event ideas

If you’re looking for knockout event ideas that has everyone talking, consider The Great Gatsby and people’s love of all things vintage.

Whether it’s a private party, product launch or corporate event, here are ten event ideas inspired by the 1920s.

10 Event Ideas

1. Cabaret Evening

The roaring twenties was an era full of decadence and entertainment, so a cabaret evening would suit the 1920s theme perfectly, and will be a whole lot of fun for guests! You have a whole range of fantastic entertainment ideas open to you, like lounge singers, aerial acrobats or even risqué burlesque performers.

2. Murder Mystery Night

If your client’s looking for something unusual for a smaller group (ten to twenty guests is ideal), a 1920s themed murder mystery night will definitely fit the bill. This works well for both private and corporate events, but will rely heavily on participation, so your client needs to be sure that their guests will be happy to join in!

event ideas
Photo Credit: sarahfunky.com

3. Secret Speakeasy

The 1920s was an era when prohibition was in full force, and parties had to take place in secret. Why not make the most of this idea and plan a speakeasy themed event? Including a secret code-word on invitations that attendees have to use to enter adds an extra bit of authenticity and fun to proceedings.

4. Jazz Night

A live jazz band will really let guests get into the swing of things; the 1920s were, after all, known as the Jazz Age. Out of all the event ideas inspired by the 1920s, this is just the thing for music lovers.

5. Dance Event

A 1920s dance with live music is perfect for capitalizing on 1920s fever, and when you’re thinking about the perfect venue for this, don’t just consider the obvious. Maybe there’s a slightly run-down hotel in the area that you wouldn’t usually consider as a venue, but that could be hiding a fantastic art deco ballroom?

The Roaring 20’s

6. Cocktail Party

For a glamorous cocktail evening, think decadence and style. 1920s cocktails like Mint Juleps are sure to go down well, and a champagne tower will make attendees feel like they’re in the home of Jay Gatsby himself.

7. 1920s Canapé Party

If your event needs to be dazzling but on the informal side, work with your caterers to produce a 1920s canapé menu. Canapés really came into their own during the 1920s, as they were perfect for soaking up all that bootleg liquor!

8. 1920s-Inspired Formal Dinner

This would work from anything from a formal gala to an intimate corporate dinner, and you can combine food, cocktails and décor from the era for a fantastic atmosphere.

9. Gatsby Garden Party

Garden parties were all the rage in the 1920s, so if weather and location permit, go crazy with the fairy lights and paper lanterns for an enchanting outdoor event.

10. Dress to Impress

Event ideas inspired by the 1920s requires a dress code that adds to the atmosphere and enjoyment. You may think that people won’t like the idea of adults playing dress-up, but you’ll probably find that they can’t wait to slip into flapper dresses, ostrich feathers and zoot suits!

These are a few ideas for planning a 1920s inspired event; if you think creatively you can combine a number of elements of theme or style to produce an event with your own personal flair.

We’d love to hear from you…

In the comments below, if you’ve already planned a similar event.

If so, what was your favorite part of the event?

Share your experiences in the comments below.


  1. Roberto at1:01 pm

    These are very eclectic ideas. It’s a great concept to reach back into the nostalgic past for an event concept. In fact, Hugh Heffner holds his annual watch party of his favorite film, Casa Blanca, as a circa 20’s costume party. He does it every year. One thing is certain: people love to dress up in costume to attend a party. And with the recent movie adaptation of the classic book, The Great Gatsby, this kind of theme has become retro popular.

  2. Paul at8:20 am

    The Great Gatsby movie has certainly inspired many party themesmore so than the classic novel ever has. That’s understandable. The movie brought to life with visuals, all the imagination that the author deployed when writing this classic. The lavish movie set was so over the top, I don’t think there exists such an event planning gig of that magnitude, unless you count the movie production itself as a job, which is what it was essentially.

  3. Thomas at7:51 am

    If you are organizing a retro / circa 1920s themed event, where proper attire is required, then I suppose you need to make equally elegant invitation cards, not only so guests can RSVP, but also to let them know that such attire is appropriate. As an event planner who pays attention to detail, you might also offer, enclosed in the same envelope, suggestions for where to acquire / rent such attire or even a discount coupon, which you can procure by making a side promotional deal with a local dress / costume shop.

  4. Georgia at10:09 am

    I love this idea it so elegant yet casual, we are doing a worship night at our church and I think we should have a theme to it like this, how fun would that be? Thank you for the idea of the dress as well in the picture, there is a lady getting married at our church that has been looking for something like that I will have to show her this picture.

  5. Randy at10:07 am

    I have been an event planner for some time now and I have never done a 20’s themed party and that really sounds like a lot of fun. Thank you for the time you took to post all this information you have done a great job and I look forward to the next post that you do. Keep up the good work and I will follow your posts.

  6. Jose at4:43 pm

    I was watching a reality show where one of the cast members proposed to his girlfriend. The engagement party was set up in a forest and it was beautifully decorated at night with candle / torch lighting and picnic tables well decorated and a wonderful presentation of cuisine. I suppose it is kind of like the Gatsby garden party theme. It is a concept you don’t see all that often.

  7. Ronnie at3:00 pm

    No doubt that selecting the perfect theme for your gala can really make or break the success of your event. I particularly like the masquerade theme because it fits perfectly with the black tie style of dress. Its stylish nature supports the attire and the atmosphere commonly associated with many formal events. Red carpet, stylish dcor, live music, acts, masks, and ballroom dancing are all elements of the masquerade theme and are great ways to draw attention to your event.

  8. Jonathan at6:51 pm

    There is a new selfie trend going around social media of circa 1920 inspired selfie photos. Since those phone booth kiosks have become so popular at weddings and other social events, it would not be such a bad idea to mesh the two trends and include 1920 costumes to the photo booth’s props. This could be done for any event that has nothing to do with a 1920’s theme. After all, it is a hot trend.

  9. Vincent at8:22 am

    The release of the movie “The Great Gatsby along with the popularity of the show “Downtown Abbey has really brought the roaring 1920s back into fashion, especially as the vintage trend continues to be hot. A glamorous decade known as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties was truly a time of fabulous fashion and beauty. Romantic styling, touches of art deco, pearls, headpieces, lace and gold makes for a classic look that is fun to recreate.

  10. Tony at10:49 am

    The decorating theme at my house party was a rustic “Gangster Alley” look. The garage and backyard areas were sectioned off into functional stations. As far as signage, it was created on my computer, printed out and then assembled with packing tape and spray adhesive in advance of the event. I pasted the signs on cork board protected walls and made it look like newspaper propaganda from that era posted on alley walls.


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