We all know that first impressions count, but did you know that there is firm scientific evidence that backs up just how critical those all important first impressions are? First impressions are notoriously hard to shake and for event planners that means you'll have to work even harder to overcome any critical cues picked up by guests that could contribute to a negative first impression.
What factors combine to influence a first impression?
These are just some of the factors that can have an impact on the first impression of your visitors;
- Location of the event
- External look and feel of the building
- Lighting and vibe
- The expectations of individual guests
So when it comes to first impressions, you could find that your location and the actual building you choose play a big part in the snap judgements made by visitors before they even walk through the door. Of course not all event spaces look beautiful from the outside and we're not saying your event is dead if the outside of the building doesn't look amazing, but there are things you can do to help.
If you're stuck with an ugly, or shall we say 'challenging' looking building, you can use props and features to direct the attention of event visitors to where you want it to be.
Signage, lighting and props
Signage, lighting and props are incredibly effective ways to grab the attention of visitors. Instead of them focusing on a grubby building exterior or a particularly unattractive building, you can use props to divert attention and create a more positive feel. In fact, many events often underestimate the power of external decoration, focusing solely on the interior of the event space.
Whilst guests are far more likely to spend time inside a venue than they are outside, that doesn't mean that they'll hold off forming a first impression until they've walked through the door! In fact, funky lighting and quirky props outside the entrance can act as a positive primer - if the visitors first impression from outside of the building is good, then they are already primed to respond positively when they walk through the door.
Neon signs are extremely popular now, and we've found that our LED furniture is also hugely popular (various items in our range can be used both indoors and outdoors), and props like red carpets and even just a good old rope barrier can all elevate the look of the outside of a building.
Tips for creating an amazing first impression
- Think of props, both inside and out that fit the theme of your event or that give it an added touch of class (e.g. red carpets, rope barriers etc.)
- Lighting is an extremely important element of any event, but don't reserve cool and funky lighting for inside the event. Colour washing external walls is a hugely popular trend right now and really can create the wow factor.
- When it comes to interior lights, mood lighting is key. Think of keeping lighting as low as your event will allow (especially for parties and corporate events) and make the most of eye catching LED furniture and accessories, like LED bars or hire huge neon lights to make a real statement.
- Goody bags and freebies rate highly on the wishlists for most event visitors, especially when it comes to conferences. A decent freebie bag is often greatly appreciated, and depending on what's inside, it could generate a bit of social media coverage for you too, so don't forget to include a postcard inside with your brand or event specific hash tags you'd like people to use.
- Depending on the event, canapes and a drink on arrival can make an excellent great first impression, helping people settle into an event, making them feel truly welcome.
Need a hand with your event?
We're the event furniture and prop hire experts, so if you need some inspiration or are looking for tips on putting your next event together, get in touch with our expert team, who will be happy to help!