As many of you know, Illusions of Grandeur started as a “theme party” company in 1985. The industry was in the early stages and corporate groups wanted themes. Many of our really fun groups still do, however, let’s face it… the industry has changed.
We started to see this in the late -1990’s and our approach to events needed to change as well. Here’s the thing, though, a theme is really just a way of giving structure to an event ~ a vision, if you will.
Recently, working with our website designer, I was perplexed when she kept bringing up the word “themes” since I knew that if you say the word many clients automatically envision “props”….you know, the big oversized elements that suggest the theme such as a Golden Gate Bridge for a San Francisco welcome night. I wanted her to understand that Illusions of Grandeur still does themes but if you take a look at our inventory (in the rental section of our website), there is so much more. I then realized she was talking about a template ~ it was an AH HA moment for me. Yes, a theme is just something to give structure to an event.
Let’s take a request we get often…it seems many brides and corporate clients want to do a “Farm to Table” type of event. Makes sense given we are in the heart of the agriculture capital of the world and the movement in the food world. Would you consider this a theme? Farm tables are involved, perhaps a wagon filled with crates of vegetables, centerpieces might include farm flowers, mini artichokes or ornamental kale. So, a theme, yes, but perhaps a more subtle version.
Through the years our inventory has changed with the times and most of it has been fabricated to pay homage to our beautiful Peninsula. Having a wedding or corporate event on the plaza outside The Monterey Plaza Hotel ~ why not seat your guests on natural pier tables? A “clambake” does not have to include a 3-dimensional fish market, lobster traps and wharf lamps. You can make it as subtle as the aforementioned pier tables (kind of like a farm table only more “nautical”), rock runners, succulents or lanterns with rope for centerpieces.
Having a party at The Inn at Spanish Bay™ (part of Pebble Beach Resorts®)~ our argyle tables are a fun element for a golf group without screaming theme. You get the idea.
A theme can be based on corporate or wedding colors, a slogan or a re-branding, pretty much anything.
A good design always works with the existing space, rather than fight with it but that is a whole other blog. For now, just check out some of the interesting rentals and hopefully you can envision a terrific non-theme, theme!
The first image on the left is a fully “themed” image for “Farm to Table.” The photo on the right is a more subtle version of a “Farm to Table” event…..a non-theme, theme if you will!