William Fogler, principal and founder of WMEvents, presented his innovative event ideas focusing on five elements: budgets, branding, lighting, timing and shopping. By highlighting concrete ideas and showcasing his creative designs, Fogler provided helpful information for all planners across campus.
- “Put your money where it counts” - prioritize your budget based on visibility, interaction, and purpose
- Focus on entrance and front load events – get people excited about what they are about to experience
- Consider different catering styles and entertainment options for events
- Remember table décor and perimeter décor (drapery, plants, stage sets, step and repeats, etc.)
- Think of the complete package to complement your entire event – linens, menus, programs, table numbers, gifts, etc.
- For Georgia Tech, remember additional themes of innovation, technology, athletics, architecture, Atlanta, etc.
- Always place logo behind/in front of speaker for photo opportunities
- Lighting can really make an impact for any event
- Consider washes, uplighting, gobos, candles, wireless battery-powered lights, etc.
- Always create a run of show to ensure you are accurately forecasting the event
- Understand your audience – How long are their attention spans? Why are they there?
- Search thrift stores or antique outlets for décor
- Shop locally – consider Ikea or Richard’s Variety Store
- Look online – Paper Mart or Asian Imports
Innovative Georgia Tech ideas
- Serve lemonade with black gum drops to create “wow” factor
- Home Depot has seasonal centerpieces. Place in a liner pot to save money and pre-set the table to make an impact.
- Ensure you have comfortable seating for longer programs
- Consider a picture taking area for your entrance. This will be a fun activity for guests, as well as a marketing piece for you.