Coming up with a concept for an event with that all important wow factor is hard! It’s either been done to death or is boredom city. Working in corporate events means that whilst the bulk of events is seminars and conferences, once in a while you need to pitch that event idea that will not only motivate those you’re working for, but motivate and inspire YOURSELF. You need to be excited about what you are doing and to do that, you need to think out of the box.
When you start looking at your event theme, you need to think about how you will apply that theme to all the different components involved in planning your event. To do it properly, your theme should be reflected in everything from the invitation to the food, the drinks and everything in between.
When you first receive the brief, look at the people whom are putting on the event. Look at what the event is for. If it is a launch party for the new office in France then please don’t do a French themed event! I would personally research what great things happened on the event date throughout time and use THAT as your theme. (You get my drift, think OUTSIDE the box).
Event theming is my favourite part of my career and if you are reading this I bet you have a keen interest too. I am going to write this in 2 parts. So first, we need to look at all the components that make up your event and from there, look at how you can tie in your theme.
Below are some of my suggestions to help theme your event end-to-end.
- The invitation or the save the date – this is THE most important part of the whole event’s process. You need to set the scene for your theme here (you don’t have the give the whole thing away) and it needs to capture your reader attention and get them excited – you want them to say yes!
- The venue – if you can’t tie your venue into your theme directly, you will find some small aspect that you can. You just need to do your research..
- The social media strategy – make sure your content involves your theme
- Arranging the event helper or staff – you don’t need to go OTT but make sure you event helpers or staff project an angle of your theme. I once did a circus theme where we had the wait-staff just wear huge clown ties. They looked so smart and just had this one quirky addition that stood out!
- The arrival – red carpet, green carpet, huge umpire chair for a tennis themed event. Make sure your theme runs from the moment they arrive
- The music – obvious! you’re not going to play 1990’s music at a roaring 1920’s bash are you>
- The decorations and actual theming – speak for themselves but remember sometimes less is more
- The food – remember we are now living in the age of social media. By presenting your food in a creative and inspired way you can gain great profile for your event as your guests will share snaps of the food on social media. Try and remember this when designing your event food.
- The Drinks – always, always create a signature drink that ties in with your theme. Holding a seminar you can still have a themed drink, remember think out of the box. How many seminars have you been to where your offered a signature drink? It leaves a lasting impression…
- The speeches – even just one-off the cuff remark that ties in with the theme or delivered in character?
After the event
- The follow –up – send your guests a follow-up email or gift to remind them of your theme and what a great time they had!