8 Inexpensive Event Design Ideas to Wow Your Attendees

8 Inexpensive Event Design Ideas to Wow Your Attendees

From the moment you enter the door at an event the design of the space makes an impact. Many planners spend massive amounts of money on creative a visually stunning event design. However, not every planner has the luxury of a large-scale budget.

So how can the rest of us still pack a punch while keeping a close eye on our costs? The tips below will get your creative juices flowing and help you design a space sure to wow the attendees at your next event, without breaking the bank.

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1. Creative Layout

When you go into your venue for the first time, try to brainstorm creative ideas on how the space can be best utilized. Sometimes the conventional layouts leave a lot to be desired and with a little creativity you can greatly improve the design of your event.

Something as small as moving the tables into a unique shape, or using a stage or riser in a creative way can draw your audience’s attention and set your event apart from the rest. Providing a variety of spaces, such as traditional tables and high tops along with more casual seating such as couches gives your guests options and provide many different areas to have conversations and enjoy the event.

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2. Unique Seating

Everyone needs a place to sit during your event, right? Just because you’re hosting a traditional wedding or meeting doesn’t mean the seats have to be boring or uncomfortable. Chairs can be a great way to add to your event design while also serving a purpose.

The arrangement of the chairs is one way to change things up. Some wedding ceremonies utilize “seating in the round” which surrounds the couple as they take their vows. This could also work with a center stage at a performance or presentation

Another very popular trend and a great way to get your guests more engaged, is by utilizing family style or community seating. Many restaurants are moving towards this style of seating and it also works very well for events.

In addition, you can be creative in the style of chair you use. Perhaps you use hay bales or picnic tables at an outdoor event. You could also rent long benches to avoid having hundreds of chairs, or even use beanbags if the setting is appropriate!

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Photo Credit: The Muslim Lifestyle Expo and Events Northern Ltd

3. Use of Color

Color is an integral part of event design. Many planners use flowers to integrate color, but large floral displays come with hefty price tags. Try to find creative ideas for color in the items that are essential to the event, such a linens, plates, chairs, skirting, etc.

You can also add color through utilizing lights! Lighting can pack a big punch and is normally something you have already budgeted for. Uplighting, spotlights and general room lighting are all areas that you can add color to transform your space.

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4. Food Displays

Be sure to use your food display to create another point of interest for your guests. Food can often times be a work of art in itself! Edible items can be made into an interesting display on the service line or also on each table as a unique centerpiece. These beautiful arrangements can add an exciting element to your event design and are already something you must have at most events.

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Photo Credit: Canadian Special Events

5. Utilize Local Artwork or Photography

One cost effective way to add visual impact to your event is through an art display. Large displays can sometimes cost a pretty penny, but if you reach out to local, up-and-coming artists you can usually strike a great deal. Some artists may even agree to provide a display a no charge, if you list their works as items for purchase.

You could also host your event at a local art gallery or museum. These spaces may run at a higher price, but some of your decor is already built into the space.

In addition if you are planning an event such as a wedding or birthday party, you could use the client’s personal photos to create a lovely display that is sentimental yet beautiful.

6. Bring in Natural Elements

Nature can provide a lot beauty to events. The challenge is that they often come with a cost. Try and get creative by using lower cost flowers or perhaps seasonal elements that come at a discounted rate.

Items like branches, or wildflowers will run at a lower rate than a more traditional flower such as roses. Keep these in mind when working with tight budgets and flexible clients.

In addition, consider moving your event outside! Many weddings that are held outside require less money to be spent on florals. Look into local gardens or parks that may offer event space.

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Photo Credit: Greenscape Decor

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Photo Credit: Plantscaping

7. Discount Fabrics and Paper

Fabrics and decorative papers can add to your theme and provide wonderful additions of color. You can find many fabrics at a lower rate if they are unique or out of season. Paper can be expensive, but if you buy high quality papers in bulk, you can often get a discount.

Paper and fabric can be transformed into décor and used in functional items such as place cards, party favors and programs. Draping is another way to use fabric to transform your space. You can create separation in a large space or add draping to the
ceiling to make the space feel more intimate.

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Photo Credit: PJ Hummel

8. Utilize Your Team

Often times the labor that goes along with event design is what drives up the cost. Try to use your team and do as much as you can on our own. You will need to outsource certain items due to the time they may take to complete or the expertise they require, but if you are trying to cut costs, taking projects on yourself will help to reduce some of the extra fees.

The costs saved will allow you more room in your budget to spend on impressing your guests with the displays and décor. The hard work of your team will pay off and is sure to wow your attendees.

In Conclusion

Event design is one of the most exciting parts of being an event planner. It gives you a chance to get outside of your typical tasks and truly be creative.

There are endless ideas and really no wrong answers when it comes to the concept of design, as long as the decor works for you and your client. These ideas should give you the jump-start you need to get going on transforming your next event. Feel free to share below any ideas you have to transform your event design without breaking the budget.

About The Author
Kelli White
Kelli White has 10 years experience in event management, creative marketing, volunteer coordination and non-profit fundraising. You can follow her at @kellimwhite.
Julius Solaris
Editor, Julius Solaris

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