First impressions matter, especially at corporate events.

Think of your general session like a first date, except your date consists of a couple thousand people. The goal is to create an experience that is memorable, one that excites your attendees. But how do you ensure that your next event or conference really creates that “WOW” factor?

We’ve got two words for you: scenic design.

Your event’s scenic design is the first thing your attendees see when they convene for the general session. This is your chance to really set the tone. You wouldn’t wear PJs and slippers on a first date, would you?

Scenic design is an important matter you should never overlook. When done right, it amps up the excitement right from the get go, makes the audience feel like they are part of something special and plays a critical role in amplifying attendee engagement.

The Elements of Corporate Event Scenic Design

Sam's Club annual convention scenic

Scenic Design typically consists of five main elements:

  1. Stage sets
  2. Lighting
  3. Banners
  4. Backdrops
  5. Graphics

These scenic elements are incredibly intertwined, playing off each other to provide the overall feel of your general sessions.

“Scenic design is essentially the wrap around of all of the technical elements that are needed” according to Michael Kiss, CPG’s Senior Producer and Lead Scenic Designer.

We asked Kiss to walk us through the design process where he brings these crucial elements together:

“Once our client determines what video format they want, what screen format they need for graphics, presentation style, and so on, I take all of that information into consideration to determine the size of the stage, screen configuration, etc. I like to start with the basics: How many bodies will be on stage? What size are the graphics and imagery? Then I begin to incorporate the theme.

While it’s common to associate scenic with stage design, scenic isn’t just limited to general sessions. Producers often carry the design into the expo hall as well, threading the theme throughout the 2 or 3-day experience.

Attendees absorb the look and feel of the booths’ coloring and signage just as they would for a general session. This really ties the whole event together and positions the expo hall to reflect the general session and vice versa.

How Scenic Design Sets the Stage

Panera internal event stage scenic design
Scenic certainly helps set the stage (pun intended)

The difference between your typical corporate event and an immersive one all comes down to the details. By blending your brand with your event’s scenic, you create an immersive experience for attendees and reinforce your brand message in an unforgettable way.

An important note to keep in mind though is that scenic should never distract from the key message. Instead, it should amply and provide support for that message to live on in all areas of your event.

“For franchise companies, scenic is really what sets you apart. If you want to impress upon your franchise owners that you are a stable company with a vision, you can reflect that scenically with the staging, ensuring your franchisees feel confident about the future.” – Michael Kiss

Your event stage is no longer viewed as a just a platform for speakers and presenters to stand on to deliver a message. In fact, it is much more than that. Scenic design has the capability to completely transform the event space, making it it’s own key part of the event experience.

For Michael Kiss, stage design is about much more than simple aesthetics.

“For CPG, scenic is not just a stage, some lights and couple of screens,” Michael says. “Live event scenic is the setting, an environment for entertainment & presenters and should define the spirit of the gathering.”

Scenic presents a great branding opportunity for your company. The main goal of your annual corporate event or conference is to share a key message that positively portrays your brand story, isn’t it? Your event scenic is essentially playing the same role as your brand label, acting as the “face” of your event.

While it’s easy to think of scenic as just the lights and sounds of an event, scenic plays a role that is so much bigger than that. Effective scenic has the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on your attendees and they will return home with exciting stories to share. By making scenic a top priority, your brand is one step closer to creating stronger brand advocates and “Belief through Experience.”

Discover more ways, CPG goes beyond lights and sound to deliver unforgettable experiences for your internal stakeholders with a free event proposal.

Free Event Consultation from CPG