Here's a Secret...


By: Megan Thompson

The design process is more important than the outcome. Why? Because all of the work lies in the process; if done correctly the outcome is better, the audience feels more connected to the design, the client feels invested, and the results have room for growth in the future. As a designer I can tell you that remaining process-oriented in the fast paced event world can be the most challenging thing about the job, but it’s essential. It can be easier to jump to the end and what the most obvious and simple outcome might be. Maybe this is based on past experiences or the information you have, but you’re usually forcing old solutions into new challenges. That approach is often pieced together and not holistic.

So, imagine for me the perfect process of creating an event:

  • It would start with an initial meeting in which we, the creative agency, receive a download of information from the client, and ask probing questions to better understand the design challenge together before seeking solutions.
  • Then the real work begins… the designers would investigate multiple solutions to the design challenge with the goal of solving several aspects at once in a grand puzzle. We don’t usually share all of this investigation, and believe me, it would be boring to view the 20 versions that failed. The exercise is in allowing yourself to fail, getting the easy solutions out of the way to allow for the better ideas to surface!
  • After presenting initial ideas to the client the design challenge often evolves with updates. The key is allowing the team to ask “What If…” in order to let the project be fluid and evolve. If the design challenge itself changes, you have to be able to change course and not stick to old decisions because they’ve already been made.

In the end, the process would allow for evolution and client input so the entire team feels involved and invested in the design. The outcome would be a design that addresses every aspect of the design challenge seamlessly and the on-site experience would be unique for attendees. The best part is the process has uncovered room for growth in the future! You have several iterations, detailed attendee insights, and ideas that may give your next event a head start.

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