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Creative Events 101

December 23, 2013

Not all events are created equal. How can event planners continue to reinvent and pioneer creative events that never leave a guest feeling like they have "been there before". What does it take to constantly put together creative events? What are some good brainstorming and planning strategies? We address this and more in this article, Creative Events 101.

 

Every event has a different feel to it. Some, such as corporate events, have a more formal or professional feel. Others are more casual. such as social gatherings among family or friends. Regardless of the feel, the ambiance and intent of the event is built and developed during the stages of its planning.

 

If you want to hold an affair that leaves your guests feeling like they have attended a unique and ‘once in a lifetime’ event, you need to use effective planning strategies to make this impact on them. A creative event will be unique and will hold its own worth for your guests, while an event that costs more but has the same repetitive theme will not be as successful in impressing them. Thus, you need to create a plan for your upcoming event that leaves the invitees feeling like they have truly attended a gathering that was one of a kind.

 

Creative Event Planning Strategies

 

Below are a few key strategies and steps to guide you in planning a successful creative event for your guests:

 

1. Have a Clear Purpose

 

This is the most important part of planning a creative event. If you are not sure of the objective that you wish to achieve through a particular event, you will not be able to make it successful. Evaluate your reasons for conducting the event and determine if holding a large event or small event would be better.

 

Once you are determined to organize the event, plan it according to its purpose. The launch of a new product line might call for a brand activation event, with the goal of increasing awareness and jumpstarting sales. However, if you are planning a birthday party for a CEO's child, your number one goal should be making that child feel special.

 

2. Create a Checklist

 

Event planning is usually a time consuming task and requires a lot of small jobs to be done in order to create one perfectly organized event. Once you are through with the planning of the main theme of the event, create a list of tasks that need to be accomplished to make your your vision a reality. If you have an event planning team or an assistant, begin to break down and assign those tasks.

 

3. Calculate Your Budget

 

As mentioned above, event planning can take a chunk out of your budget. Hence, you need to know how much you are willing to spend to fund this event. You not only need to know the overall costs, but also, if your event is being sponsored or if you are selling tickets for it; you need to account for that money as well. Don't forget to budget for the expense of the décor, the food, the entertainment and anything else that you might incorporate to make the gathering more creative.

 

4. Evaluate Logistical Considerations

 

Every event needs to have a venue and a fixed date of execution, along with proper security and cleanup plans. Due considerations should also be given to transportation, emergency planning, lighting setup, and the basic arrangement of tables and chairs, along with eating utensils.

 

These basic items may seem like small details in a bigger scheme of things, but without these prerequisite items, your event will become disastrous. If your event is not streamlined and seamless, it could overshadow any creative event ideas you have put in place.

 

5. Publicize Creative Event

 

Part of the perception of your event is the hype leading up to it. If you plan a corporate event that has fixed and obligatory attendance, you do not need to promote the event as much as with social gatherings. However, with occasions where attendance is optional or where entrance tickets are being sold, you need to propagate your planned event enough to create a vibe that will sell tickets and bring people to your affair.

 

You can publicize your event on a number of medium, but the most important thing for an event planner to remember is that your event is based on a particular purpose and it needs to attract its audience accordingly. Hence, target your marketing strategies towards the populace that meets your target audience.

 

Creative Ideas for Event Planning

 

A creative event becomes easy to plan once the above guidelines are followed to organize it properly. However, for a truly successful event, innovation is the key. Here are some of the unique ideas that you can utilize:

 

  • Give a catchy and inspiring title to your planned event.

  • Play around with ideas and create a unique invitation. Add pictures of the venue or use colored and textured envelopes to give it a spin.

  • Find a venue that is thrilling or different. Rather than hosting a creative event in a boring office room, conduct it at a fancy restaurant. Instead of a rental hall, try a public park.

  • Decide on a theme for your menu to give it an innovative touch.

  • Illuminate your venue with colored lights strategically placed around the room, giving it an ambiance your guests will love.

  • Steer clear of the traditional 8 person seating arrangement and instead have your seating in half moon shapes so that all your guests can face the stage or central area of the room.

  • Find props that are different from the general trend of banners and backdrops, such as unique old antiques to spice up your decor.

  • Cover your tables and chairs with styles that are modern, matching and original.

  • Hire quality entertainment for your guests. Rather than having a DJ, opt for live, interactive performers.

  • Place creative centerpieces on your table. Artistic floral creations can add a lovely fresh touch to your creative event. 

 

Brainstorming Activities for Creative Events

 

Feeling a little less than creative? The best way to spark that creativity is to give it a little time. Start with some of the basic activities we outlined above and be thinking about the creative aspects all the while. You might find that a little seed gets planted that will grow into your fantastic event. If you're still stuck, try an activity like:

 

  • Read - something creative

  • Flip - a coin if you can't decide

  • Visit - your favorite creative website

  • Look - through pictures of other great events

  • Talk - it out with other people

  • Write - down any thoughts that come to mind

  • Play - a game or puzzle to jumpstart creativity

  • Go - for a walk or jog to clear your head


If you wish to create a truly inspired and creative event for corporate or personal guests, you need to think outside the box and find ways to do standard event planning tasks, but with a more innovative point of view.

 

*Photo credit Pete Coleman

 

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