Event Design: The Art of More


The business of event design is to unveil a message or tell a story that serves the events purpose. It is to create an undeniable connection on all sensory levels that unite attendees, not only within that setting, but virtually; in continuum and beyond. These vast platforms and perspectives conjure connectivity, relatability and association.

For creatives, it can be an emotional or never-ending journey that feeds our passion while playing havoc with our process. As a creative and in the business of event design I have defined a process that leans into appreciation, approvals, and accountability for event design. These three benchmarks have fostered an ego-free approach and design path, I refer to as “The Art of More”.

Human association is the best form of appreciation. Our clients come to us seeking support and we in return offer a plethora of services and strategies. Understanding the event “why” is the avenue to creating joint expectations and key experiences. Post-COVID, it seems that society has lost the ability to conceptualize independently. The brain’s default mechanics have changed, our internal resource catalogue is now Googlized and ideation can be endless.


In the appreciation phase, we focus on the client’s interpretation of how the event looks and how it makes people feel. However, in many cases it is difficult for the client to express what they envision or even like, until they see something they don’t. A sometimes-defeating algorithm for creatives, nonetheless, we continue to initialize concepts and ideas in a collaborative approach. Fashion, theatre, concerts, street art, film, sports – all great points of association and references clients (experienced or not) can appreciate. Successfully the environments, activations, and experiences begin to form in concept through collaboration and perspective sharing.


Combining artistry, craftsmanship and technology is the vehicle for approval – the clients and your own. Curating the proposal is where we can define our why and show them how. Initiating the submission with inspiration photos will establish a reference gallery, but writing a design synopsis or brief is what sells your imagery and overall design treatment. Inclusive of our clients’ ideas and the collective interpretation from our team, we digitally illustrate the guest experience with customized renderings, mock ups, build up or out modifications alongside qualified pricing. This stage in the process takes patience and perseverance. I find it important to stay flexible yet anchored at the same time (hence ‘havoc’ mentioned earlier…) Regardless, by publishing the design path and refining the proposed treatment we attain approval, keeping everyone aligned. Most importantly, share your approvals with your team and event partners. The more we share, the better the outcome.


Accountability is not just providing a design and budget that meets your clients’ expectations but also your own. Professional and personal ethics play a large role in who we are and what we represent in the business of event design. Remind yourself of your value, remain committed to the outcome; why and where it all started. Hold your client and team accountable as well by communicating deadlines, exciting updates and fair warning, if delays arise.

I have chosen a career of possibilities and the opportunity to transform joint ideas into real time experiences – a true artist at heart. Creating environments for guests to unite and engage, is like being a part of a story that continues to unravel, in continuum and beyond – The Art of More.


Stefani Dunn is chief creative officer at Decor & More in Oakville, Ontario. She has 17 years in the events industry and is a national and international speaker. She was recognized as one of Canada’s Best Event Designers & Top Event Professionals by BizBash.




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