Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's an Event Design Series at the Portland Event Planner Blog!

A few posts ago I mentioned participating in ISES Portland's Art of the Party tabletop competition as a judge and panelist. Via Hersholt, ISES Portland's VP of Education and Programs, emailed us the following questions to answer about design. Some, we were able to get to during the program; others got cut due to time constraints. I wanted to explore more of these questions, and discuss the design evaluation process. Thus, 6 days of Event Design Discussion. Enjoy! Comments, as always, are welcomed.

Day 1: Criteria in a Design Competition
With two categories to judge and ten exquisitely executed entries, the evaluation process was extremely difficult. Some of the discussion questions that came up:

For Best Use of Theme:
  • Was the theme immediately apparent to the viewer?
  • Follow-through: Was theme executed in multiple items throughout the entire installation, including unusual or atypical usages?
  • Was the chosen theme and subject novel or unique?
  • Did the overall installation feel appealing, comfortable, and usable? Could a viewer think of events at which this theme could be applied?
"BAM!" lollipop favor in superhero-theme table by Peter Corvallis Productions.
 For Best Use of Alternative Materials:
  • What materials were chosen for the tabletop and styling? Could these materials be easily sourced or purchased, or were items unique, hard-to-find, or handcrafted?
  • Were any materials re-purposed from prior events or usages?
  • What sustainability considerations were taken into account when creating this theme? After this event, would items add to landfill usage or could they recycled or reused?
  • Were everyday materials used in a novel or unique way?
  • Given the stated theme, were the materials appropriate?
"Desert Rain" styled table by Gather Events and Starflower.

Based on these thought processes, what do you think of the outcome? Would you have done it differently or used different criteria? View all entries and the winners over at Paul Rich Studio's blog.

Please continue to join us at Portland Event Planner for the rest of Event Design Week. Here are the upcoming topics, all drawn from ISES Portland's panel agenda questions for Art of the Party 2012:

Day 2: Trends: What are some new trends in event design and how can an event planner keep current? What new color combinations are requested by clients? What are the most popular themes for parties, galas, and corporate events? What themes are overused?

Day 3: Sustainablity: Special events can be wasteful. What steps can planners take to make sure they are producing a sustainable event? And how can you use alternative materials in your design work?

Day 4: Budget: What tips do you have for a client that has a very small budget but wants a big impact?

Day 5: Theme: Why does theme matter in special events?

Day 6: Case Studies: Of all the designs and/or event decor you've come up with, what has been the most successful and why? ...And what was the biggest 'bust'?
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