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July 2, 2020 | Sarah Pech

Designing Micro-Environments for Your Next Event

Designing Micro-Environments for Your Next Event

The most common response a designer hears when inquiring about details for an upcoming event is “We want something we haven’t seen before that is out of the box.” This can be the most exciting yet most challenging part to a designer. As micro-events, (small intentionally designed spaces), become more of the trend for future events, the question becomes how do we elegantly transform small spaces into beautiful, boutique venues and have an impact on the attendees? Sarah Pech, Lead Designer at Events/com, has some helpful tips on creating a design focused on a non-traditional “scheme” that leaves a lasting impression.

Tip 1: Work within the space and don’t overthink it.

While large ballrooms are an open canvas, beautifully designed small spaces such as Provisional Kitchen, Café & Mercantile at Pendry San Diego are thoughtfully created. This event was created in partnership with Raan and Lindsay Parton from Los Angeles’ Alchemy Works. When designing in an event space, you do not want to overthink it. The biggest question to answer while concepting the event is, “How do I add to the space rather than reinvent it?”

Design notes:

–       Pay attention to architecture

–       Floor design and patterns are incredibly influential, feel with it.

–       Play off the existing elements in the space. Can you utilize the seating and/or tables and save your client money at the same time?

Tip 2: Pick a bold color and start “scheme”-ing

Typically, the strongest designs often share a similar quality, impact, whether that is a continuous texture in the design, symbols, or a feeling when walking into a space.

Provisional Kitchen interior includes many delicate textures and tones. While designing for the evening reception we did not want to overwhelm the space by adding more to it. After concepting a few different ideas our team kept returning to the dramatic herringbone floors in the space. We decided to pick a bold color and roll with it.

When adding this bold color to a delicate space, it brings in a new element of surprise without overwhelming your senses too much. We picked a bright school bus yellow and began concepting around a “honey and the hive” theme.

Tip 3: Find the focal point.

At conferences, oftentimes attendees quickly get accustomed to the hotel and meeting spaces. When designing a dinner event or cocktail reception in the same space, it is important to make the attendees feel like have entered a new space. This can be done with a key focal point or impact moment. Entrances can often be the most impactful point for transformation. Focus on it to make sure it guides the attendees into your new world, not just another doorway to the room.  An event without a focus can feel disconnected, pick a focal point, and get creative with it.

Our focal point was an obvious one, the plant house was a showstopper. As the designing began, we asked what can we do to create the space? After picking a bold color scheme, we thought, why not enhance the space with organic shapes with soft touches. Our in-house design team designed and installed the honeycomb install using yellow transparent acrylic and fishing wire to create a wind-chime hanging design in the hive.

Tip 4: Focus on the details.

As planners, it is essential to walk the attendees’ journey and think of every detail ensuring their experience is the best it can be. There is nothing better than when you hear an attendee compliment the thoughtfulness of the experience. As designers, the goal is to make the event intentionally beautiful, while making every detail count. One detail that can be a place of impact is great florals. Finding a florist that understands your vision is truly transformational. These up-close and personal touch points will give them something to talk about and add an incredible element to a design.

Designing in smaller spaces provides an opportunity to create intimate experiences in elegant places. Thinking outside the box has never been more fun.


Tag: Pendry San Diego, Provisional Kitchen & Merchant Café,

Design: Sarah Pech, Lead Designer, Events/com

Custom Installation, Events/com

Builds & rentals: Events/com

Chairs: Blueprint Studios

Florals: Themes and Flowers

Lighting: Events/com

Hashtag: #eventdesign #southercalifornia

– By Sarah Pech, Design Director


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