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What is the creative process that goes into decoring a show?

For all shows, small or big, we start with having the end in mind. What is the purpose? What are you trying to do? In addition, one thing that helps me a lot is to know what inspires them. Most often we find that when it comes to an event, there are many things that inspire those that are not related to any event. Their event may be about selling paper, or selling boards, lights, or it is interior and they are trying to inspire people and they come up with a theme. When you ask the background of the theme, it could be something they saw in a movie or a concert or something they experienced while leaving home from the beach. Sometimes those are the things that help us combine that theme or inspiration with whatever nuts and bolts they need to spread their message. Basically, we look at what needs to be achieved and what is the inspiration behind the event.

How will a client help you get started with decor?

The decor process is a team effort and in any creative process, one cannot hit the nail on the head after the first pass. However, it is a collaborative process with the client, so knowing his role is important.

One of the first things we ask is if this is an event they have done in the past. If so, what have you done before? What worked? What did not work? Where are you going? Where do you see your event in 5 years? These are things we like to work on with the client in achieving this goal.

If their purpose is based on participation, there may be a large element missing in their event to achieve them in their purpose. Maybe they do not know what that element is, or maybe they know. Maybe that element is something that falls into our department. Maybe there is a lack of energy, which is something we can definitely provide. One of my goals in designing everything is to provide a great experience for the people who participate. If we can know what inspires you and know what your ultimate goal is, it is our job to draw the line between those two things.

One of the processes we use is that we have a shared folder with a client where they throw inspirational pieces. We ask them to not only post pictures of events you like to create, but post pictures of things you see elsewhere that help inspire you.

It’s the idea for them to think outside the event and more about the theme, brand, emotion and feeling and we work together on these events and encourage people to remove a lot of content outside of the event content. What colors do you like? What emotions do you want to portray? Which movies match this? From there, we can determine the right elements to bring it forward.

Should decor be done for small events and large events?

We do not think there is a limit to how small you can go. You will always need some sort of roadmap for your event. One of the most frustrating things to do is work with people who do not have a plan. Where they show up and just look and do not know what they are going to do yet. We do not know that there is ever a situation, big or small, that you do not need a guide on how to get there, and that is basically what design is. It’s a guide to your event for all the different elements like landing, staging, what the stage is, where the recording is. These are all elements of your plan for your event and there is never a time when you should not have a plan.

We work in many extensions that go into audiovisual production, but it also helps planners see and visualize the space in the room, the right size of stage, how many people can fit in the room, and so on, go through the script planning with rounds and theater and we can also do layout and decor outside the room.

The importance of a scalable plan versus a non-scalable plan

We believe in doing everything scalable because we never want to present something we don’t know how to accomplish. We don’t want to present something that cannot be achieved under budget or at least within a great budget distance. There are almost every obstacle that can be overcome if you throw in enough money, but this is not realistic for every customer. If you look at the amount of work that goes into the first part of the Super Bowl, there is an incredible amount of production being done in a very short amount of time. The truth is, this can be done if you have the kind of money the Super Bowl has. You are talking about months of pre-production, months on end, doing it over and over and making sure you can execute it properly at the event directly.

When we start building, we build as if we are building the show, as if we are lighting the cavity, hanging the points of manipulation, we are building the stage. The product we send to customers is an interpretation and we know how to achieve it from a lighting and audio perspective.

Many time planners or designers do not have that process in mind. They will build something beautiful in Photoshop that looks great but is not real. How will you make it look good personally? How can you achieve it personally? Every time we project something, we overcome all the problems in that set of that show. 

The bottom line is, every place and every space is different. Every dimension is different. You may have an incredible concept, but if it is not built in that environment, it may not work.

How does content play out in the end result of a model?

Content helps if there is anything specific. Most of the time it will be something simple when there is no personalized content. It is not just the content, but it is the people who execute the content. You need to provide the canvas as well as the right content and guide to execute it. Turn back to the emotion of your event. Part of the event decor is knowing exactly what content needs to be created to get that emotion behind the inspiration.

That’s FPE’s Approach to Decor!

That is how the FPE team approaches decor for our different events! Tell the planners out there to reach out to us and we look forward to working on a design for your upcoming fall events and we look forward to seeing you on our next episode of AV Insights & Advice!

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