How to Make a Blasé Ballroom Look Like a Million Bucks

How to Make a Blasé Ballroom Look Like a Million Bucks


Hi, I'm Bari Baumgardner, founder of SAGE Event Management and I'm here at Mastin Kipp's Claim Your Power Live. Mastin is one of our clients and after being here with him this week for four days, I just thought it would be a great time to show you some really cool things you can do with a ballroom.

Many of our clients or people who would like to be clients, approach us with some of their biggest concerns, which are, "I'm just starting out and I can't afford a really cool venue." Or, "I was able to find a hotel, it was in my price range and affordable, but I don't really like the look of the ballroom." These are common concerns people are really getting hung up on.

The Look of Your Ballroom Won't Make or Break Your Event

So first of all, let me just give you a quick secret. I personally don't believe the ballroom will make or break a three- or four-day live event, or any kind of live event for that matter. I don't care whether it's 50 people or 5,000 people. Therefore, if you're making an offer, I don't think it's going to make or break you or what your stage set or your ballroom looks like. That's my core belief. However, with that being said, I know this is one of those issues that really matter to a lot of our hosts. I know they get really hung up on it. So here's something I want you to think about.

Quick and Easy Tips for Transforming a Hotel Ballroom

While I'm here, I want to show you something really cool we did with this ballroom. We've got a little over 200 people here in theater style and we've got a good square-sized ballroom, which is a shape and size I really love. If you've watched any of our previous videos you know that that is part of our formula, which is to have a really great self-contained space where the entire audience can feel really close to the stage and host. So I'm going to show you what we did here which is something that's pretty affordable and cool.

This technique is not pennies on the dollar, but it's pretty affordable, especially if you don't have a huge ballroom. The concept is to drape the whole ballroom, not just the stage, but you drape the whole ballroom, the entire ballroom. As you can see in the video we pan around the room and show you what this looks like. You'll see that even the great effect on the doors is that you've got these awesome draped entrances, which adds some drama to your ballroom. It also adds some softness as well and this is a special flare most people can't replicate. So the minute people stepped into this event, they were kind of like, "Wow, this is awesome!"

Transforming a Hotel Ballroom with Lighting

Here's something I consider really cool. If you were paying attention to the video, you saw all the great teal and soft lights. Teal is SAGE's brand color; therefore, that's what we chose to use here today so you could see it. So basically, if this was my event, people would walk in and see all this awesome teal and it's perfectly on brand. However, what's super cool is that with just the touch of a button, my A/V team can completely change this room, which you can easily see in this video.

So as we pan the video around, you'll see that the colors are going to shift on the drapes and you're going to see the colors can be made to revolve as well. So now we've got some awesome red and you can see how intense that color is and suddenly this room looks totally different. Next, we've gone to this really intense blue and we can shift it yet again to this awesome amber color. The room is now aglow with gold light as you can see, although it probably doesn't translate as well for you on the video as it does for us here in person. However, you can trust me when I say these color changes can be a game changer for your event.

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How Using Special Effect Lighting for Live Events Can Totally Change the Mood Throughout the Day and Night

If you think about it, let's say you've had the teal color up the whole time. Then when your guests come in for hot seats in the evening session you've changed the whole room to the intense red color and you've got flames on the screen. You've totally set the tone for hot seats, right? This is what keeps everything really on brand for you while making the room so much more fun for the attendees at the same time.

Creating a Unique Experience for Your Live Event

One of the things we really believe here at SAGE is that it's all about creating an experience for the attendees. So while I don't think they buy based on your having draped the room, I do think that creating a unique experience totally ties into making it uniquely your own and giving your attendees an experience they won't forget, one that's all about you. Now there's one more thing I want to show you.

Using Special Effect Lighting for Live Events Can Also Help Transition Your Event from Day to Night

Let's say you wanted to do something really fun and you decided to transform your ballroom on night one to a gala or a dance party, something that would just bring the energy up and get people to network in a special way. The video shows exactly what we can do with this room all because we have this drape and specialty lighting here. It's pretty awesome. So what you're going to see all of a sudden is the boom, boom, boom of the different colored lighting revolving around the room. Then all you need is a DJ and you would have a dance party.

So the lights are easily changed and you can see on the video how they're rotating the whole time. This is all done by our A/V team with a total easy setting that allows us to have some great light movers and some fantastic lighting on the drape.

You Don't Always Have to Use Black Drape

One of the things I want you to check out on the video is that the drape is not black. So I think in our industry, kind of the whole events industry, the standard default is to put some black drape up. However, I really love a gray drape and that's what you're seeing here. It is a soft, soft, dove gray and I have to tell you, it is such a great color for picking up light. So if you're thinking about switching things up, know that, for a very small increase in your costs, instead of doing your standard black you could go with a white, or you could go with a gray. I personally love gray over white because I think it just looks crisp and clean and shows color so well. So think about those simple alternatives the next time you're thinking about your own live event.

What About the Cost of Transforming a Hotel Ballroom with Lighting?

I'm pretty lucky because I have my own in-house A/V team, so I can work with them on not only keeping our costs down, but also on creating really cool custom designs for our clients, designs just like the ones I showed you in the video. If you don't have that luxury and you're working with an in-house A/V team, you will generally find that there are skyrocketing costs for something like this.

So if you're looking to create a unique design for your own ballroom and you're not ready to hire SAGE to do full event production but you'd really like some A/V support on creativity and custom staging and design, feel free to reach out to us. We would love to have our team talk with you about what we could produce for you that's affordable and uniquely yours. If you're interested, check us out at events@poweredbysage. Just drop us a quick note, and we'll be happy to reach out to you to talk about how we could make this stage yours. Talk to you next time.

What's Next?

If you would like to take your business to the next level, why not partner with a team of industry leaders? SAGE Event Management is a proven brand builder who has helped create some of the most successful, well-known event brands in the industry. SAGE has over 14 years of proven results in monetizing live events that generate an average of $1.5 million per event and we'd love to do the same for you!

Please enjoy complimentary access to our 3-part mini-video series where we will provide you with more pro tips on how to monetize a live event before it even begins. We'd love to show you how easy and profitable event planning can be by using just a few simple tricks of the trade.


My husband may be crazy

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One Insider Event Planning Trick Every Host Should Be Using

One Insider Event Planning Trick Every Host Should Be Using