Many organizations tend to think that a higher budget means a better event, but that doesn’t have to be the case. The truth is, a more thoughtful design paired with strategic planning is what leads to a better experience for your client and their guests.
Whether you’re putting together an intimate evening for your small business or trying to create a transcendent night for one thousand employees, partnering with your event planner to evaluate the following elements of your event strategy and design can take your holiday party from ordinary to extraordinary.
Design The Space
Make a great first impression. From the invitation to the moment of guest arrivals, to the event finale, create a series of “wow” moments throughout the entire experience. Focus on the element of surprise and reveal each moment strategically to keep the pace of the event moving and the energy up!
Create a cohesive theme. When showcased in small moments throughout, the power of repetition in design will provide aesthetic impact. If your event is broken into separate spaces, give each space its own slightly different look and feel. This helps create a new experience in each space. Consider forgoing the traditional corporate branding and modify your design with an unexpected color palette while still honoring the brand culture.
Create a focal point. Amplify the impact of the overall décor as it unfolds from one central feature to the next. Allow the decor to celebrate the “star of the show” as well as the supporting characters. A visual hierarchy in features will provide balance. Pull furniture away from the walls so that every space is useful and you don’t end up with any unintentional floor gaps.
Use the whole space. Ceilings, walls, floors, and doorways. Utilize the natural light or lack thereof. Evaluate the space with a thoughtful, creative eye, and take advantage of environmental features within the venue that accentuate and enhance your design. You can’t change the physical space, but you can influence the atmosphere and vibe.
Dive deep into the details. Paying close attention to details like themed drinks, curated music, costumed actors, and interactive activities can help you introduce more surprises and personal “wow” moments. On that note, be thoughtful not to sacrifice quality over quantity and keep a critical eye toward your overall budget. You don’t need to decorate every surface. Instead, carefully evaluate where your budget is going to have the most impact.
Design The Experience
Create opportunities for social media. Build Instagram-able and participatory moments throughout. People love to share what they are up to. Creating a selfie wall is often more fun and less expensive than a photographer.
Introduce opportunities to play. Figure out what works with your theme/event, and consider adding a joyful activity like an adult ball pit, giant swings, an indoor slide, or a rock wall. (Just be careful to consider the attire your guests will be in and their safety.)
Think outside the box. Turning shipping containers into pool parties, bringing food trucks inside, or suspending aerialists from the ceiling to pass out favors… The sky’s the limit when it comes to creativity! Dream big, and rely on the expertise of your event planner to help create a realistic way to execute your vision.
Personalize the experience for your guests. Ask for feedback about previous events. Listen to what people are saying and doing. Gauge your reach by how many conversations are happening around your event. Create a hashtag. Social media is your friend when it comes to building buzz.
Don’t over plan the event. Give people a chance to connect with one another and revel in the experience. If you inundate your guests with too much to see and do, the impact of an emotional connection will diminish.
Create transformative moments for your guests by influencing their perception of a product, brand, or even a personal point of view. If appropriate for your event and budget, create a relevant “wow” moment with a celebrity appearance, such as an athlete, industry figure, musician or DJ.
Don’t forget the finale! Sometimes the finale is a tangible item like a photo or piece of swag. Other times it is a lasting moment to remember, like an unexpected troupe of performers filling the dance floor just when everyone thought the night was winding down.
Whatever result you’re hoping to achieve, the right event planning team can help you execute your vision and ensure that great thought and care goes into every last detail.