Any event held in a one-of-a-kind venue with delicious catering will be appreciated. However, events can be so much more than that. Weaving in a meaningful event theme is an effective way to deliver a message. Here are eight easy steps to incorporate a cohesive theme into an event.
First, define the purpose of the event. It seems intuitive, but oftentimes the purpose is vague, such as “It’s good for morale.” Only when a purpose is established can an event message be developed. After that, event themes will organically present themselves. For example:
Purpose: My employees work hard, so I want to express my appreciation with an event.
Message: Your hard work is recognized and celebrated.
Theme: A Toast for the Team
Figure out why you want to host the event and what its purpose is. Even from this step alone, you’ll glean a few ideas on an event theme.
Event invitations offer more than logistical information. They set the emotional tone for the event long before the event date.
What do you want your guests to feel when they read the invitation? Use words and graphics to evoke that emotion. For a Toast for the Team event, attach the invitation to a mini-bottle of champagne.
3. Social Media
Social media is great for creating anticipation and generating buzz about the event. For a Toast for the Team event, feature a slideshow of employees working hard behind the scenes with a thank you message, or incorporate music, such as the song Celebration, to get everyone in a celebratory mood.
You want your guests to feel as though they have stepped into a different reality. Completely transform the event space, so your guests are immersed in the theme with all five senses.
For a Toast to the Team event, guests can:
- See bubbles suspended from the ceiling
- Smell aromas of (and, eventually, Taste) food made with champagne
- Touch bottles of bubbles that are scattered around the room for guest entertainment
- Hear music playing, such as the song Tiny Bubbles.
Get guests involved with a themed activity to break the ice and lure them out of familiar groupings.
At a Toast for the Team event, you might:
- Create a photo backdrop on a wall, such as champagne bubbles (gold and white balloons) flowing from a giant champagne bottle-shaped balloon
- Ask guests to share photos with a custom hashtag; then, use an app that loads hashtag photos in real time to a collage, which you can show on a screen.
6. Food and Beverage
Catering and bringing the theme into your food and beverage is where you can have a lot of fun. But selecting food and beverage is also a serious matter because it anchors the theme. If you are having a champagne-focused event, you don’t want to serve burgers and fries. You want the food and drink to not only match each other, but also match the event message, e.g. A Toast for the Team = champagne and elegant appetizers.
Music is just as important as food and beverage in extending the event theme and influencing the mood of the crowd. Live music is great, but themed music videos playing on a monitor or songs with the theme in the title are always fun. Whatever themed mood you want to create, there’s has a playlist for it.
8. Post-event Communication
A lot of time and attention is directed toward the event planning and execution stages. However, post-event communication is equally significant. Sending event photos to guests by email or posting them on social media provides one last opportunity to reiterate the event message.
Themes add pizazz to events, but it is not just for show. Themes allow the event message to be communicated in layers reminding guests why they are gathered. It helps them connect the dots and, in so doing, it unifies them. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with themes. Whether serious or playful, themes contribute to a memorable event that can have positive, lingering effects.
Don’t take it from us: tell us your surefire ways to choose an event theme! Leave us a comment or send us a tweet.
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