Need some help making your PR events look and feel impressive?
Event stylists are THE BEST. I promise you, use a good one and you'll never want to do it on your own again.
If you're new to organising PR events and are not sure what value an event stylist can add to your event, this is a great place to start.
Event and floral styling specialist Tess Hodgkinson from The Style Maison joins me to discuss the information event stylists require before giving a quote plus shares eight ways their services can transform events. Plus, she provides some tips to styling an event yourself when you have zero cash to splash.
“An event stylist transforms the look and feel of a space and creates an engaging environment for guests, from the moment they walk in to when they leave”
8 WAYS AN EVENT STYLIST CAN TRANSFORM YOUR NEXT EVENT
Create a theme that ties the event elements together. We're not just talking about a Star Wars or Hawaiian theme here, it could be focused on a few colours or an era
Floral design. From small bunches to huge garden walls and floral entrances
Tablescapes. Anything to do with making a dinner event feel special, from table cloths and napkins to crockery and cutlery
Find location options for your event
Source and create props, including large scale installments
Work with the lighting supplier to create a certain mood
Manage all your suppliers for you. AV, catering, invitations etc
Allow you to just focus on managing the guests and their enjoyment
Listen to the full episode on The PR Pod podcast for more tips and insight on engaging an event stylist. You'll also find this episode on your fave podcast players, just search "The PR Pod".
WHAT INFORMATION DO STYLISTS NEED FROM ME?
What is your objective for the event? E.g. launch a new make-up collection or a champagne, announce the new global ambassador for a brand, showcase a restaurant to media
What kind of experience do you want the guests to walk away with? Do you want them to feel like the product you're launching is luxurious or that it is a fun summer must-have?
Who are your guests? Are they media, children, all the employees from your company etc
How many guests are you aiming for? An event proposal for a 30 person event will be very different to a 300 person one
Do you have an event space confirmed or do you need to find one? If you have a location, what time is bump-in (access the venue to start styling) and bump-out, what is accessibility like (is there a loading dock, lift, parking nearby), is there a floor plan etc. If you don't have a venue, they can help you find one
List of must-haves. E.g, must have the new car we're launching in the middle of the space or we need a media wall
When is the event?
Budget or at least a scope of budget. The proposal for a $5,000 event is completely different to a $50,000 one so they need a guide
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Advance notice is preferable, ideally a few months in advance, so they can plan properly. Stylists can, of course, turn things around very quickly but give them the best possible opportunity of delivering a spectacular, well-planned event
It can take up to a week or two to finalise an event styling proposal as there's often multiple approval levels with your manager/client plus the stylist needs to come up with a creative concept and source quotes in order to put together a budget for you
Remember an event stylist has to provide a fee for their time. Their budget will be split into third party costs plus their fee and their fee should outline exactly what they're doing for that money
NO BUDGET FOR A STYLIST? HERE'S SOME THINGS YOU CAN DO YOURSELF
Place-cards. For a seated dinner, think about using someone with lovely writing in the office to do the place-cards for you. You can write each guest's name on the top of their individual menu, or look at sourcing something a little different like marble coasters, small wood blocks, a large leaf etc. Just make sure it's in line with your event theme
Florals. You can pick up cheap vases from lots of places so couple these with some bunches from your local florist. Tip: give the florist a week's notice so they can head to the flower market and ensure they get the type of flowers that would best suit your event. Think about whether you want a small bunch per table, a large bunch at the entrance etc, so they understand quantities
Hire/buy little items that help set your event apart. Even just beautiful linen napkins with napkin rings and candles can make the difference
If you want social media traction from the event, ensure there are multiple points around the event space that have the social media channels and relevant hashtags on display. That way, it's easy for guests to see what they should be tagging. You can include the handles on the bottom of a menu, create little cards to pop on tables or just google some creative concepts
Don't attempt to style large events yourself, there are way too many elements for your to consider. Keep it to smaller events where you already have a beautiful space to work with and you just need some little elements to bring it to life
Next step, finding an event location. Need some tips? Take a listen to the Finding an Event Location episode.