Event planning is filled with trends — often the cycles (and recycling) of ideas from pop culture and social influencers. But truthfully and ultimately, the most successful events are built on a baseline of organized consistency to create the most productive and pleasant experiences. As simple as it sounds, a theme stitches together everything from pre- to post-event — (we’ve dubbed this effect as “theme-streaming”) — as it threads through each aspect of any type of event.
Here’s why implementing an event theme makes such a difference:
 Thoughtful themes create a foundation for everything.
Whether you’re gathering for an annual conference, a sales meeting, educational symposium, or gala dinner, a carefully considered and developed theme will provide two essential directives: a clear reflection of the event’s objectives and a reinforcement of the organization’s brand.
A solid theme will guide the preparation of the event. From each point of communication to the overall and the most detailed event design, a theme’s purpose is to attract and address its audience and event partners. To that end, a theme must be relevant, easily understood, and appreciated to be effective. Themes create cohesiveness by building a feeling of collective, invested interest … of belonging to the brand.
 The right theme creates the right buzz.
Good attendance is the lifeblood of any event, and a well-developed and smartly presented theme can generate a lot more buzz, particularly if it’s in-sync with the attendees’ objectives and interests and can be shared and promoted within their social circles. To boost the buzz, targeted messages help encourage your guests to engage with the theme through social media sharing and online chatter.
Remember: you can boost online engagement by creating an original yet relevant hashtag! Hashtags are an easy method of funneling your participants’ sharing activity into a single access point.
 Themes create a focal point.
A theme will set the tone and mood of your event, as well as serve as a consistent reminder of the event’s goals and the overall organizational brand. Therefore, it’s important to consider:
• What does the theme look like? Think about the event’s logo design, colors, and font choices … all the way down to directional signs, table décor, swag bags, show buttons, and branded add-ons.
• What is the theme’s voice? How is each written and verbal element conveyed in all printed and online media (website pages, registration packets, correspondence, social media posts, event signs, etc.)
• How will guest speakers and vendors utilize and reinforce the theme? Cohesiveness is key not only to registered attendees but also to those featured guests hoping to connect with everyone at the event. Speakers and vendors should share the audience’s interests and build on the theme.
• How will the theme facilitate networking? Effective themes can be powerful tools in connecting guests with each other as well as attracting new guests or contributors.
Tips for creating an inspiring event theme:
For some planners, justifying a theme is easy; but the real struggle rests with the How-To of creating an effective event theme. While there is no absolute guide on generating the most effective theme for every event, we’ve gleaned a few key points from some of the industry’s best event planners:
• Make it short — something easy to say, remember, and share
• Make it relevant — something that supports the organization’s and the guests’ goals
• Make it unique — avoid cliché terms or worn-out phrases
• Make it engaging — at its core, a theme is an invitation to attend, participate, connect, and grow
We continue to see the drive by both planners and guest to create relevant, real life experiences. We have a motto at the core for every event hosted at Grand Wayne Convention Center — “Make Good Memories” — and we’re happy to help event planners attract attendees, both in-person and remotely. Let’s see how we can help you.
We’re here to answer your questions and help you make good memories. Contact one of our Sales Managers and tell us what you have in mind.