Planning a corporate event? You need to think about your bar. Every great corporate event planner knows that in order to keep attendees happy, you need to provide them with the liquid refreshment they are looking for.
But for a truly outstanding corporate event, a plain-looking bar just won’t do. Making your bar stand out will not only show people where to line up to get their favorite beverages, but it contributes to the overall theme and ambiance of your event.
Here are some great ideas to draw from that you can add to your corporate event planning tips file for future reference:
No matter what type of event you’re holding, it’s big news! That’s why this bar idea is great for any corporate event.
The Canadian retailer Zellers held a going away party for staff before it closed its doors, and used the front page of newspapers from its opening year as decorations around the bar.
You can draw inspiration from this idea and create your own news. Have your graphics team create the front page of a fake newspaper with your event as the headline. Then create large printouts and arrange them across the front and sides of the bar. This decorating idea is great for new product announcements and annual conventions, but can also be adapted to any type of event.
Light it up.
Using colored lights to highlight your bar is great for evening events – indoor or outdoor. Setting your bar on top of glowing cubes of light or adding spotlight colors to the bar can really make it stand out. You can even use light as a backdrop for your bar, and incorporate theme colors into your lighting.
The Whitney Museum of Arts used hundreds of individual light-bulbs in red and white as a background to their hallway bars, serving as a focal point down long corridors in the museum. If you have an odd shaped venue space, you can do the same.
Keep it on ice.
Ice and bars go hand in hand – but you can take this idea up a notch by making a bar out of ice. Whether you opt to have a single block as a focal point, or have the budget to create an entire bar out of ice, this ideal is both cool in temperature and in ambiance.
The New York Jazz at Lincoln center event from Turner Broadcasting set the bar high for the bar on ice concept. The whole venue was wrapped in black backdrop with LED lights, and the illuminated bar made of ice and a performer took center stage.
Create a disguise.
When you’ve got a strong theme, you don’t want to ruin it with an out-of-place bar. You can carry your theme through to your bar and make attendees look twice to be sure they’re looking at the bar.
For the Shops at Target event in New York, the planners disguised their bar as a 1950s diner to fit in with the local shops theme. A candy shop or small storefront can help your bar blend in with the theme and still be appealing.
Find natural inspiration.
If you’re holding an outdoor event, it’s even more important to create a bar look that will hold up under the weather and still look great. If you use natural elements and outdoor decorations – like flowers and lattice work, you’ll achieve both goals.
The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Los Angeles featured a bar that looked like intricate lattice work, with a dramatic paper flower backdrop. The natural and garden elements fit with the spirit of the event perfectly, and complimented the natural environment.
Creating a cool bar is all about knowing your theme, understanding your budget and making an impact. With these corporate event planning ideas, you can make your bar a focal point of your event.