Choosing the right venue for your next event always trumps choosing the right decorations. Why? People aren't going to remember event decorations, and if you choose the right location, they're not necessary at all. Decorations are for weddings. Corporate events should be done at a location where the venue takes precedence.
All About Atmosphere
Look for a venue that pops. A space that will pleasantly surprise your attendees is ideal. Consider a private jet hanger: an event venue that frequently sits unused, plenty of parking and maybe a vacant Leer jet is parked in the corner-that’s interesting! Atmosphere is built-in and includes interesting exterior views. While the location might be on the radar of your guests, chances are they have never spent time in an airplane hangar. In high-style locales the space sets the tone and any attempt at décor would simply detract from the overall experience.
Let a historical backdrop pepper your party. There is a reason that the Chelsea Piers are one of the most iconic event spaces in New York City, it’s because they have been there for over 100 years! Designed as the port to serve luxury cruise ships visiting the Big Apple many of the areas have been redesigned yet the complex maintains a historical relevance along the Hudson waterfront.
There is an understated resonance at spaces like the Chelsea and the best part for event planners is that they can be found in most areas. Most neighborhoods have a preserved pier, warf, or market that is retrofitted to host events. Railroad stations have parking, charm, old world fixtures and the best acoustics in town.
Don't Eliminate Necessities
The bottom line is that your guests have a wonderful time. While an antique sports car warehouse may seem completely cool to you, is it an appropriate location for your attendees? A place might be high in style points, but is the space pleasant for your guests to enjoy themselves for a few hours or days? Does it add or subtract to your corporate message?
Please keep in mind that décor is one corporate event element that is okay to cut back on, however, remember your staff, technology, and accessibility needs. Don't cut out the necessities that help get you to the goal of the event.
You don't have to a green event planner to say "no" to the centerpiece bouquets not only reflects on the bottom line of a décor budget, but it saves a tremendous amount of waste. Cutting out the amout of flowers, vases, and shipping the flowers from exotic areas not only helps the wallet, it helps the environment.
Spend your décor budget elsewhere. Consider a small gift to each attendee. People appreciate something well made that they can use in everyday life. Small, stylish tool kits are always handy at tightening up a favorite pair of sun or reading glasses. We at Strategic Event Design tend to favor a pair of Ugg boots or a nice watch as a token, depending on budget. Or, publically make a donation to an area non-profit, on behalf of the corporation. Advertise your intent on the invitation and throughout the event. Win points with your guests and with your host city.
When planning a corporate event, evade the headache of decorations and simply focus more on venue. You’ll add substance to the event, save a bit of money, and tread lighter on the environment. With a little creativity, you’ll discover a number of wonderful spaces just waiting to be enjoyed.