Hi There, Caitrin…
It’s great to meet you! We’d like to introduce you to the newest member of The Workshop, Caitrin Millar: Event Designer and Planner Extraordinaire. With an incredible eye, crazy color acuity (show her a color and she’ll give you a name worthy of Pantone) and mad organizational skills, Caitrin is going to knock it out of the park with some of our newest and most beloved events.
So, let’s get to know her a bit more!
Where are you from? Tacoma!!
Washington natives are the best – give us your top three Seattle gems! The Conservatory at Volunteer Park-it’s gorgeous and peaceful, and they have the biggest staghorn fern I have ever seen. Pacific Galleries Antique Mall-has EVERYTHING, and it is creatively displayed. I have to be careful there. Seattle Art Museum-I always leave feeling inspired to make something beautiful, and they have a sculpture of fireworks exploding from cars!!! How cool is that?!
Tell us, what is something we don’t already know about you? I love collecting things. My collections include: a ridiculous amount of Fiestaware, vintage 50’s kitchen wares, Wild West artifacts, and Victorian era portraits.
It sounds like you surround yourself with things that inspire you, so what do you think makes a great event? I’m a very visual person, so beautifully designed décor and atmosphere is huge.
If you could have any song play every time you entered a room, what would it be? Bill Withers “Lovely Day” …glass half full you know!
Well there ya have it folks. The next time you see Caitrin be sure to say “hi” and ask her for a recommendation on a new name for the color of your nail polish.
We’re going to pull back the curtain and give you a peek at what it takes to design and develop an incredible event, whether it be a formal gala or a concert in the park, there are a few things that go into crafting experiences for you and your guests.
Pre-Production: Put on Your Thinking Cap
This is where we work with our clients to determine their wants and needs, and most importantly what we’re creating and why.
After we establish a contract, we dig deep into our client’s strategy. You might be thinking: “Strategy-Shmategy. It’s just supposed to be fun!” Yes, fun is a part of it, but we want to know what their goals are for this event. Do they want to win the hearts and minds of their attendees? Do they want to raise X amount of dollars? Do they want to generate press or perhaps just have a safe experience for their guests? Our client’s strategy becomes the basis of our plans, it’s the driving force behind a concept that works. When we know what we’re aiming for, we can begin to draft concepts. The budget plays a big role in this as well, it enables us to scale the concept to fit their needs within their means. This is when the plan begins to take shape and there is a clear end goal in mind. We assist our clients in presenting the concepts to decision-makers, ensuring that everyone within their organization is on the same page.
Design: Create Something Incredible
Now that we know exactly what we’re trying to accomplish and how we’re doing it, we can really get into the nitty gritty of design. Color, patterns, furniture, lighting, entertainment, décor, activities and show design – everything that the client and guests see, touch and experience is utilized as a purposeful way to drive the event towards accomplishing their goals. We’ll create vision boards and narratives that bring our clients into the space before we’ve even created it. This is when the big plan gets broken down into smaller, manageable plans that support the big picture.
Production: Make Stuff Happen
This is where all of the stuff that we decided upon in pre-production and design gets executed and we think through every last detail. We create timelines upon timelines, show scripts and content, technical plans and signage plans, we create safety plans and contingency plans. We even breakdown what and when vendors and supplies come in and drop off their stuff, and then when they will come back to pick it up. There’s a lot of problem guessing – what could go wrong – and problem solving. The little plans get checked off as completed and the big plan is ready for the big day.
Event Ramp Up: Cross your T’s and Dot Your I’s
Phew, we’ve almost made it to the event! Now there are a few last minute things that we need to take care of, like checking in with our client to let them know what to expect on the day of the event. We have internal meetings to go over the production plan and train any necessary staff. Then we load it in, make it exactly as the client had imagined and walk them through it before the guests arrive. And before you know it, the event is here.
The Event: Get the Party Started and Keep it Going
We don’t disappear after the event has started, oh the contrary, we are present but invisible to our client and their guests the entire time. This is where the real magic happens. We often are running a complex communications system behind the scenes to ensure that the flow of the event is going according to plan – the food is coming out on time, the music is playing at the correct moment, the show is starting off on the right foot. Over the course of the event we are also troubleshooting, solving any and all problems that come up. After the event has come to a close, we make sure that everything gets cleared out of the space and cleaned up.
There’s a lot of thought and care that goes into planning an event and making sure that it enables our clients to accomplish their goals. If you’re wondering about an element of the planning process and want to learn more, feel free to reach out, we’re always happy to help!