As the weather warms up, event season sizzles! For some great guest engagement ideas in the summer ahead, we’re taking you backstage to one of our favourite annual events — Luminato Festival’s Big Bang Bash.
For the past ten years Luminato has been one of the largest art and performance events of its kind featuring over 11,000 artists from all around the world. Every year before the festival begins, the donor’s gala celebrates the many people who support festival. Here’s a sneak peek behind how we conceptualized, designed and created the guest engagement experiences for the event.
Start with research
A great place to start when designing something fresh for an event theme is to build a collage of visual influences. For the 2014 Luminato donor’s gala festival art director Jorn Weisbrodt developed the theme of Berlin subculture throughout the decades. To design the event gifts we researched Berlin design in everything from cultural to architectural references from the early 1920s to 80s. We mixed influences from art deco, bauhaus and Berlin punk rock to come up with gritty leather and reflective acrylic designs that were really elegant but also matched the industrial feel of the Hearn.
Make it custom
For your special guests, upgrade your VIP swag by adding a personal touch such as a custom engraving. Nothing wows event guests more than finding out that something was laser engraved specially just for them. For Luminato we topped off the beautiful leather designs with custom monograms. The customization was done for guests before the event and so required some coordination with the event team on guest lists and confirmed attendees, but the results really pay off.
Make it interactive
It really adds to the fun when guests can build and customize their own gifts. The theme for the 2015 gala was industry vs nature so we combined them to make DIY flower presses with laser cutting. Each guest got to make their own unique flower press by picking the flowers and greenery to make their own piece of green art, and finally tightening the plates together. Adding in that element of customization and DIY was a huge hit and our station was packed all night.
Stay true to the cause
A great place to look for gift inspiration is to remember what you are celebrating in the first place. For the 2015 Big Bang Bash,we wanted to focus on what Luminato is all about — the performances! Each flower press gift had one of ten quotes from plays in the festival’s lineup. After putting it together guests were able to take home a little memento from the festival and their favourite plays.
This year we’re planning for another exciting round of the donor’s gala which precedes the Luminato from June 10th to 26th. You’ll have to wait until after the gala to find out more, but in the meantime check out the exciting lineup of artists and performers they have for this year.
Images via: George Pimental and Hot Pop Factory