October 27, 2014
On October 16, Kellen managed the annual Color Invasion event for the International Interior Design Association’s New York Chapter (IIDA NY). The event was held at New York’s iconic West Chelsea venue, The Tunnel, with the space transformed into Lewis Caroll’s wonderland – complete with whisky-filled teacups, white rabbits and a croquet lawn teeming with flamingos. Attracting over 1,200 attendees from New York’s interior design industry, the event was covered in the October 20th issue of the Wall Street Journal.
While not all organizations have an army of designers to call upon when planning their next event, IIDA NY’s event demonstrated how a classic theme, a modest decoration budget and a whole lot of creativity not only leads to profitable events, but evenings your members will remember.
In the lead up to the festive season, here are a few things to consider next time you want to create an event worthy of the social pages:
We played off the theme to enhance IIDA NY’s corporate sponsorships. A milliner’s table, sponsored by Architectural Systems, Inc, provided a fun and interactive opportunity for guests to engage with the gold sponsor. Steelcase and Legrand reinvented the corporate gift, with branded cupcakes and cookies fit for a Mad Hatter’s tea-party. Corporate sponsors were given the opportunity to choose from an assortment of vintage teacups and saucers (collected from local thrift stores for under $3 a set). Small gestures like these not only add value for guests, but also build strong relationships with sponsors, helping them feel part of the event and your programs.
Where would you offer guests cinnamon-maple-bacon cupcakes, or “Eat Me” frosted cookies? A Mad Hatters tea party of course. We incorporated the theme in the food and drink choices and oversized mushroom catering displays. People remember good food, so why not get creative with your next crudités order and see how your guests respond?
IIDA NY’s Alice in Wonderland party featured a Queen of Hearts “Smilebooth” on the party floor. Not only are photo booths a crowd pleaser, but they are brandable and digital – meaning your guests can help you promote the event across social media. Make it easy for them by including your event hashtag as part of the branded design.
When planning your next event don’t be afraid to get creative. Chances are your sponsors and members will thank you for it. Here are posts from previous years’ Color Invasion themes: Vintage Circus and Neon.
I’ll finish with some photos for inspiration…