The exciting and undervalued world of event styling


At our blog, we like to explore the complex and ever-expanding role of the event planner. One moment they’re ordering personalised T-shirts, while the next they must deal with the flat tire of the caterer’s truck. If there was ever a job that could use the term Jack of all Trades, then this is this one.

This time around we’ll be exploring the ‘decorating’ aspect of the job. What is it and what does it entail?

What is event styling?

It is the (art?) skill that relates to decorating an event. An event stylist is a person in charge of the visual identity of an occasion.

Things that an event stylist is usually in charge of:

  • Overall visual theme
  • Seating arrangements
  • Plants and flowers
  • Lighting
  • Supervise the graphic design

Is it the same as event design?

It depends on whom you ask. More often than not, event design and event styling are used interchangeably, but some would argue that there’s a difference.

Those who disagree insist that event design has got to do more with the ‘functionality’ of the space. Making sure there’s enough room for everyone and that they can move around without problems.

Event styling, as we mentioned previously, is about decoration. More than working for it to look nice is about making sure that it all fits inside the visual theme of the occasion.

Where does it fit in the event planning business?

Event planning is the big umbrella that encompasses everything that’s got to do with the organisation of special occasions; event styling is just one of the many aspects of it.

Sometimes one person can do it all, especially when it comes to smaller businesses, but when a company grows and becomes more specialised then different individuals fill the different roles. Usually, someone who’s skilled at decorating doesn’t feel comfortable with numbers and vice-versa since they’re very different skill sets.

Why is it important?

Event styling is important in the same way the clothes you choose to wear are important. The way you present yourself greatly impact what other people think of you and the same principle applies to events. Not many will take you seriously if your decorations are just a couple of plastic plants from IKEA and the name tags are written with black marker. Rustic may be cute, but if you want to take your business to the next level then you will need to pay more attention to styling.

Examples of great event styling


Jack Morton for Magnum
Sometimes a couple of screens can take you a long way. In order to transport attendees to a Victorian ballroom, agency Jack Morton used projections on the walls during the release of Magnum’s latest ice cream in Singapore.

Event Styling Magnum Jack Awards

George P.Johnson for Cisco
Agency George P. Johnson partnered with Cisco to create a unique experience for attendees during the 2016 Olympics. The furniture is really simple which allows the murals and the technologic displays stand out.

Ashfield Meetings & Events for AbbVie
In this case, Ashfield Meetings & Events designed a stand for pharmaceutical company AbbVie for the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) 2016. The booth included a ‘living’ wall where bricks were made of a grass-like plant and it had 980 calla lilies planted. Each one represented 1000 patients that had been treated with the drug they were promoting.

WRG for Google
This one is particularly interesting. For Google, agency WRG created furniture for events that could be easily installed in almost any venue. The modules looked slick and were made of inexpensive materials.

Event Styling - Google

World Class House 2014
How do you make your attendees feel like vips? Why by creating an exclusive atmosphere, of course. This is the strategy events agency TBA planned when they launched the World Class House 2014 ‘Pop Up’ experience.

Event Styling - TBA - World Class House

Text: Harald Meyer-Delius
Research: Luna Giontella

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