You are in the throes of planning your event; scrolling through Pinterest to jolt your creative juices, hoping to spark creative ideas on how to bring that “blank-slate” venue alive. Will your guests arrive and feel that WOW FACTOR?

The moment the doors open, first impressions are formed. Lighting, colour scheme, table settings and décor all play into the overall atmosphere and ambiance of the event and set the tone for the evening. These are also cost-effective and impactful means of invigorating an event space.

The “Refresh Button” is a rule of thumb I implement when consulting for my clients. On-trend, creative experiential live auction items and latest interactive revenue games are in! Copy, Paste, and Repeat is OUT! It’s so yesterday and so boring!

Same goes for the venue experience. Same-old, cookie-cutter just doesn’t cut it anymore! Guests expect a full-on experience when they head to a gala.

Here are some pearls of wisdom that I have learned over the last eight years working closely with event design experts:

  • The auctioneer must have clear sightlines:
    • Tall table centre pieces block sight lines; low centre pieces are best
    • Elevating perimeter tables makes guests feel special and included in the Fund- A-Need & Live Auction
  • Re-orient the room:
    • A centre stage design brings everyone closer to the action!
    • Creates intimate setting for the “pinnacle” of the night: Fund-A-Need
  • Developing a theme is a starting point:
    • This could be a colour or something more abstract
    • A multi-year theme creates incentive for guests to attend a “series” (seasons, zodiac, earth elements etc.)
  • Mix up your venues
    • Refresh your guests’ visual experience
  • Set the mood with lights
    • Create a space where guests feel comfortable – without the harshness of fluorescent lighting
    • Up-lighting, accent lighting and task lighting
  • Décor should not distract eyes from the cause
    • Less is more – which bodes well for budgets!

Invigorate your event by hitting the “Refresh Button;” venue selection, space layout, theme, and fundraising activities. Stay on-trend and innovate. Your guests will keep coming back for more!