Here’s how to bring your A-game to event design every time.

Transforming a sterile convention center into a vibrant brand experience tests the skill and creativity of any event design team.  Team Shiloh’s top creative talents are masters at turning bland venues into memorable experiences. Read on to learn some of the best practices our event design team used to make Zoom’s 2018 user conference an event to remember.

Begin with a Branding Guide

AKA brand book or style guide, this go-to reference defines the core elements of an event’s design. It supplies every team member, vendor, and partner with a consistent framework for making purposeful design decisions. Key visual details to define in the branding guide include logo, tagline, typeface, color, theme, imagery, and usage guidelines.

Make a Splash in the Streets

Exterior venue branding and outdoor signage create positive community buzz and build anticipation as attendees arrive. The most important elements for excellent outdoor branding include visibility, clarity and quality.

Consider how signage and graphics will appear from every vantage point.

At Zoomtopia 2018, the local business community would primarily see event branding from vehicles so designers increased contrast to boost brand legibility from a distance. Attending to design detail, such as matching the complex image patterns at seams, maintained a quality experience even when viewers got close.

Design an Event Entry with Impact

There are three event entry “must dos” for a top attendee experience; a clear path of where to go, a streamlined registration experience, and something to spark engagement. Shiloh designers combine strategically placed directional signage with a few surprise elements to achieve an on-point entry experience every time.

Fanciful undersea decor and a bold archway greeted attendees at Zoomtopia 2018.  A networking activation got people talking and made for a lively registration experience.

Assemble an Inviting Expo Hall

For an expo hall with impact, think beyond the traditional booth line up of sponsor sales pitches. Instead, use a combination of function, fancy, and fun to design an expo hall as a not-to-be-missed event destination.

For the Zoomtopia 2018 expo hall, Shiloh designers created a series of underwater grottos where ocean lights played off brightly colored coral, kelp and sea creatures.  Plenty of hang spaces outfitted with inviting furnishings and charging stations encouraged networking. Unconventional sponsor booth design mixed with educational and fun activities promoted exploration and engagement.

Design for Focus in General Session

Genius general session design accomplishes three things; it captures audience attention, directs it to center stage, and helps listeners attend to the message. Thoughtful plans for lighting, temperature, furnishings and noise control work together to achieve these goals.

The high-impact general session environment at Zoomtopia used dramatic lighting to immerse attendees in its undersea world. A combination of soft and hard furnishings balanced comfort with function and helped the audience give all their attention to speakers.

Serena Williams speaks at Zoomtopia

Add that Unique Touch

More than anything else, attendees will remember how you make them feel. Master designers know for event design to feel fresh, it must offer an element of surprise and delight. It’s the special creative touches that energize attendees and give them something fun to talk about. Most important, those unique touches build the memories that draw guests to return year after year.

A life-sized whale named “Happy” presided over the main stage at Zoomtopia 2018. Happy the whale generated lots of positive buzz for Zoom, whose event tagline is “Sponsors of Happiness.”

Share your favorite event design tips in the comments below.

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