As the owner and lead event designer of an Event Planning Company, I know the importance of an effective event. As the business continues to evolve into more design, I utilize the lessons I learned in event management. There are two major components to a successful event. First, a planner must have an effective and efficient project management system. Second, a planner and, or designer must create an appropriate design for the ultimate guest experience. To design is to stage a space to make it appealing. When designing for an event or home there is one common theme: creating an experience.

For an event, the major components of staging are theme and function. The design theme must be consistent. For example, I am currently planning a fundraiser for a mainland client. The theme is 20’s inspired. The staging must carry throughout five transitions. The transitions are: guest check-in area, cocktail hour, dinner, dancing and checkout/exit. Each transition must carry the theme in a way that highlights the function of each event area. For example, any signage used, should be placed in strategic places to ensure the guests clearly know where the bathrooms, evening agenda, dinnertime and exits are. Within the staging/design, there is one element that many tend to overlook and that is the food. Does the food selection also highlight your theme? When you consistently carry a theme throughout the event, it directly affects your guest’s experience.

For the home, the major component of staging is function. How are you using the home or a specific room? For example, I stage tablescapes for clients. The most important thing I must know is how the client envisions the function of the space for them and their guests. For example, when staging for a formal dinning room it is wise to focus on style and function. For the style, I receive inspiration from the other rooms in the home. I try to select either a color or décor element to carry into the space. I use the color or piece to create a design concept. This allows the design to compliment the other rooms within the home. For function, I add custom pieces such as buffet tables and bars so that the host and guests can sit and enjoy the space without making numerous trips to the kitchen. I want my designs’ to be a turn-key experience and enjoyable for the homeowner/host and the guests.

Regardless if you are hosting an event, planning a dinner party at your home, or selling a home or office, it is important to stage for the ultimate guest experience. Staging is an important factor in the overall guest experience. If staged correctly it will create a wow factor that will lead to enjoyment of the homeowner, guest and potential sale of a home or office.