20 Big Event Design Ideas for Maximizing Small Spaces (2022)

Table of Contents
20 Ways to Make Your Small Event Space Feel Big 1. Choose open floor plans. 2. Skip ceiling decor. 3. Use round tables. 4. Embrace the ambiance of low lighting with plenty of candles. 5. Keep wall decor minimalist and focus on clean lines. 6. Use short centerpieces. 7. Prioritize whites and light neutrals in your decor color scheme. 8. Go with solid colored tablecloths. 9. Opt for clear glass votives, translucent chairs, and any other semi-see through material for event furniture or accessories. 10. Offer tray pass catering with bistro style tables for mingling. 11. Make sure window coverings and drapes are the same colors as the walls. 12. Use 2-3 large furniture pieces. 13. Keep all furniture a few inches away from the wall rather than backed up against it. 14. Consider renting folding chairs and tables so you can put them away when not in use. 15. Choose furniture in colors that match the venue walls. 16. Use striped rugs. 17. Change out lots of small pieces of art or wall decor for one oversized and dramatic hanging. 18. Strategically hang or place mirrors. 19. Skip the table skirts. 20. Place tall floor lamps in the corners of the space. Critical Considerations to Keep in Mind When Producing Events in Small Venues 1. How to ensure guest safety in small event spaces 2. Lighting considerations for small event venues 3. What you need to know about giving presentations in small event spaces Now You Can Transform Any Tiny Space Into the Perfect Event Venue for Your Gathering! FAQs Videos

Did you find a venue that’s perfect for your event but it’s a bit smaller than you were envisioning? A small venue doesn’t have to cramp your style. Try these tricks to take advantage of every square inch and give the illusion that your event has room to spare.

20 Ways to Make Your Small Event Space Feel Big

Venues spaces are often one of the most expensive items in your event budget. Make sure you get the most out of your investment with these tips.

20 Big Event Design Ideas for Maximizing Small Spaces (1)

1. Choose open floor plans.

Keep your guests from feeling cramped and give them the room they need to move around easily with this layout. An open floor plan may add a sense of airiness to your space too! Fabric or curtain dividers break your guests’ line of sight, dividing your small space into even smaller segments, so be sure to avoid them at all costs. Take a look at this guide if you need help creating a well-designed event floor plan.

2. Skip ceiling decor.

Avoid bringing attention to the ceiling height if it’s one of the physical constraints of the room. Objects that hang from the ceiling will shorten the space. If you feel the light fixtures are hanging too low, ask the venue if it’s possible to adjust them. As a rule of thumb, light fixtures should hang about 30” to 36” above your tables.

3. Use round tables.

They allow for more seating per square foot than rectangular tables. 8-10 adults can sit at a 5’ round table and 10-12 adults can sit at a 6’ round table, but only 8 adults can sit at an 8’ rectangular table. Plus, round tablecloths are easier to find than rectangular ones, so they also give you more decorating options.

4. Embrace the ambiance of low lighting with plenty of candles.

The soft shadows from candlelight create dimension and add a touch of elegance to any space. Candle centerpieces can be incorporated regardless of your décor style, like in these beautiful arrangements.

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5. Keep wall decor minimalist and focus on clean lines.

Less really is more! Clean lines prevent breaking your guests’ line of sight, making the space feel bigger and less cluttered. Minimalism has been trendy in recent years, and there are plenty of ways to achieve its perfect balance of simplicity and beauty. Ask the venue if you can remove or adjust any hanging art or photos while you’re in the space. Take photos of the space with them and without them, then compare side by side to see if there is any difference in the perceived amount of space.

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6. Use short centerpieces.

Remember how ceiling décor will shorten the space in a small venue? The same goes for centerpieces. Tall centerpieces draw guests attention upward, whereas short centerpieces draw guests inward. Short centerpieces are usually less expensive to create too so you can save room in your budget for other items. Floral arrangements, low vases, as well as books and candles can make for beautiful low centerpieces.

7. Prioritize whites and light neutrals in your decor color scheme.

These tones feel light and airy while dark or bold tones feel heavy. If you are feeling overwhelmed by choosing the colors for your big day, this handy quiz can help.

8. Go with solid colored tablecloths.

Or, if you’re set on using a pattern, use one with smaller, more delicate designs. You could also incorporate patterns or textures by having table runners. Feeling crafty? This is an item you can DIY.

9. Opt for clear glass votives, translucent chairs, and any other semi-see through material for event furniture or accessories.

These allow your guests to see as much of the room as possible no matter where their glance falls. Your invitations, programs, and seating chart could compliment the translucent theme thanks to vellum paper.

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10. Offer tray pass catering with bistro style tables for mingling.

This type of service brings a warm hospitable feeling to any event and permits your guests to move around the venue as delicious food is served to them. Skewers, sliders, and crackers make for excellent passed hors-d’Oeuvres.

11. Make sure window coverings and drapes are the same colors as the walls.

You can even use sheer curtains to create the same effect. Or leave them completely uncovered. Guests can enjoy more natural light or admire the scenery this way.

12. Use 2-3 large furniture pieces.

Small event spaces filled with a few dozen tiny tables and chairs can feel cramped. But selectively incorporating fewer, more sizeable pieces will actually give the illusion that you’re working with more square footage. For this reason, choosing banquet style tables for dinners or oval tables for meetings (if they fit with your event theme and activities) is better than cramming everything you can in the room.

13. Keep all furniture a few inches away from the wall rather than backed up against it.

Pushing furniture up against the wall is a common faux pas. This may seem counterintuitive, but your space will feel bigger if the furniture has breathing room.

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14. Consider renting folding chairs and tables so you can put them away when not in use.

The tables can be decorated with tablecloths and runners so you don’t have to sacrifice style for convenience. There are also many attractive ways to spruce up folding chairs.

15. Choose furniture in colors that match the venue walls.

This is a great alternative if you aren’t a fan of translucent furniture. The furniture will blend into the walls, creating a seamless view without distractions for your guests.

16. Use striped rugs.

Stripes visually widen a narrow room. The wider the room, the wider the stripes should be. Measure your space first to make sure you get the correct-sized rug. There should be a few inches between the rug and the wall, but it also depends on what furniture is in the space.

17. Change out lots of small pieces of art or wall decor for one oversized and dramatic hanging.

Avoid clutter on the walls to make the space feel more open. You don’t want your guests to feel visually overwhelmed. If you are hanging artwork above furniture, make sure it’s proportionate and at the correct height.

18. Strategically hang or place mirrors.

Well-placed mirrors visually double the size of your space. Hang them in places such as cramped hallways or entryways. They can also be placed on tables to add the illusion of height.

19. Skip the table skirts.

Table skirts act like mini walls, closing in the space with more and more fabric. When you let furniture legs show through, they make the space feel lighter, more airy, and oftentimes more modern as well. If you need to cover or protect your rentals but still want to maximize space, try fitted tablecloths instead.

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20. Place tall floor lamps in the corners of the space.

Corners are a great place for lights as they are reflected by the two adjacent walls, creating even more luminosity. These fixtures will also draw guests’ eyes across the room. Lamps on tables could serve the same purpose if the space permits it. If you’re feeling stuck, you may want to consider hiring a lighting designer.

Now that you have those space maximizing ideas in your bag of tricks, there are a few more things you should consider when dealing with this event planning challenge.

Critical Considerations to Keep in Mind When Producing Events in Small Venues

1. How to ensure guest safety in small event spaces

  • Ensuring your guests’ health should be your top priority as the event planner. You may be able to hire a few EMTs for your event, but will you be able to properly manage and support them? Consider hiring a Field Training Officer (FTO) who can lean on their healthcare experience if a situation occurs.
  • Remember crowd control best practices so your event is fun and safe for everyone. Proper crowd management can also prevent poor event reviews.
  • Consider hiring qualified security guards. Even if your venue is small, you may need several guards depending on the flow of guest traffic and the number of event entry points.Get more event security tips here.

2. Lighting considerations for small event venues

  • Creatively make the space feel bigger by adding height. Use vertical lights (also known as uplighting) to make ceilings appear taller. Here are some unique ways to brighten up your space.
  • Limit how much lighting equipment you rent. Choose to use fewer, more interesting options such as logo lights or dynamic gobos rather than crowding the space with big, ordinary lighting fixtures.
  • Use what’s around you. Always take advantage of natural light options or, at the very least, opt for lightweight LED fixtures. Studies have shown that natural light increases mood, therefore creating a more positive experience for your guests.

3. What you need to know about giving presentations in small event spaces

  • Make stage props and backgrounds more interesting to balance out a smaller presentation area. Make a big impact with a small stage using these tips.
  • Save your floor space by using tall, stacked speakers instead of a variety of short speakers.
  • Opt for round, half circle, or full circle seating arrangements to take advantage of great intimacy naturally created by the venue’s size.

Now You Can Transform Any Tiny Space Into the Perfect Event Venue for Your Gathering!

Stuck in an event-planning rut? Take a look at these five ways to find inspiration or browse new ideas to incorporate candles in your upcoming event. Consider how the five senses impact event design too.

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FAQs

How do I create an event design? ›

How to design an event
  1. Define your goal and your budget. Chances are you already know the goal of the event, and it's probably raising some sort of key metric. ...
  2. Get excited. Once we had an idea of our main goal and our budget limits, we got creative. ...
  3. Use constraints to your advantage. ...
  4. Sketch it out. ...
  5. Plan ahead. ...
  6. Take pride.
Nov 23, 2015

What are the things that we need to consider in creating the layout for an event? ›

When deciding on the best room layout and seating arrangements there are a number of factors to take into consideration.
  • What Are The Attendee Numbers? ...
  • What Space is Available? ...
  • What Are Your Priorities? ...
  • What Are the Practicalities? ...
  • Decor and Furniture. ...
  • Do You Need a Stage? ...
  • Activities. ...
  • Health And Safety.
Sep 1, 2017

How do you make a small room more functional? ›

10 ways to make your room more functional
  1. 1 Maximize vertical space. ...
  2. 2 Keep traffic paths clear. ...
  3. 3 Control clutter. ...
  4. 4 Add storage. ...
  5. 5 Create a nook. ...
  6. 6 Use a room for what it's intended. ...
  7. 7 Store items in the rooms in which they're used. ...
  8. 8 Purchase double-duty furnishings.
Jan 4, 2006

What are the 7 stages of event planning? ›

7 Steps to event planning success
  • Define your objectives. Always ask yourself beforehand 'What are you hoping to achieve from this event? ...
  • Choose your location. Make sure that your location aligns with your objectives. ...
  • Set a date. ...
  • Create a plan. ...
  • Issuing invitations. ...
  • The day of the event. ...
  • Evaluate.

What are the 7 key elements of event management? ›

Event management has 7 key elements: event infrastructure, audience, attendees, organizers, venue, and media. Your event software should be able to manage all of these elements.

What makes an event successful? ›

Look: A successful event looks attractive and organized. Start with a theme or concept and decorate accordingly. A clear layout and flow are also important. You might want to include signage that ties in with the theme of the event and also lets guests know exactly where things are.

What are the types of event decoration? ›

10 Killer Event Decoration Ideas for Your Next Event
  • Food Display. Food is an art that can be used to create a lasting impression. ...
  • Fabrics. Unleash your creativity with pipe and drape for a welcoming and upscale event look. ...
  • Ceiling. ...
  • Table Decorations. ...
  • Seating Arrangements. ...
  • Decorative Backdrops. ...
  • Stage Design. ...
  • Goodie Bags.
Oct 15, 2019

What are the 4 considerations when setting up decorations in an event? ›

  • 4 Things to Consider While Selecting Decorations for Your Business Events. Tips for Selecting Decorations for Your Business Events. ...
  • Choose the Linens Carefully. ...
  • Use Centre Pieces that Stand Out of the Crowd. ...
  • Use Appropriate Floral Options for Decorations for Your Business Events. ...
  • Use Bright and Welcoming Colors.

What are the five key elements of effective event planning? ›

The five essential elements of event planning
  • Know what you want to achieve. It's important that you know exactly what outcomes you want from your event. ...
  • Make an event plan. ...
  • Look for funding or sponsorship. ...
  • Advertise and communicate. ...
  • Manage and follow up.
Mar 23, 2018

What is the most important in event planning? ›

Things like size, capacity, location, lighting, and price are all important considerations to take into account. If you have already chosen your venue, you can create tasks to ensure everything venue related is taken care of prior to the event.

What are some commonly used event space layouts? ›

Make the most of meeting space with accurate diagrams
  • Hollow Square. Create a layout similar to a boardroom style floor plan with long rectangular tables forming a square in the center of the room. ...
  • Conference. ...
  • X-Formation. ...
  • U-Shape. ...
  • Broken Horseshoe. ...
  • Theater. ...
  • Banquet. ...
  • Imperial.

What patterns make rooms look bigger? ›

What wallpapers make a room look bigger?
  • Stripes. Wallpaper stripes can come in many forms, from vertical to horizontal, and even faux wood planks can lend themselves to making the room look bigger. ...
  • Chevron. Similar to stripes, chevron prints offer depth to a room. ...
  • Murals. ...
  • Large Patterns. ...
  • Textures. ...
  • Metallic.
Jun 11, 2021

How do I make my living room flow? ›

Interior Design Tips: Make your home flow together - YouTube

What are the 5 C's of event management? ›

The process of planning an event from start to finish may be divided into 5 basic phases, which we have called the 5 Cs. These are Concept, Coordination, Control, Culmination and Closeout.

How do you run an event? ›

Seven Steps to Successful Event Execution
  1. Meet with you to establish event goals and objectives. By asking “What do you hope to achieve?”, we understand where you want to go. ...
  2. Establish a budget. ...
  3. Assign roles. ...
  4. Brand your Event. ...
  5. Come up with a master plan. ...
  6. Execute. ...
  7. Evaluate.

What are the 7 facts of event design? ›

The 7 Elements of Beautiful Event Design
  • Space. This is your starting block; the foundation of your design. ...
  • Lines. To be visually pleasing, designs should have the right combination of horizontal, vertical and dynamic lines. ...
  • Forms. ...
  • Light. ...
  • Colour. ...
  • Texture. ...
  • Pattern. ...
  • Conclusion.
Sep 14, 2019

How do you manage successful events? ›

Instead, make all of your events legendary with these 10 tips for better event management:
  1. Set clear objectives. ...
  2. Start planning now. ...
  3. Negotiate with vendors. ...
  4. Mobilize your networks. ...
  5. Be an early adopter. ...
  6. Do a run through. ...
  7. Listen to participants. ...
  8. Learn from every event.

What are the characteristics of best events? ›

7 Characteristics of a Successful Event
  • Successful Event Trait # 1: Getting PR. ...
  • Trait # 2: Excellent Feedback. ...
  • Trait # 3: Speakers Have What They Need. ...
  • Trait # 4: Things Were Organized. ...
  • Trait # 5: The Food Was Good. ...
  • Trait # 6: Unexpected Occurrences Were Handled Competently. ...
  • Trait # 7: Work Was Delegated.
Sep 22, 2016

What is the main purpose of an event plan? ›

Event planners' goals are to design and execute memorable events that fulfill their clients' and attendees' wishes.

Why decoration is important in event? ›

To highlight a little bit more on the importance of event decoration, it is the main factor that will set the tone and express the spirit you want for your corporate event. This will help put the participants in the correct mood and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

How do I choose stage decorations? ›

There are a few essential aspects to tend to while choosing your own reception stage decoration designs:
  1. Wedding Theme. Stick to your chosen theme. ...
  2. On-Stage Arrangement. ...
  3. Colour Scheme. ...
  4. Perfect Lightings. ...
  5. Vintage always is a winner. ...
  6. Get Royal. ...
  7. Flowers and Ferns. ...
  8. Cute and Contemporary.
Jun 1, 2018

How do you make a large ballroom feel smaller? ›

5 Clever Ways to Make a Large Wedding Ballroom Seem Smaller
  1. Add Lounge Seating. Lounge areas are the perfect space filler because most people won't realize that's what they are. ...
  2. Use Different Tables. Some tables take up less space than others. ...
  3. Use Draping. ...
  4. Focus on the Center. ...
  5. Use Large Greenery.
Aug 2, 2021

Is 50 guests a small wedding? ›

How many guests are typically invited to each size wedding? These numbers may vary a little depending on who you're speaking with, but a small wedding typically includes 50 people or under, a medium wedding has a guest list of anywhere from 50-150 guests, and a large wedding has over 150 attendees.

What should be done before an event? ›

Pre-Event Checklist
  • Tailor an Event Management Template.
  • Establish your Event's Essentials/Goals.
  • Give Event Budgeting the Due Time.
  • Design the Event.
  • What should be the Event's overall look?
  • Provide Exceptional Guest Experience.
  • Promote your Event.
  • Take Care of the Guests' Comfort.
Jul 7, 2021

What should you do before an event? ›

10 Things to Do the Day Before Your Event
  1. Send a reminder email. This tip has a couple of components to it, so view it as a sort of hub. ...
  2. Finalize the media list. ...
  3. Do a walkthrough of the venue space. ...
  4. Create an “event box” ...
  5. Check the weather. ...
  6. Review logistics. ...
  7. Confirm details with vendors. ...
  8. Check in with your speakers.
Mar 2, 2021

What are the rules of an event planner? ›

20 Golden RULES of EVENT PLANNING...
  • BUDGET CAREFULLY. Setting a budget is easy. ...
  • PRIORITISE. What's most important to you? ...
  • KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Remember, you're creating an event for your guests, not your MD. ...
  • ASK AROUND. ...
  • KNOW YOUR POWER. ...
  • BOOK AHEAD. ...
  • BE FLEXIBLE. ...
  • NEGOTIATE.
Jul 23, 2017

How do you organize a small house with no storage? ›

To organize a small house with no storage, try the following:
  1. Declutter often.
  2. Install shelves.
  3. Choose furniture with storage.
  4. Optimize the backs of doors.
  5. Place hooks inside cabinets.
  6. Buy hanging storage baskets.
  7. Add risers to your bed.
  8. Use stackable chairs.

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