When most people think of decorating for an event, they think of linen color, centerpieces, streamers, flower arrangements, and balloons. These items are purchased, arranged perfectly, and voila!…decorating for the event is complete! Or is it? An event’s decor does not solely rest on the decorations. Creating a complete and memorable environment should engage all 5 senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch). Here are a few tips for engaging the 5 senses.
An eye catching idea, that can work with any budget, is to have all your decor one color. This creates a cohesive environment, ambiance, and drama with minimal effort. Center pieces of monochromatic floral arrangements can add extra drama to your event! If your budget allows, work one color into the lighting and food and beverage offerings. Extend the monochromatic décor concept to your guests by asking them to wear outfits using the decor color. This is a fun way to involve your guests in the overall event, and make them part of the decor.
Not a fan of the monochromatic concept? Add layers of color into your decor. Remember, colors can evoke emotions. Use simple color options by choosing one main color and an accent color. Another option is to choose multiple colors that compliment each other (no more than five), or varying shades of the same color for dramatic effect.
- Is there enough music for the entire event?
- Is the music appropriate for the event? Is the music appropriate for the guest demographic? Do the guests find the music interesting?
- Is the volume appropriate for this particular event? Does the volume allow guests to comfortably hold a conversation?
Follow the adage “less is more” when selecting an aroma for your event. Consider the following:
- Are there iconic fragrances that compliment the event’s theme?
- Consider if food smells will clash with fragrances from flowers or candles.
- Ask yourself: do your guests have allergies? If so, avoid floral or citrus fragrances to avoid evoking allergic reactions.
- Avoid scents that are naturally very strong.
Every event should have great food and drinks. You do not have be a gourmet chef to make this happen. Use your resources and weave your event’s theme into the food and beverage options. This is a prime opportunity to be creative and create signature dishes and beverages with catchy names for your guests! Food for the event can go beyond the hours of the gathering! For example, last year I planned and coordinated a Christmas in the City themed event. Each guest received a gift bag with a delicious red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. Not only did the guests enjoy the food and drinks, they were able to take a taste of the event home.
Engaging your guests sense of touch addresses three event environmental questions:
- How are your guests feeling emotionally?
- How are your guests feeling physically?
- What are your guests feeling?
How your guests are feeling are crucial to any event. How guests are feeling emotionally deals with the emotions they are connecting with the event. For example, weddings can have a happy, romantic, joyous emotions. Where as holiday events have seasonally festive, traditional, warm, and magical emotions tied to them. How your guests are feeling physically deals with the layout and traffic flow of the event. You want to make sure the layout of tables and chairs allows guests enough space to move around comfortably. Guests that feel cramped or uncomfortable may leave your event sooner than later. Event layout tip: have food stations and beverage stations in separate areas. This will minimize congestion between the two stations.
What your guests are feeling deals with the texture and comfort of linens, furnishings, etc. Make sure your event evokes a sense of comfort for your guests.
Remember, your event is an experience. An event that engages the five senses creates a memorable event experience your guests will never forget! Cheers!