Dream a Little Theme

Picking a theme for your events can be just as important as your guests’ experience. Not only can a good theme help to keep your attendees engaged and excited to be in attendance, it can also keep them talking about the experience even after the event has ended. We recently held a corporate team-building event here in Atlanta. Ishutterstock_107378192-[Converted]n reviewing the meeting agenda it became clear that the content would be rich in corporate initiatives and training…a potential snooze-fest for a majority of attendees. So prior to initiating the planning process, we sat down to discuss the various ideas we had to build a theme that would keep everyone engaged, awake, and entertained. In the end, we agreed on an “In Concert” themed day. Badges were created to look like backstage passes, upbeat songs specific to each speaker’s topic were played as an intro, and a blues band was hired for an evening team-building activity. During the team-building event, attendees were broken out in to teams to create their own blues song that they then performed with the live band at the start of dinner. We even played up the theme by replacing boring center pieces with glow necklaces and other concert paraphernalia. In the end, everyone had a blast – the meeting was a huge success!

So how did we get there you ask?

Brainstorm, brainstorm, and then brainstorm some more.

First, it is important to know your audience. Tossing ideas back and forth with people can give you a clue as to how others may perceive your theme. Decide on an idea that is clear, easy to follow, and one that will be consistent throughout your event. Once you’ve decided on a good theme, you may be surprised by how easy your event will be to plan.

A few things to consider before putting your thinking cap on:

  • What’s your budget?
  • What’s the purpose of your event?  Is it a birthday party, anniversary party, wedding, corporate function, etc?
  • Who is your client? Are they party animals or are they serious professionals looking to relax?
  • Will your event be indoors or outdoors?
  • Where is your event being hosted? It might be fun to incorporate a local theme.
  • Consider your venue and what is has to offer. How does it inspire you?

The great thing about planning these days is that there are a number of resources you can utilize to assist with your brainstorming. One such resource is Pinterest. If you haven’t signed up for this social media gem then you may want to reconsider it. Search terms like “event themes” and “party themes” within the numerous boards and pins reveal inspiration from previous users’ events and unique ideas that will wow your attendees AND help you stay within your budget.

The number of themes out there is endless…it all depends on your imagination. Here are a few theme ideas to help get your creative juices flowing:

  • Rock ‘n Roll
  • Casino
  • Hollywood
  • Red Carpet Award Show
  • Sports
  • Mardi Gras
  • TV and Movies
  • Masquerade
  • Luau
  • Fire and Ice
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Decades

What could you incorporate into one of the themes above to make it unique? What was the most successful themed event you planned? What did you find to be the most challenging part of planning it?

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