Keeping the look, feel and flavors of your meetings fresh and appealing means staying on top of current trends and being open to new interpretations of old favorites. To help you create that “wow” factor at your next conference, here are suggestions on how to improve decoration for your events.
1. Be Bright and Colorful.
As one of the key elements in event decor, color can influence the look, feel and energy of your event’s atmosphere, so select the right palette for your audience and message, choose it early in the planning process and use it wisely. If you’re apprehensive about going over the top with a color theme, incorporate bright accent colors into table linens, floral arrangements, centerpiece decor and event graphics.
Color trends can be a reflection of how people are feeling in society at large, so in a more optimistic economy, introducing bright and intense colors in meeting environments is more acceptable than it would have been just a few years ago.
2. Add Pattern and Texture with Linens
Linens that make a statement on their own are an easy and inventive way to create individuality. Linens are a pretty easy way to infuse personality into overall event decoration.
If you choose a patterned linen, keep your usage light and only incorporate it into the napkins, seat cushions or as a peekaboo layer of the table cloths. It adds a little bit of flair and personality to the overall effect. If you’re going with a pattern, go pretty muted on the rest of your palette, including dinnerware and flowers. If you choose textured linens—which is usually better with a monochromatic color scheme—definitely mix and match. Use one pattern for napkins and another on seat cushions or coverings. Because the color is going to be the same throughout, incorporating multiple textures will catch light differently and give dimension to the decor without being overwhelming.”
3. Flower Power.
Beautiful flowers and flowering plants can spruce up an event space and lift attendee spirits. When overdone, they can be obnoxious, distracting and expensive. Get clever with florals by using minimal flowers in fresh, modern ways, aiming for clean, contemporary lines rather than large, romantic arrangements that might send the wrong message.
You have to be very careful when you’re adding floral elements to meetings, based on who your audience is. You never want to put something too feminine on a table with a group of men. We find that if you do more linear things, such as branches, sticks, harder goods, wood, mushrooms or dried elements plus flowers, you get more of an interesting look that people will study.
4. Opt for Unconventional Seating.
For many events, traditional conference and dining seating stifles interaction, creates dead space and hinders visibility. Nobody wants to crane their necks or twist around in their seats to watch a luncheon presentation. That’s why less structured seating styles that improve visibility and engagement while maximizing the event space are becoming more common at conferences.
Mixing levels with high-tops and rounds creates aesthetically unique seating and can help with visibility issues during presentations at meetings. The mix of rounds and rectangular tables allows for larger group seating without having to break up teams or co-workers who are attending as a group.
Another great option for lectures: Instead of run-of-the-mill bleacher seats or rows of chairs, create original groupings of chairs, couches and ottomans that can promote more conversational settings. They are much more comfortable if people are going to be sitting for hours at a time.
5. Try Unusual Centerpieces.
Besides flowers, unique centerpieces made from alternative or interactive materials are a fun way to create visual appeal and break up the monotony of a typical meeting room environment. If you are providing any takeaways for your guests, work them into the tablescapes as design elements. This cuts out visibility issues altogether, creates a unique design, and reduces break down and cleanup.
At general sessions, consider using snacks to double as room decor, using different containers and different heights. We recommends using clear glass containers filled with all different kinds of white candies, or for a healthier option, use homemade granola or a make-your-own trail mix. Creatively arranging goodie bags as tablescape decoration is a great way to liven up a table and save money.
6. Light the Way.
Lighting is one of the easiest and most effective ways to set the right mood and ambiance in a meeting space. It’s also a quick, affordable and dramatic way to transform a typical room into a distinctive and captivating environment. Put a big portion of your budget aside for lighting.
We always ask for battery-operated, programmable lighting whenever we’re working with a lighting company. Some of them can be programmable to your clients’ colors, so you can light anything, and you don’t have to use cables. It gives you flexibility of where and how you want to light something. We also uses motion sensor technology to make projected graphics appear, disappear and transform.