As event designers, we are always working within set parameters. Even those dream jobs that call for total transformation of a space and where budget is no issue still come with some limitations. Personally, I've found that more parameters simply mean more creative solutions. It's all about working with what you have.
Take this event for instance. Our client had a fairly strict set of parameters for a two-city event that would take place in Denver and then again in Dallas. Although the spaces (both hotel ballrooms) were different, the design directives were the same -- incorporate the color palette of teal and copper; provide a variety of guest seating; and work with the in house-equipment and a/v companies.
Part I -- Denver
In Denver the venue featured very high (and busy) ceilings and an equally busy carpet design. To create the event I worked with, rather than against, these challenges.
Create Large Focal Points
Over-sized focal points help divert attention to something, and away from something else. We focused on two for this event -- the stage which was designed to be bold, colorful and stand out, and the bar which we placed in the center of the room. This works on the theory that at an event (in the absence of a kitchen) everyone will congregate at the bar so here I started with this as the center point and built the floor plan from it.
When creating a focal point, go as big as possible. Here I used large, white birch branches in the bar area. I worked with the beverage captain to ensure that the glass display was arranged around them and directed the lighting designer to wash all of it in blue -- not just the arrangements, but the glassware too as glass picks up light beautifully. The look popped.
Break Up the SpaceIf you look at the first photo, you will see that the room was broken up by floor-supported textured fabric walls. The fabric used was patterned, but sheer so it didn't close anyone's sight lines off from the entire space. We used floor-supported drops in the interest of time and budget.
Texture of any kind -- tactile or visual -- adds interest and can break up large solid space. In this case, lighting provided much of the visual texture. Using the event color palette of teal and copper, I included the ceiling lighting into the decor. Then the back air wall shown here became a canvas on which to paint with light.Using a shade of green that complimented the event colors, I textured the entire wall using what I had to work with -- pre-loaded breakup patterns in the ballroom's intelligent lighting system. We also worked with the existing mirrors in terms of placement. They provided wonderful design elements that reflected back the look of the stage to create yet another layer in the overall texture of the design.
Utilize Ceiling Light
In the spirit of highlighting what already exists, the golden amber of the ceiling lighting was added to the design mix for a dramatic effect.
A mixture of high and low seating was created throughout the space. In this photo, you can also see more of the "use what you have" philosophy at work. After looking over the in-house equipment inventory I found these hard top serpentine tables that the hotel usually uses for buffets. I used them as cocktail seating and this area was the most popular seat in the house!
Tune in next week when I post about the Dallas portion of this event in which I work with the same directives but a smaller ballroom with lower ceilings.