Decorating | CEME

Uploaded by BizTraining on 09.10.2011

Decorating, the Fun Part The title of this video isn’t meant to say
that only decorating your event is fun; it’s all fun. However, bringing the theme of your
event to visual life through décor is always a thrill for the event planner and his team.
In this video module, we’ll look at what is available in a number of decorating categories
and what can be done with these items to set the mood, emotion and energy of your events.
Backdrops (traditional fabric) Backdrops can be used for creating visual
excitement behind a stage, dais, head table or anywhere you want the attendees’ attention
to be drawn. You can use pipe and drape of any color for separating one space from another
visually or creating a storage space behind an exhibition booth for example, but, when
appropriate to the type of your event and its layout, exquisite backdrops of all kinds
elevate your theme grandly. In most cases, you will use uplighted backdrop lights with
colored gel filters to color up white gauzy sheers, or backlight the same with white or
single-colored sparkle lights to create starlight effects. These standard backdrops work well
for weddings, galas, cocktail receptions and other social and ceremonial events and are
also suitable for trade shows and expositions featuring fashion, cosmetic floral, romance
and elegant home décor exhibitions and trade shows. These standard draped backdrops are
also very good for bringing the perceptual ceiling down for a more intimate feeling in
a high-ceilinged venue. The world of backdrops goes well beyond drapes and can lights however,
and it is a vast one. Here are some examples of backdrops and when and where you might
want to use them: * Column and Arch Backdrops: These backdrops
are favorites for weddings and concourse d’elegance-styled exhibitor booths. They can stand alone mid-room
or serve as an entrance way to an event space, but they usually serve as a backdrop against
a white or colored drape. * Custom Backdrops: You can use almost anything
as a backdrop, just scale it to the space. For example, you may want a fabric drape emblazoned
with the logo of your event and those of your sponsors; at a symposium featuring speakers
from different countries, display the flag of each country’s speaker as the give their
presentation; you can even create and entire wall of flowers using the construction techniques
from parade float building, or green the event with an air purifying wall of living plants.
* Fabric Backdrops: From velvet theater curtains to tie-died sheets, and Scottish plaids to
sky and cloud prints, it is possible to set the mood of an entire room by creating a back-dropped
wall of themed fabric. Choose any fabric that fits your mission, just make sure that patters
on panels are matched perfectly or the effect will be cheap-looking, and make sure to light
the backdrop if the fabric and/or the venue are dark. These backdrops are appropriate
for any event space that needs a large representation of the theme without any specific messaging.
* Graphic Backdrops: Large format printing makes it possible to have graphic panel backgrounds
that represent everything from sailing tropical waters to living inside a giant video game.
These panels are printed from photographs or designs laid out by graphic artists and
adhered together on site to create and image of anything at any size; you’ll often see
them at red carpet events serving as branded backgrounds for celebrity photographs, and
they were once the realistic looking scenes used in movies.
* Colored Panel Backdrops: This same technology can be used to create solid colored-panel
backdrops. These panels can all be the same color, or alternating stripes of color. If
your event requires a staging area backstage, these panels and the graphic panels are ideal
because they are relatively lightweight and portable, but create a temporary wall which
can be configured to separate out space for dressing room, hair and makeup for a fashion
show, for example, from the runway and audience. * Starlight backdrops: These are always a
favorite for dances and weddings as they truly create a dancing under the stars atmosphere.
Depending on the mood you want to set—soft and romantic vs. bright and sparkly—LED
or sparkle Christmas tree light can be hung behind or in front of sheer or solid fabrics
of any color. At weddings, the color schemes are white on white, but play around with colors
based on your theme, you may be surprised at how colored light and fabrics work together
to create a mood. * Window Backdrops : These are favorites of
late night talk show hosts who want to appear as though they are broadcasting from a studio
looking out over the city they hail from. Excellent for business meetings, the graphic
panels framed by any style of window pane appropriate to the theme, give attendees the
feeling they are conducting business on the site of the topic at hand or in the offices
of their presenters. They are also good for creating a cozy, homey mood for small weddings
and other social events where the windows may be curtained, but surve to turn a commercial
space into a parlor-like interior. Balloons: The best thing about using balloons
for event decorations is their cost; they are a relatively inexpensive way to create
some quite grandiose themes. They come in every color imaginable and a number of sizes
and can be air filled when tied or taped in place, or helium-filled for levitating displays
and balloon releases. Anything you can design can be made of balloons:
* Balloon bouquets: Balloons filled with helium and tied together by long ribbon stems make
good table centerpieces, free-standing displays of color, even pillars for ribboned-off walkways,
but they also make excellent backdrops by combining pillars of balloon bunches or staristepping
small to large bouquets. For events that cater to the young at heart, these bouquets can
be comprised of balloon art flowers and butterflies, or palm trees with animals or exotic birds.
Balloon bouquets can be surprisingly elegant as well.
* Balloon scenes and walls: For a large-scale graphic wall on a budget, create a design,
then project it on a wall and tape colored balloons in place within the lines of the
design. This custom wall backdrop can be any size, and quite complex if very large, and
will cost far less than almost any other custom wall.
* Balloon arches: You can choose any arch and recreate it using helium balloons artfully
tied together, or air balloons taped to a pre-formed design. Because these arches are
very lightweight, they can be moved from venue space to venue space readily.
* Balloon sculptures: If you Google balloon art, you’ll enter a world where anything
you can imagine can be made of balloons. One event features a giant Noah’s Ark, with
all types of animals aboard. Another represents a wall of 3-D rainbows. If you’re on a budget,
consider creating balloon sculptures by taping balloons to a pre-formed design; just because
you’re using balloons doesn’t mean the effect has to be funny; it can be anything
you need it to be. Beaded Curtains: Beaded curtains get a shout
out for really standing out. They should only be used for events that need glitz and glitter
as they are almost always made of faceted crystal or crystal-look beads, meant to catch
the light and shimmer with movement. Many event decorator suppliers carry pre-fabricated
6 to 12 foot sections of beaded curtain, or you can have panels custom made from bead
by the roll. If your budget knows no bounds, you can even have an entire graphic scene
created by bead workers; consider donating this creation to a museum when your event
is over as it will indeed be a one-of-a-king work of art and worth a small fortune.
Ceiling Decor and Drape: Ceiling drape is a good way to change an acoustic tiled ceiling
into an elegant dropped one; it is often used with chandeliers, balloon falls, ribbons of
starlight lights, and even floral arrangements for weddings and social events. The ceiling
effects that are used in combination with drape or added to event tent peaks and other
ceilings are typically referred to as marquees; these combinations of balloons, flowers or
other items are often augmented with lighting effects such as light strings, paper lanterns
and LED fiber lights. If the event is for business, ceiling drape is still an option
for softening a high or harshly lit ceiling. In either case, sheer fabrics are preferred
because the weight of heavier fabrics across expansive spaces is prohibitive.
Centerpieces: Table centerpieces can be made from anything. Let your imagination run wild
when planning centerpieces for an event, you can have mini lily ponds complete with live
turtles, gift baskets, candy bouquets, towers of party favors, fruit sculptures, even an
elk antler decorated with Christmas bulbs. If you have the budget, do what the Vanderbilts
did, have a trough of sand with a couple precious gem stones in it and let your guests dig for
treasure. The only rules of thumb for centerpieces are: they shouldn’t smell bad, the table
guests need to be able to see under or over them, and they need to be proportionate to
the table, leaving space for everything else that needs to be on it.
Chair Covers, Sashes and Accessories: Not only are most event venue chairs notoriously
uncomfortable, they are seldom very attractive. A quick way to bring all of the design elements
of a room together is to add chair covers. Tufted and ribboned chair covers are popular
for formal affairs, and easy to find for rental; however, don’t overlook the possibilities
of using linen or custom fabric covers for an even of any kind. While you’re at it,
add a cushion underneath for long duration events; your guests will be grateful.
Costumes with or without mannequins: If your event has an historical theme or reflects
a certain industry, consider using apparel for décor. For example, if you are planning
a symposium for baseball card collectors, or comic book aficionados, rent costumes that
reflect the players or characters and display them on wall displays, in cases or on mannequins.
One of the best ways to set the mood is period dress; if you can’t find all the costumes
you need, augment them with graphic panels representing the rest.
Crystal Decorations: The crystal theme, especially for weddings and anniversaries, goes well
beyond crystal curtains. If you want to add some glitter to any event, even a business
dinner, integrate a lot or just a little with crystal beaded trees, vines, branches and
garlands. These items can serve as centerpieces, wall hangings and freestanding sculptures.
For an appreciation event, augment the centerpiece with quality costume crowns that can be given
to the person recognized at each table. Flowers and plants: Even as a seasoned event
planner, your wedding floral arrangements will probably always be the first that pop
into your head when you think floral. Why? Because wedding floral knows no bounds and
is often quite extraordinary. We don’t need to go into detail about that here, just Google
event floral for mind blowing wedding ideas. Then thing about how you can integrate floral
arrangements and live plants into your business events. Floral arrangements are passive greeters
of people; when you walk into a room that contains fresh flowers, you immediately feel
welcome. For business events, source arrangements that are interesting, unusual, conversation
starters—you don’t need big extravagant displays, just combinations of greenery and
color that freshen a room. For environmentally friendly events, rent plants to serve the
same purpose; plants also make good temporary screens and walls, walkway boundaries, and
enclosures for areas that may need to be accessed but aren’t particularly attractive.
Food and Beverage: Don’t underestimate the types and presentation of food and beverage
as part of your decorating theme! The foods you choose and the way they are served should
always be very much in line with your event theme and décor. For example, if your event
theme is business casual, server deli sandwiches, salad and sodas in bottles; at a science fiction
convention, ask your caterers to cut normal foods into unusual shapes and serve beverages
in square drink ware. Immerse yourself in your theme before you choose your menus, and
ask yourself what creative spin can be put on your foodservice so it doubles as themed
décor. Ice and Foam Sculptures: Custom sculptures
are a very good way of bringing one element to the center of attention for any type of
event. Ice and Styrofoam can be carved into anything. If you need a sculpture at your
event--say of your logo or a person who figures prominently at it—use ice if you can afford
it and the event’s duration is no more than a few hours. Otherwise, anything that can
be carved from ice can be carved from foam, usually for a great deal less money and infinite
durability. Bear in mind that Styrofoam is not biodegradable or Earth friendly and not
appropriate for green events. Lighting: Lighting is the ultimate mood setting
technique for events. Lighting possibilities are so diverse and numerous they will be discussed
in Decoration, the Fun Part, Part II: Lighting. Suffice it to say, that every event benefits
from the effects of appropriate lighting. As an event planner, look at every aspect
of your room ambiance and the décor you add to it and investigate whether a lighting element
can have significant and desirable impact on it. You may determine that many of the
effects you are trying to achieve with more expensive décor items can be affordably created
with the right type and volume of lighting. Linens: All full-service decorators supply
table cloths and drape, but for elegant and high-end events, make sure to consider quality
table linens available in many colors and embellish them with satin runners or overlay
tablecloths and color-coordinated napkins. A beautifully dressed table always elevates
a food and beverage event. Remember that full-length table skirts and cloths are hard to sit and
get out from under, so try to use overlay lengths when people will be leaving and returning
to the tables frequently. Paper Goods: From place cards to place card
holders, and Mexican cut paper banners to paper poms, paper goods offer tremendous variety
of color and good economy for event planners. Paper lanterns, which will be discussed in
the next video, are also a good value. Remember to recycle all your paper décor items at
your events. Party Favors: The great thing about using
party favors as décor for your events where this is appropriate is that they are interactive,
and give you the double value of serving two purposes for one cost. No matter what the
theme of your event is, there are party favors, novelty items and attendee gift products that
can readily double as decorations. When you’ve selected the gifts or favors you want to use,
ask yourself if they should hang from the ceiling, be displayed in centerpieces, set
atop each post along the walkway, or be taped to a sculpture form. Whatever you choose,
you’ll be doing your budget and décor a favor.
Props and stage sets: The category of props in event planning refers to all of the elements
you can pyrchase or rent to flesh out themes such as the Sixties, Alice in Wonderland,
Winter Wonderland, Under the Big Top, Midnight at the Oasis, Derby Days, Space Odyssey, Medieval
Memories, Under the Sea and dozens more. Props include everything you might see on a stage
if the theme were being used as a backdrop for a play: furniture, trees, characters and
creatures, etc. Some prop shops warehouse these items standard for each theme, others
create custom props for their clients. Special Effects: Special effects include Confetti
Machines, Fireworks, Green Screen photography, Lasers, Pyrotechnics, smoke machines, etc.
All of these effects can be integrated into the décor of your theme. For example, if
the event is a high tech trade show, you may want to use lasers to highlight key displays,
or a meeting held right before 4th of July may include legal fireworks like sparklers
in registration packets and floral arrangements. Table settings: Your glassware, flatware and
dishes should reflect your theme whenever possible. You can always default to plain
white china and unadorned glassware for any event if specialty services are not available,
but nothing sets a food and beverage service theme better than signature table settings,
try black and silver for a holiday celebration, square ware for a technology symposium luncheon,
fiesta ware for a Mexican themed awards banquet, etc. You caterer should be able to source
setting rentals to fit most themes. Now that you have a good idea of what you
can uses to establish your event’s theme through decorating, let’s take a quick look
at how you can practice green decorating policies for all of your events.
The first step to greening an event’s decorating program is to use as little décor as you
possibly can to achieve the effect you want. In this way you will reduce waste and recycling,
as will as emissions and fuel consumption used for delivery of the decorating supplies.
Next, always try to use rented live plants instead of cut flowers. These plant are used
over and over again and contribute to improving event air quality, whereas floral arrangements
are almost always made from cut flowers that have been raised in countries where there
are few restrictions, if any, on pesticide use, then transported thousands of miles by
airplane consuming fuel unnecessarily and producing tremendous air pollution. If you
do use cut flowers, source locally and organically grown varieties, and donate the arrangements
to hospitals and nursing homes when the event closes.
When using giveaway and novelty items as part of your décor, choose items that will be
used and appreciated and that contribute to green living: reusable coffee mugs, organic
and domestic cotton apparel, reusable water containers, etc. Make sure these items come
bulk shipped, not individually wrapped thus reducing waste, and that they are all made
of 100% recyclable materials so when the recipient does dispose of them they will be recycled
not go into a land fill. Above all, rent whatever you can from suppliers
who warehouse items to be reused by other event planners. And if you really want to
green your event, make “environmentally friendly” the theme of the event and use
all the elements discussed in Video 18, Green Meeting and Events, as the décor!
Now, have fun planning your event and making the theme come to life through decorating.