Continuing our discussion of event design (and please, make it a discussion by commenting)…
Day 5: Theme: Why does theme matter in special events?
|Dozens of volunteers came together for this SE Portland gala and auction and raised over $75,000 for the school foundation. The theme was “Put A Bird On It”.|
I think theme matters because I want guests to be comfortable, and it’s hard to be comfortable if you don’t understand your environment. I don’t want a guest to receive an invitation that sets one type of expectation, register on a website with yet another theme or design, and then arrive at the event where the room is one formality level, but the food service is a different style, and so on. An organized, cohesive theme makes people feel comfortable and immerses them more completely in the experience you’re trying to give them.
A theme helps us organize the environment and the experiences surrounding the event.
Do you have to have a theme? If by theme, you mean “Circus”, “Casino Night”, or “Denim and Diamonds”, I think the answer is no. Certainly these highly defined party themes can work, depending on your event, but I don’t think they are necessary. One trend I enjoy is the use of one-word themes that, while allowing the planner to style the event, are open for interpretation — for example, “Revolution” , “Ignite” or “Transcend”. It also depends on your group. One successful theme we did recently was for a SE Portland school auction. Portlandia is still a party theme touchstone, and this group decided on “Put a Bird On It” for their theme. You can imagine that this had endless applications.
Have you used a theme to pull an event together recently? How did it go? Please feel free to share in the comments. Don’t forget to tweet, +1, or share on Facebook if you found this interesting and helpful.
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