April 15, 2016

7 Creative Techniques for Getting the Most Out of Event Design

This week we’ve decided to pick at our Social Media Manager’s brain for a little intel on creative techniques for event design. Twitter and Facebook aren’t the only things that enter her vocabulary on a day to day basis. She also dabbles in event design during her time outside of the office, having worked with event organisations in Amsterdam and Malta. So here she is, Emma Brincat:

A wild misconception of social media experts is that we spend most of our time sitting around watching YouTube videos. However my friends, I’m sorry to break this to you, you’ve been fooled! In a way, we’re more like experience designers. If you take a look at some creative agency structures the roles are pretty defined; you’ve got your strategists, designers, creative teams etc. With social media you roll into all of these roles and more. In fact, you become a strategist, customer support agent, account manager, designer, art director, analyst, copywriter….the list can go on.

An important part of this role is being able to absorb a lot of information and the culture around you in order to offer something relatable, but unique to your audience. Another significant factor is to not put too much focus on separating online and offline; one isn’t really there without the other. Whatever your final idea is, one thing’s for sure, you need to provide a holistic experience. It’s the same with event design. There’s a much larger process before the so-called ‘fluffy’ stuff begins to appear, at least the way I do it. For that reason I’d like to give you a little insight into how I work when designing an event and hopefully you’ll give it a try if you haven’t already. Here goes nothing:


Do your research

There are many things to consider before reaching your final idea, such as:

  • Your audience: Who are they? What do they like? What competitor events might they attend?
  • Your competition: What are they doing and what have they previously done? Do they incorporate interactivity into their design?
  • Location: It’s important that your design can fit into the space you’re given and that you make the most out of what you have. For example, if you’re given a very dark and shapeless room with no windows, how can you flaunt it? Perhaps you could incorporate UV into your idea. If you’re working with a unique venue, such as a castle then you might want to keep your execution more simple.
  • Culture: What’s trending? What technology is your audience currently embracing (e.g. Snapchat, VR etc.)?
  • Entertainment: If you’ve got music artists performing at the event then take a look at their style of music. Is it dreamy? Is it very energetic? This will inspire ideas and help you come up with something that can tie in with the overall experience.

Once you’ve done your research, you can move onto your:


Core Message

Knowing what it is you want to say to your audience by creating this experience will help narrow down your thoughts and push them even further. Once you’ve done your research and found your ‘gap’ in the market you can better define this message. For instance, you may want to position the party as ‘not for grown ups’ or ‘your one stop dreamshop.’ Whatever the message is, keep it consistent with  research findings. Coming up with your strategy and letting the creative drip off it is a lot easier than the working the other way round (i.e. creative and then strategy).


Think in threes

When working with a client, I always like to pitch two to three concepts. That way we’ve got a lot more to play with and there’s less likely to be any crying over spilt beans. So the plan is, create a ‘safe’ idea, a more daring one and another which lies somewhere in between the first two. This is a massive time saver and by using this approach you give the client the opportunity to feel like he’s contributed to the idea process. By pitching one idea, you’re limiting yourself and running the risk of rejection.


Have a plan

Creativity and organisation don’t always go hand in hand, but believe me if you can master the two then you’ll be doing yourself a massive favor. Having a plan in store will give you a good overview of the resources you need and already have to get the job done, as well as allow you to set deadlines for yourself outside the event deadline.



Sometimes things look easier than they appear, so before waiting until the last few days to build and create your design, make sure to test it out at the initial stages of conception. This will save you time, worry and money.


Consider your budget

When the creative juices are flowing, it can be easy to get carried away with your thoughts. Make sure you’re considerate of the budget given to you and that yours ideas can stay in line with it. If your idea requires more resources than allowed for, then look into ways of getting things for free. Have a look on Facebook for recycle groups or go to your DIY shop down the road – they often have wooden pallets they don’t need hiding at the back.



Once you’ve got your idea approved start thinking about the people or organisations you could possibly collaborate with to really make your idea come to life. Perhaps you need a light specialist to add certain effects to your design or a VR expert for one part of the event.


There you have them, Emma’s top tips for getting the most out of your event design. For more tips on running a successful event download our ticketscript playbook.


Written by Emma Brincat