How to Choose and Execute a Great Event Theme
PLANNING AN EVENT OFTEN STARTS WITH CHOOSING A "THEME." HERE ARE TEN THINGS TO HELP YOU GET STARTED (AND MAKE IT AWESOME!):
1. GET CLEAR ON YOUR "PURPOSE."
Who's your audience? What goals do you have for your event? What kind of experience do you want to create for your attendees?
Whether your primary objective is networking, brand exposure, fundraising, etc., your theme should reflect and answer the three questions listed above.
To achieve a cohesive, successful event, being clear and staying true to your intentions and objectives is essential.
2. FIND INSPIRATION.
The internet is your best friend when it comes to finding ideas and inspiration.
If you don’t already have one, create a Pinterest account and find boards and “pins” that inspire your ideas for your event. You can also use Pinterest to organize all of the visual ideas you gather.
Tumblr and Google image searches are also great visual resources (and you can store your finds on Pinterest, too). You can share boards with clients, collaborators and/or vendors to fulfill the ideas you find.
3. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.
Thinking of a new way to reach an elderly audience? A hip-hop dance party might not be your best bet.
Take the time to thoughtfully consider your ideal attendee. What do they want/need/love? How can you cater to their interests... and map those to your objectives?
4. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR BUDGET.
There's nothing worse than cooking up a fabulous theme for your event—and then discovering that you can't afford to execute it.
Start smart. Know your budget from the get-go.
And if your budget is "light beer" but your vision for the event is "champagne," don't give up. A great event production partner can help you get creative and find ways to realize at least some (and maybe even many) of your event "dreams."
(Check out our post on 10 WAYS TO GET BIG IMPACT ON A SMALL BUDGET for a few great ideas & examples!).
5. CREATIVITY > COMPLEXITY!
Everyone wants their event to be memorable. Choosing a great theme can play a big role in making that happen.
However—creative ideas need not be complex. Sometimes simplicity is the "secret sauce" to bringing your event theme to life (and sticking to your budget!)
For example: an ocean or nautical theme can get crazy expensive (and crazy complicated) pretty fast.
But what if you kept it simple? Lighting that creates the feeling/appearance of sunlight on water; a low-key soundtrack that simulates the sound of being at sea; snacks and beverages that pay homage to the fruits of the ocean.
A few SIMPLE nods to your event theme can be all it takes to transport your attendees to a whole new world—and create a big "WOW" without a big headache.
6. CHECK YOUR CALENDAR!
National Love Your Cat Day? Yep, that's a thing.
And if you're planning an event for cat-lovers, that's the perfect date to host an event that caters to them.
Planning a convention for bakers? Why not plan it around National Donut Day (June 15)?
Check out this NATIONAL DAY CALENDAR to see if your event can be inspired by a day near your "chosen" dates or closely tied to the objective/audience you're inviting.
7. Let your venue DRIVE THE THEME.
Some venues have "built-in themes." Say for instance an art museum or the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
Holding a conference for Marketing and Branding professionals? Hold it somewhere like the National Museum of Brands (London, pictured above). Fell in love with the event space at the zoo? Have an animal-themed fundraiser. Anything is possible!
8. Brand It.
Does your brand have a strong visual image, a mascot or core "message?"
Use that to your advantage! Play up the metaphor of "MINI" (if you're MINI Cooper, for example) with an event that features "miniature" food and beverages. Show your attendees what "Let's Motor" (MINI's tagline) really means.
9. TAP YOUR PARTNERS.
Finding event partners, sponsors or other types of collaborations can not only help you offset costs and widen your audience, but can also help to inspire your event theme.
Pictured above, a partnership between Belvedere Vodka and an IT company, were the makings of a cool techno-Russian inspired event held in an industrial warehouse with plenty of vodka for refreshment.
10. Pay it Forward.
One of the best and most benevolent ways to create a compelling event theme is to take a brand / company partnership a step further and create a collaboration with a charitable organization.
Pictured above, Saks Fifth Avenue raised money for charity:water with an informative, interactive event. Find organizations you believe in, or that fit well with your objectives and let that help inspire your theme.
Need more ideas/inspiration for your next corporate event? Give us a call or send an email. We'd love to help you make your next event AMAZING!
In fact... CONSIDER IT DONE!