MAKING YOUR VENUE SPECIAL
IN SEASON ONE OF MOZART IN THE JUNGLE, THE MAESTRO TAKES HIS ORCHESTRA OUT OF THE SYMPHONY HALL AND BRINGS THEM TO AN ABANDONED LOT OUT IN THE CITY FOR A REHEARSAL. HE MEETS WITH RESISTANCE AT FIRST (IT'S ILLEGAL, THE MUSICIANS ARE UNCOMFORTABLE AND ANNOYED) HOWEVER, WHEN THEY BEGIN TO PLAY, AN INSPIRING SEQUENCE UNFOLDS--SOME OF THE WORLD'S BEST MUSICIANS ARE PLAYING TO THE BRICK WALLS OF THE ADJACENT APARTMENT BUILDINGS, NEARBY RESIDENTS OPEN THEIR WINDOWS, PASSERSBY STOP TO WATCH AND LISTEN, CHILDREN SNEAK UNDER THE FENCE TO WAVE THEIR ARMS ALONG WITH THE CONDUCTOR. IT'S A BEAUTIFUL MOMENT. SO WHAT THE HECK DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH EVENTS? WELL, A LOT, ACTUALLY. BECAUSE TODAY WE ARE TALKING ALL ABOUT HOW TO MAKE VENUES YOUR OWN. READ ON, FRIEND TO FIND OUT ALL THE JUICY DETAILS.
BRING YOUR OWN "SPECIAL SAUCE"
When Rodrigo takes his orchestra out of their element, each musician is forced to focus entirely on what he wants them to concentrate on--the music. As far as events are concerned, this is proof that though many venues are stunning, magical and unique, most, if not all of what makes an event is you and what you bring to it. It's an important reminder that it's your special sauce that is the key to your success. Take some time to figure out what exactly you want to accomplish and the feeling you want to bring to your event and let that be your guiding force. When your event is motivated by a strong sense of knowing your brand and what you want to give your guests and audience, you will be sure to succeed.
TREAT EVERY SPACE AS A BLANK SLATE
No matter what elements might already exist in your chosen venue, try your best to treat every space as a blank slate. Even if you're at the Natural History Museum, surrounded by dinosaur bones, try to think of it the same way you would think of any room you are decorating or an outfit you might choose to wear. The event design and production needs to be appropriate for your chosen purpose and the function you're trying to serve. Certain limits will be inherent--occupancy regulations, fire code limitations, individual venue restrictions and so forth. Those can be used as a kind of template around which you can build the overall plan for your production and design for any given venue.
HAVE A SIGNATURE DESIGN
Pharrell has his hats, Karl Lagerfeld has his motorcycle gloves and sunglasses, Adele has her cat-eye eyeliner. Many people recognize celebrities' signature looks. For a brand, that signature is usually their brand colors, or logo, or both. Everyone would be able to recognize the Nike "swoosh" without hesitation. What is your version of the swoosh? How can you apply it to your events? Of course you can apply your brand to all kinds of applications in your event but what we're getting at is something bigger and more elemental in your planning for your events. Think of this the way a production designer or movie director would. Wes Anderson movies are immediately recognizable for their signature tone, lighting, style, and design. Sure, you can employ smaller scale trademarks, like Hitchcock's cameo in every film, but try to think about what you want to evoke on a grander scale to determine how you want to develop your own unique and consistent stamp on your events.
ATTENDEE COMFORT SHOULD BE PARAMOUNT
This may be advice we've given before, but it rings true again now, and always will. Say you're hosting a gala for the National Geriatric Foundation and you've found a venue YOU love. It is spectacular but is also loud, cold, and has a grand staircase of 65 steps of slippery marble. We are sure you are smarter than this, but it's easy to get swept up in the beauty of a venue sometimes. That, to us, doesn't seem like a great match--a choice like that kind of invites disaster and your guests will be chilly, straining to hear through bad acoustics, and likely fearing for their lives if there is no elevator. Finding an event space at ground level with handrails, comfortable seating, well-tuned sound, and easily accessible restrooms would be optimal for this crowd. As you plan, consider the smallest elements of comfort for your attendees from clear communication (which helps people feel they know what to expect) through to offering them plenty of refreshments and opportunities to relax. They will be guaranteed to have the most fun and get the most out of the event when they are comfortable.
SPEND ON WHAT GIVES THE BIGGEST ROI
Prioritizing your spending is pretty essential when it comes to planning your budget. We talked a little about this in our last blog post. Getting clear about what is going to give you the best return on your investment is the best way to have people want to attend your event(s) time and time again. This doesn't always mean having the smallest budget--it means even if you have a small budget, you figure out what to spend it on with the right strategies. For example: Have a lot of complicated logistical things to deal with AND you're throwing the event yourself without a team behind you? Invest in an event planner. Having an event for a bunch of foodies? Make sure the menu and catering are mighty impressive. Have a large staff to manage? Give one extra competent employee or contractor a promotion or a bonus and let them wrangle your crew. Just use your noggin (or hire a professional if you're not sure) to find the most obvious and strategic places to invest.
WHATEVER YOUR EVENT MAY BE, THE VENUE IS THE FOUNDATION OF WHAT YOU'RE PRESENTING. MAKING SURE IT'S RIGHT, MEMORABLE, COMFORTABLE, UNIQUE AND AFFORDABLE IS KEY. LET US KNOW HOW WE CAN HELP YOU MAKE YOUR NEXT EVENT THE BEST IT CAN BE.