Many of our non-profit clients who host fundraising events in order to ensure that they can continue to fund essential community programs need to achieve a delicate balance – an event venue that dresses things up for guests and stakeholders who have purchased tickets, branding their messaging and mission into the event while respecting a reasonable budget in which to achieve their goals.
One of the many benefits of bringing an experienced Event Planning team on board is to ensure the organization is able to achieve those goals and achieve them on budget. Afterall, the organization’s staff are not necessarily experienced (or comfortable) in what can often be 6 months or more of planning depending on the size of the event.
We love the challenge of finding creative, budget friendly ways to create a cohesive design that works double duty for our non-profit clients…like the Death Defying Decor we created for the Fort McMurray SPCA’s last Dancing with the Stars Wood Buffalo event.
To set the tone for a gothic carnival inspired evening of death defying feats of dancing in support of the local animal shelter, guests checked in at a black and white striped lamour satin linen table accented with red ruched table skirts, and black and white pennant flags. This design was inspired by a vintage colour palette updated with modern oversized graphics. A custom made ‘tentrance’ was created to give the illusion of walking into the big top by using alternating black and white sheer fabric to create a bold stripe. Red drape was wrapped at the bottom of the poles to emulate a rose head, which tied into the oversized rose heads that sat atop the uprights for a cheeky gothic feel.
As guests walked into the event space, there was a custom hoop floor-to-ceiling installment, reminiscent of an acrobat’s death defying aerial act with red and white chevron covered soft seating, uplit to draw the eye in. Each hoop was hand wrapped in whimsical patterns of graphic washi tape in the event colours, adding an extra layer of interest. Completing the entrance were black gloss side tables topped with deep red floral arrangements.
Red lights were cast across the room along the ceiling to bring a dramatic, sultry ambiance. Overhead, black and white pennant flags were strung across the ceiling giving the illusion that guests were inside the big top without impairing the view to the large screens used for the live entertainment evening.
Matte, vintage inspired signage accented the auction tables to thank sponsors for their support which was later provided to them as a gift from the charity. Large, matte cardboard signage worked double duty to brand the charity event as well as feature the dance couples and sponsors. From auction bid sheets, to raffle signage and vote tickets– every opportunity was taken to brand event items in a way that served the design and built on the charity’s message.
The raffle table, which featured two exciting raffles mirrored the registration table with black and white striped lamour satin linen with red ruched skirting topped with adorable mini plush cats and dogs with a crystal paw charm and the raffle ticket number which acted as a gift to guests who purchased tickets and further tied the shelter’s brand into the design.
The judges table, a focal point for guests during the entertainment, was set on a riser providing an excellent view to the dance floor, complete with custom designed score cards and paddles with sequins numbers for live scoring. A vintage inspired marquee event sign was set in front of the table and behind the guests was dressed in large wide stripes to give a sense of ‘scale’ to the ballroom emulating a big top tent. Flanking the judge table was two round tables dressed in red and black damask linens which held the coveted mirrorball trophies to be handed out to the participants at the end of the live entertainment.
Mixed linens in large, strong graphics of black and white striped lamour satin and oversized red and black damask were surrounded by alternating black and red ruched covered chairs. The bold colours and graphics of the linens were impactful enough to really set a gothic tone to the venue providing and excellent return on investment for the Client. Each table was centred with a tall black gloss candelabra topped with fresh florals in deep red hues. Standing out against the florals were custom table numbers which showcased a local animal for adoption and were designed in-house to go with the theme of the event. Black wax votives provided soft candlelight to the tablescapes. Anchoring place settings were custom designed vintage inspired newspaper programs which not only shared information about the organization in a unique way but also supported the décor. Sitting atop of the program were individual sized fresh gourmet popcorn held in alternating black and red striped popcorn boxes which guests enjoyed throughout the evening.
Several bars were dressed in theatrical, layered red draping and topped with a custom marquee bar sign and matte onyx beads to add a dramatic effect.
Set within the room was a custom oversized funhouse mirror framed in a vintage inspired 9ft tall baroque frame. Guests enjoyed interacting with this feature throughout the night and it doubled as a photo backdrop, bringing in a fun, carnival inspired element – the perfect finishing touch to the room.
Spending the budget wisely, with the guidance of an experienced team, can make the difference for making any non-profit event feel unique to the organization which is key to their messaging strategies and raising essential dollars to support their organization.
If you’d like to talk to us about your next wedding or event, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org