For many meeting planners, the program is all about what happens from the time the attendees enter the convention center for breakfast or first session until the last session or dinner. With so much focus on functionality, event décor can often fall by the wayside. To prevent that from happening, simplify the process with these tips for creating a uniform look.
- Make the event and meeting theme cohesive. The colors must tie to the main theme of the program. Although the feel of the evening event is different than the morning session, it is still part of the same program. The production company you are using for your main program can help with this. Companies like Dillon Productions or Richardson Designs Inc., are fabulous with this.
- Don’t block the sight line. According to Paul Brummer with Rooms In Bloom, centerpieces should be either 11 inches or lower, or 26 inches or higher. This also goes for balloon centerpieces.
- Do the math. Nothing is worse than guests feeling stuck in their seats all night because all of the tables and chairs are crammed. Each 60-inch round banquet table requires at least 100 square feet of space. If you have 100 people and want to seat eight people per table, you’ll need 13 tables and, ideally, a 2,000-sq. ft. or larger event space.
- Mix it up. If the space for your 100-person evening function is smaller than 1,300 square feet, consider a mix of high-top cocktail tables and 36-inch bistro tables with a couple of 5-ft. square tables. The mix of shapes will add excitement and flow to the space. Not everyone will get a seat, but that’s OK. This stimulates conversation, and that’s a good thing.
- Allow the vendors to do what they do well. Trying to save money by installing the chair covers and linens yourself is never a good idea. Trust me, your event committee wants to go back to their hotel room after a day of meetings and freshen up, too. I love using Cover Ups Linens for festive, cohesive linen colors.
Here are some innovative tips to make your event décor memorable:
- Incorporate texture. I love using bamboo place mats as the base for a simple centerpiece arrangement. Burlap also is an inexpensive texture addition.
- Light it up. Candles are your friend. If you’ve got a bigger budget, theme lighting and gobos add a big punch and reinforce themes.
- Consider partnering with a local nonprofit. Ask the local Head Start program or Boys and Girls Club to design the centerpieces and signage. You’ll save money and involve the local community.
- Go green. By partnering with a local nursery, you can get great herb and/or floral centerpieces that can be given to a member of each table as a takeaway. It is absolutely OK to use items that you have in your attic. Do you have Grandma’s old milk glass collection? Use them on your buffet!