TORONTO – Want to make an impact with your next event, but don’t have the budget to match your vision? No problem, according to Candice Chan and Alison Slight of Candice & Alison Events Group.
According to the designer duo, an eye-catching, memorable event, doesn’t have to come a high cost — all it takes is a little creative thinking.
We caught up with Candice and Alison recently to discuss their tips for creating spectacular events on a budget. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Reinvent things you already have to buy
Instead of buying necessary items for your event and then buying extra elements to wow your guests and fit a theme, Candice and Alison advise planners to reinvent things you already have to buy.
“So let’s say the colour scheme that we have is green,” Slight said. “I ask my clients to list elements that need to be included in their event. Basically you’re going to be purchasing these design elements anyway – so if you’re theme is green, and you need catering, try incorporating fresh, green foods or anything of that nature, that can complement that design. Or make green work with linens or the stage design, or whatever other element you need.”
Another example given by the duo was a creative charger plate. For a recent charity event, their clients needed to buy charger plates, but they also wanted to highlight the charity. So, together with a print sponsor, they creatively used children’s drawings, which tied in with the charity, printed as place mats to work as their charger plates.
2. Leverage your connections
Chances are, you’re not putting together the event alone. So why not use the connections you’ve worked hard to build over the years?
“A major tip we like to tell our clients is look at what you have as an organization that is an asset, and use that to your benefit,” Chan said. “What a non-profit tends to have is access to a network, because they know who’s attending, who their donors are, and so on…so use that as the asset in terms of offering that back to someone who needs exposure.”
For example, are you thinking of an art installation or graphic photo backdrop? Work with a student artist or someone you can use as a platform and promise exposure to.
“This does require more time, but if you find a good match, it’ll be worth it,” Chan added.
3. Don’t spread your budget too thin
If you want to have that wow factor – focus on one thing, Slight advises.
“It’s better to invest in a high-impact element, as opposed to multiple things,” Slight said. “If your budget it’s too spread out…nothing will have an impact, because there’s no focus there. So try and spend your budget on one big thing that will be the focus…and that could be anything…it could be the centerpiece, the stage design, entrance feature, photo activation, just make sure that it will resonate with your audience.”