When it comes to theme development, work with the stakeholders to develop a theme that establishes the message or image that will reach the intended audience, communicate the event experience being offered, and encourage participation.

Design from Inspiration:

Creativity depends on inspiration and inventiveness.  Keep a folder of newspaper articles, magazine clippings, to look back at for inspiration.  Theme ideas come from many different sources:

  1. Supplied by the client
  2. Topic research
  3. Site or destination
  4. Religion, political and history
  5. Popular culture
  6. The Arts
  7. Fashion
  8. Nature


Design to Colour:

The color wheel is an invaluable tool for event designers and the lighting technicians.  The industry standard is produced by the Color Wheel Co. which is available through arts and crafts stores.  Pantone colors is the world-renowned authority on colour and provider of colour systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication see www.pantone.com

Red = energy, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

Orange = enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success

Yellow = the color of sunshine, associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.

Green = nature, symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness.

Purple = royalty, symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, creativity, mystery, and magic.

Blue = trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

White = light, goodness, innocence, purity and it is considered to be the color of perfection.

Black = power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery.


Design to the Senses:

Sight – setting, props, floral arrangements, color, fabrics, food presentation, lighting, attire

Sound – ambient noise (which may be good or bad depending on selection), soundscaping, musical entertainment, dialogue, dining sounds (i.e., glasses clinking, crunchy foods etc)

Taste – food, beverage

Touch – surfaces, fabrics, furnishings, food texture, visual textures (that stimulate the tactile sensation)

Smell –  food aromas, flowers, fuels (cooking and power generation), scented candles/incense/oils, ambient aromas (natural scents)

Design in Layers:

Theme development is about layering all components of the event from behind the scenes to up front.  The following topics are broken down in brief to give a general idea of what to consider when in the design phase:

  1. Background
  2. Colour
  3. Focal Points
  4. Fabrics
  5. Furnishings
  6. Lighting
  7. Audiovisual
  8. Detailing
  9. Flooring
  10. Rentals
  11. Props
  12. Stages
  13. Signage

Remember to develop themes that support the event objectives and communicate the desired message. Events are often put into a recognizable context by infusing them with a theme that will communicate the purpose and establish a set of expectations. Package the experience.