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Event theming on a budget

12 June 2018

At your next event you want to get seen and stand out from the crowd. You want to be innovative and show your brand personality. But you don’t want to spend a fortune. Here at Vibrant Colour we’ve been to many (many) events as both an exhibitor and as a delegate, and along the way we’ve picked up some top tips on how to theme your event on a budget.

  • Create a concept, stick to it and plan ahead to avoid spending out on your event multiple times. There’s no fun in planning an amazing event, buying everything you think you could possibly need and then realising there’s an even better idea out there and you need to start all over again!
  • Be realistic about single use and multiple use items, to ensure funds aren’t wasted. Traditional roller banners should not be used outdoors, as the wind breaks poles easily. Instead, consider a dedicated outdoor banner frame, in which graphics can be changed. Replacement feather flag graphics also do not require new poles.
  • Choose a colour theme that is both impressive and effective. Choose a maximum of 3 colours that compliment one another or use your brand colours so you can reuse any leftover decorations or props at any future branded events.
  • Visit the venue before your event and check if there is a neutral interior or plain area you can use so that any products you invest in will stand out against the stark background and be centre stage.
  • Promote your brand at key areas within the venue with banners and branded items. Choose the entrance (immediate visibility on arrival), near any refreshment areas, and even close to the toilets (there’s guaranteed foot traffic), to enhance your brand’s presence.
  • One or two key pieces such as a selfie frame or photo props will add some fun to your event without adding much cost and will engage attendees. (Hawaiian theme? Skip the expense of a trip to the beach and use a couple of branded deck chairs and a couple of cheap inflatable flamingoes and voila – a tropical beach scene.)
  • Desktop roller banners – which are not just for your desk top – are light, cheap, portable and practical for use on exhibition stands or table top displays. They’re both eye catching and are a current alternative to traditional posters – great for signposting.
  • Speak to the venue and ask for their recommendations based on past events and ask for supplier contacts. Some venues recommend suppliers (such as a PA system provider) with whom they have a good working relationship and these suppliers may offer reduced rates if you mention the recommendation from your venue of choice.
  • Double up on the power of your theme by using branded food. Sourcing branded food, used sparingly, such as cupcakes, jaffa cakes or even sweets, can double as snacks for your guests and deliver a marketing message – and get shared on social media.
  • Kit out your team in branded clothing. This can be simple, but a unifying colour, and logo if appropriate, help visitors to identify those they need to talk to in case of any issues.
  • Having fun and being creative with your merchandising materials and promotional products can have a huge impact on your event theme, even with the smallest of budgets.
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