Create a Memorable Event Experience with Fabric Structures

September 21, 2017
"Stilted Chills" fabric structures

A lot of experiential event design these days goes hand-in-hand with event technology. But what about the non-technical visual elements of your event?

Tension fabric structures can be used to add interest and excitement to event design. Fabric structures are lightweight (which means easy to pack and low cost to transport), add visual appeal, and can transform an environment into a memorable experience from the instant your attendees arrive.  

Sculptural stretch-fabric structures can be used in variety of ways at events. Most commonly seen as dramatic backdrops and décor on keynote stages, these structures have nearly unlimited potential as design elements and unique branding opportunities.

Entryway arches and transitional tunnels set the mood to entice attendees into your event environment. Free-standing fabric walls can act as dividers to create unique spaces. Structures can also be used as signage and way-finding elements, making it fun and easy for attendees to reach their destination.

Debra Roth and Marc Posnock pioneered the use of fabric structures in the events industry more than 21 years ago.  Roth was the co-founder of Pink Inc., which was acquired by Moss in 2010, and Posnock started with Transformit.

Inspired and powered by their years of expertise, creativity and passion for the industry, The Originators was launched in 2013. I recently spoke with the pair about the philosophy behind The Originators and their work at a few recent corporate events. 

Posnock described the value of tension fabric structures as “the ability to transition attendees from their reality to yours, and immerse them in the experience you want to provide.”

One recent project was an event at New York’s Chelsea Piers event space, hosted by Omni-channel Technologies. The venue is well-located on the Hudson River, but only is accessible through a driveway and parking lot. 

The creative brief from New York-based events agency Sequence was to devise a way to transition guests from curb-side drop-off to the venue’s entrance 120 feet away.

The Originators’ solution was an enveloping, continuous 100-foot-long flexible fabric tunnel imprinted with the Omni-channel Technologies logo, which served the dual purpose of hiding the unsightly path to the venue and acting as a gateway, or transition point, into the event environment.

Attendees emerged from the tunnel into a cluster of sculptural arches: free-standing fabric structures that both defined the venue entrance and provided Omni-channel Technologies with additional branding opportunities. The immersive transitional experience set the tone for the event, sparking excitement and conversation.   

Other recent event end-clients include Veritas, iHeartMedia, the American Red Cross, and several museums within the greater New York area. The photo shown is of an outdoor festival produced by destination management company Hello Florida! for Microsoft.  The eight 40-foot by 25-foot multi-colored stretch-fabric shade structures unified the disparate areas of the broad festival grounds and became visual landmarks, helping attendees find their way.

The Originators believe that creative collaboration is the key to taking events to the next level.

“Our creativity is our true value-add: we can work with you to conceptualize and develop unique, customized solutions that evoke the emotions you want your attendees to experience, such as excitement, wonder, awe and joy,” Roth explained.

Use of fabric throughout an event can provide a cohesive, striking visual element that unifies the overall visual design. Fabric structures also have the benefit of being lightweight and highly portable, readily available and easy to handle - making set-up, strike and quick turnaround a breeze.

One of the primary reasons people attend events is to make connections. Imaginative and innovative décor elements create shared moments that help connect people with each other, and with your brand. Why not create a bridge between the physical décor and technology – creating Instagram-worthy moments that can extend those connections to an even wider audience?

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