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Turning Inspiration Boards Into Real Event Designs

The term “inspiration board” or “Style board” or even “mood board” is tossed around among different industries, but usually has a similar meaning: A visual representation of colors or a theme or inspired elements and how they are used in multiple facets of design/real life/whatever the category to create one cohesive vision. You’re likely creating inspiration boards every day…those Pinterest boards you’re adding ideas to regularly? Yep – inspiration boards.

In event design, we use inspiration boards constantly. They’re the starting point from which we build. They provide your floral designer, stationary artist or graphic designer, and even your caterer a peek into what is inspiring this event and how their styles and choices should reflect that.

However, creating an inspiration board is only the first step – and don’t get us wrong, it’s a huge one. But using that board to craft a real-life event is just as challenging, which is why we wanted to give you a peak into our process by showing you an example of inspiration board turned actual event design for an event that happened recently: The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner.

Step 1: Client Meeting & Inspiration Board

We had the fortune to work with Events North, Traverse City’s top meeting and event planning company, on this event, which always makes things incredible smooth. They came to us with a plan in mind: completely overhaul the Annual Dinner into an awesome, inspired event, and asked for theme ideas. After pitching a few different color schemes and themes, we came down to The Northern Lights. Knowing the theme, our inspiration board came together:

chamber inspiration board

 

Once the inspiration board was created, Events North provided feedback and a focus on the color blue with dramatic uplighting and upscale, but modern centerpieces and decor was decided, which allowed us to provide examples of how we could make that happen using decor items we owned or could procure with the budget provided.

Step 2: Options of Decor to Bring Inspiration to Life

Because we are a full-service design house, this step was simplified because we were able to source a lot of these items in-house, as well as procure items at wholesale pricing to make a stunning design happen, all while staying in budget. This is a huge perk we’re able to offer clients, and also makes Step 2: find the decor to match the inspiration, a lot more do-able.

Events North also gave us a lot of trust to make this vision happen, so what would normally be a 20+ page document of decor options became a one-page sheet of examples of what we were going to utilize, as shown below.

real life examples inspiration 307 events

Once these items were given the stamp of approval and we knew we were moving in the right direction and started to procure items we didn’t have, we worked with Events North on items that needed to be customized for different sponsors or areas – they also provided a floor plan, which was crucial for planning out lounge furniture and lighting installations, and collaborated with the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, as well as Special Occasions rentals (who graciously provided all of the linens as an in-kind donation) to bring this to life.

Step 3: Set-up & Enjoy the Results

We’ll skip the specifics of set-up, but after multiple trips to the Grand Traverse Resort (which would not have been possible without our friends at Monstrey Macdonald helping to haul furniture), hanging draping and chandeliers from a scissor lift, and over 50 floral centerpieces created, we were ready to enjoy the end results of this Blue / Northern Lights inspired event. Below are some images from that evening, photographed by The Compass Points Here.

            

 

Seeing an event come to life and enjoying the process of inspiration to final product is the best part of event design. We are thankful to work with fellow event professionals who also love the process and allow us to bring creative, beautiful designs like this one to life. If you’re looking for assistance with your event design, whether corporate, non-profit or wedding – reach out! We’d love to chat with you on how to make your inspiration a reality.

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