Finding a balance between creative and cliche can be a tough feat when it comes to decor. Take a luau-themed poolside reception, for example: It sounds like a fun idea, but can look tired unless you put a new spin on the old concept. And forget trying to make everything flawless. “Just do something different and don’t try to make it perfect,” says Caryl Lyons, owner of Roar Events. “The beauty isn’t in perfection. As event planners, this is something very hard for us to understand.” See how three event production companies are designing gatherings and learn how they put the “wow!” back in wow factor.
"You can find inspiration everywhere—from the architecture on a skyscraper to an antique toy at a flea market. But our best inspiration comes from our clients. Hearing their vision and reimagining it on their behalf is the best inspiration we can ask for.” —Bryan Rafanelli, Chief Creative Officer, Rafanelli Events
"When you walk into a space, really look at it—the walls, carpet, lighting, etc.—and see how you can make it your own. This may sound crazy, but if we are working in a large ballroom, we really focus on the carpet. We don’t want the branding to clash, so we incorporate the colors of the carpet into the event design, including signage and furniture. This way, it looks like it was meant to be there and you really feel like you own the space.” —Caryl Lyons, Owner, Roar Events
"The creative ideas we can put out are limitless, but justifying spending dollars on the additional nice-to-haves can be an uphill battle. We remedy this by making sure we know our audience and objectives, and ensuring every component has ROI in the eyes of the stakeholders. If it doesn’t add value, we cut it.” —Hillary Smith, CMP, CSEP, Partner, Koncept Events