A Sneak Peek Into the Life of an Event Designer

My first three months as a member of the PPDS team have been so wonderful, and I am blessed to be able to begin a New Year with such a great group of people working on great projects!  The nature of my previous work as an event designer is very different from that of multi-family design; however, the design process is the same.

Programming – The design of an event begins with the initial planning meeting with the client to discuss the overall goal and vision of the event, discuss budget, get to know the client’s personality, and begin brainstorming design concepts.  This phase also involves venue site walks with the client, as well as any initial discussions with team leaders involved in other aspects of the event that may require a heavy design focus such as culinary, activities, transportation, and entertainment.

Design Development – This phase begins with developing furniture layouts that are both functional and in balance with the scale of the room.  The creative juices are in full force during this phase as we develop (tons of!) ideas and unique solutions that we can’t wait to share with our clients.  Furniture, table linens, decorative lighting, and décor selections are made, and any custom installation details are communicated graphically and verbally to the client.  And of course, we have our eye on the budget throughout the entire phase to ensure proper management of the client’s money.  We then meet with the client to review the design proposal and view samples of table mock-ups in person.

Construction Documents and Administration – Once the design is approved by the client, all rental items are ordered, involvement with necessary vendors is confirmed, and all of the design details are systematically documented in the form of floor plans, itemized spreadsheet of all design components with detailed notes, and copies of vendor and rental order confirmations.  Several internal meetings take place so that each department and vendor involved with the event is well-informed, install logistics and timelines can be determined, and the team can troubleshoot anticipated challenges in plenty of advance.

Construction/Installation – This phase begins a few days prior to the event.  It is a period of a concentrated mix of excitement, teamwork, unexpected challenges, last minute demands, and long hours.  The fast-paced nature of an install day frequently bring brief moments of both doubt and pride, sighs of relief when last minute challenges are overcome, overhearing exclamations from curious guests passing by, and even a few internal “Uh-oh-what-if-I-underestimated-the-budget” panics when one of our “imaginative” design ideas that we insisted on is in mid-assembly.

Project Completion – Seeing a successful design come to life is one of the greatest joys for designers.  Although event designs are utilized for only a few hours, this temporary nature offers the ability to create an endless variety of designs within the same venue space.  Design risks can be made frequently and discovering unexpected ways to utilize the space, encouraging consistent creative growth.

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Picture of Evan Strother

Evan Strother