

You could also go the boot-legging route with whiskey barrels and wooden crates as bar decor. For a real under-the-counter feel, serve your drinks in old-style teacups and teapots. 

5. Fine Dining

Food-wise anything goes from canapes to formal sit-down dinners. Both of these ideas work well for large events or an intimate 20s-themed office party.

Ask your caterers to whip up some dishes that correspond with the period. Here are some suggestions from the book:

  • Devilled eggs
  • Grilled oysters
  • Caesar salad
  • Bruschetta
  • Fried chicken
  • Lemon cakes

Don’t forget to dress up your buffet tables with a smattering of 1920s decor too. Is gilt cutlery going too far? Not if you’ve got the budget for it.  

Remember to take any of your guest’s dining preferences or allergies into account when preparing your menu.

If you’re going with a set menu, try to include a vegetarian or vegan option for each course. It may seem like overkill, but around 30% of Americans are now vegetarian-inclined. 

6. Creating a 1920’s Vibe

Art deco dance floors and wall murals add big appeal to a gatsby themed corporate event. Add huge ostrich feather centerpieces, art deco place cards and lots of gold tones are perfect for placing on your tables.

No 20s themed party is complete without a luxury vintage car somewhere. You can use the vehicle as a prop for photos. If renting a car is way out of your league, hire a couple of models dressed to the theme to act as the ‘props’, or get a backdrop painted. 

Vintage-attired paparazzi are also a great way to get photos of your guests as they arrive. You can stick to black and white photos for added effect. 

A cigar-rolling booth is a nice touch and the cigars double as a keepsake for your guests. Be sure to sneak in some other glitzy branded merchandise for your guests.

Memories are great but a branded shot glass is forever.

7. 20s-Themed Corporate Event Entertainment

You’ll have no trouble finding jazz and swing bands as well as troupes of cabaret dancers, flappers, or swing dancers to wow the crowds. 

Beaded crystal curtains, strings of lights and plenty of bling create an awesome backdrop for the performers. 

Roving entertainers and servers dressed to theme ensure the fun never stops. Some novel ideas include characters dressed like iconic celebrities of the time such as Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, or Babe Ruth. 

For smaller events, a murder-mystery event goes well with a gangster theme. 

Getting Organized

It’s easy to see that planning a 20s-themed corporate event can be as much fun as attending the actual function. Regardless of your budget, you can let your imagination run wild! 

Keep reading our blog for more ideas on how to do most things. From deciding on a gym workout to analyzing data, we’ve got it all!

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