Experience Design Insights

December 13, 2017 | B2B B2C


No question about it—events today are more complicated than ever before. Brands are stepping up their game to deliver money-can’t-buy experiences, and with that undertaking comes a laundry list of logistics to manage. But with so many elements to juggle, it can be easy for event organizers to overlook a critical component of successful event strategies: experience design. From furniture to fonts, the look of an event often informs how attendees experience it. Following are experience design insights that will help turn your next event into a thing of beauty.

Color Matters

If you’ve ever heard of Millennial Pink, you already understand the power of appealing to an audience through color. In many cases, colors have the ability to do what every event marketer strives for—evoke emotion. An event’s color palette, then, should reflect how the brand aims to make attendees feel. Want to keep the energy high and the excitement going? Opt for red. Going for a more serene atmosphere? Make it blue. In any case, ensure that the color scheme you choose underscores the vibe of your event and its messaging if you want to make a real impact.

Know the Demo

Speaking of Millennial Pink, understanding an event’s target demographic is also a key component of a successful experience design strategy. Some design elements are more appealing than others, depending on an attendee’s sex, age and even income. The ever-coveted millennial segment, for instance, seeks meticulously organized and tidy event spaces featuring clean lines and easy navigation. Generation Z, on the other hand, is more concerned with ensuring event spaces are eco-friendly, so adding sustainable elements like reclaimed wood is a better choice if it’s the post-millennial generation you’re after.

Event Furniture Makes a Difference

As younger generations infiltrate events, the line between business and pleasure continues to blur. To that end, event marketers are placing greater importance on the role that furnishings play in the overall success of their events. Today’s attendees seek design options that allow work and play to overlap, so leveraging communal tables and movable furnishings that mimic coffee shop settings and foster networking are a solid choice. What’s more, modern b-to-b audiences assume they’ll be able to plug and play at events, so incorporating smart furniture is also key. The most popular options are power-enabled pieces that allow attendees to charge their devices and absorb content simultaneously—a win for brands and attendees alike.

The Devil is in the Details

All the little details integrated into your event design can make a huge difference in the overall attendee experience. One way to make your event more impactful—and memorable—is to find small ways to appeal to the senses through experience design, and adding texture is an effective way to do it. Incorporating a broad range of tangible textures for attendees to physically interact with is a good place to start. You can also consider leveraging texture visually. Noticeably textured furniture, for example, often lends a comfortable, inviting look to an event space, while textured wall décor can add depth. And don’t forget that patterns, lines and lighting also play an important role in creating attractive texturized spaces.

Design Can be Used to Guide the Attendee Journey

Well-crafted experience design can not only enhance, but also guide the attendee journey. Bon Appétit magazine, for instance, celebrated the new inductees of its annual Hot 10: America’s Best New Restaurants list by asking each recruit to whip up a sample dish inside their respective restaurant booths. The booths each featured a corresponding number, the name and city of the actual venue, and a cubed design in a different color to help guide attendees to their preferred location. There was even a life-sized venue guide that displayed where each restaurant booth was located. The setup made it both fun and easy for guests to create their own tailored event journey.

With 2018 looming, it’s important to stay up to date on which experience design trends are likely to be hot (or not) in the coming year. Incorporating new design concepts while remaining on-brand has the power not only to enhance the attendee experience, but to tell your brand story, underscore your messaging and showcase your personality—and success is always in style.

Check out experiences designed by Sparks here.

Posted by Mike Ellery | Request as a Speaker

Aussie with designer wife, two boys & a barn full of furry mates.