As events are coming back after a COVID hiatus, your events are likely going to feature a V.I.P. lounge for sponsors, donors, or other bigwigs. V.I.P. event lounges are more than a space to hang out — they’re perfect opportunities for making special people feel appreciated. Do more than designate a space: Create an experience for your V.I.P.s.
“A V.I.P. space creates a special, more memorable experience for attendees, boosts your event profile, and offers a positive impact on profits,” says CORT Events Account Executive Holly Davis.
How can you create a space that V.I.P.s will enjoy, frequent, and remember long after the event ends? It’s all about creating a space that’s fresh and new, one that you’re V.I.P.s have never seen before.
“V.I.P. experiences assist planners with elevating their event and offering a higher price and value for their attendees,” says Jack Scafide, CORT Events District Account Executive. “Also, certain V.I.P.s are drawn to, and will attend, if they have an elevated experience prepared for them.”
You can avoid the cliche lounge design with exciting and fun ideas that allow V.I.P.s to feel valued and appreciated. Here are some ideas for a breathtaking V.I.P. lounge at your next summer event.
What Every V.I.P. Lounge Must Have
Regardless of the theme of your next V.I.P. lounge, there are certain factors that your space should include to give your V.I.P.s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“First they should have their own space separate from general admission attendees,” notes Scafide. “There should be a designated area for the V.I.P.s and should, depending on who attends, there should be security. Elevating the experience with upgraded seating, lighting, and décor.”
Davis provides a list of non-negotiable items to make your V.I.P. lounge complete:
- Early V.I.P. ticket access to create the perception of exclusivity.
- Preferred parking
- Designated entry
- Preferred seating or viewing area
- Access to restricted areas backstage (tented to provide shade at festivals)
- Lounges that offer charging capability & comfortable seating and include food
- and alcohol
- Restroom access or premium bathrooms
- V.I.P. badge or wristband
- Meet and greet with one of the bands or performers.
Incorporating Branding into the V.I.P. Experience
Branding provides another opportunity to create a special experience for V.I.P.s. Event branding and even sponsor branding can make the event come across front and center for your special guests.
“Branding is a great way to separate the V.I.P. experience and elevate the event as a whole,” says Scafide. “Custom graphics on the tabletops, logoed pillows and other opportunities to brand the area are a great way to accomplish this.”
“Theming is instrumental for brand awareness, and it’s a prime social media and marketing opportunity,” adds Davis.
Involve your sponsors to help raise their awareness and highlight their partnership in your event.
“The entire V.I.P. section, check-in, or certain lounge vignettes can be “brought to you by” one of the sponsors,” Scafide suggests. “Sponsors can also be allowed to invite certain V.I.P.s to the event to create even more engagement.”
However, it’s important to limit your branding or keep certain areas free of it altogether.
“Sometimes the V.I.P. area is free of corporate signage and instead focuses on the exclusivity and experience they receive,” says Scafide.
Treat V.I.P.s like the luminaries they are with a luxurious experience that satisfies the most discerning of tastes. Create an oasis of luxury that’s lush, richly appointed, and relaxing — think jewel tones and metallic textures. Shades of royal purple and rich marbled textures add to the extravagance of the luxury lounge.
If you’re feeling bold, theme a luxury V.I.P. lounge to an era of decadence like the Roaring 20s or steampunk. Make the area a fun conversation piece all its own. You can opt for opulent touches like a special bar area with exotic and grand cocktails, or bring a chef onsite to create sumptuous treats. The sky truly is the limit when it comes to luxury, so dream big.
If your event is a business meeting, trade show, or product launch, your V.I.P.s may want to network or get things done. Why not give them an experience that allows them to harness technology to their advantage? Choose design elements that are bright and energetic yet still welcoming and inviting. The space should be comfortable, yet conducive to productivity and lively conversation — a great space to work and network.
Provide plenty of places for your V.I.P.s to charge their devices, ultra-high-speed Internet, and powered furniture. A lounge themed to technology provides the chance to feature some cutting-edge pieces of technology. You also have opportunities to highlight sponsors and cater to their branding. Have plexiglass dividers on hand for safety, and encourage social distancing.
Treat your V.I.P.s to the spectacular views that summertime has to offer with a beautiful outdoor lounge. In the city, a rooftop lounge provides exceptional skyline views, especially at night. If your event takes place at a notable destination, an outdoor lounge can make for memorable sights as well. Aim for a design that’s natural, comfortable, casual, and fun. Outdoor lounges are another great opportunity to highlight sponsors and incorporate branding into your space.
Of course, the outdoors bring concerns over the weather. Make sure to use furniture that can withstand the elements. Have umbrellas handy in case of rain. Shelters can also offer cover in the event of inclement weather and provide social distancing or “bubbles” for parties of V.I.P.s to congregate together.
Everyone loves to play games, so why not entertain V.I.P.s with opportunities to compete and let loose? Gaming is a great idea if your lounge is a place for networking or generating buzz rather than for resting. A gaming lounge for V.I.P.s should be contemporary, exciting, and vibrant. Again, consider providing plexiglass dividers.
Consider the types of games that fit your V.I.P.s. Video games appeal to younger audiences, while other activities like board games may better suit an older crowd or families. A casino game that doesn’t include actual gambling can be fun, or you can allow V.I.P.s to place bets as contributions to a local charity. The right lighting can help make a gaming lounge appear more exciting and fun.
If you truly want V.I.P.s to relax, why not treat them to a healthy and peaceful experience? Health and wellness are embraced as important topics to many organizations and individuals, so special opportunities to recharge, as well as relax, can give V.I.P.s an added measure of enjoyment. A V.I.P. spa lounge can become a welcome place of peacefulness and rest.
Have professionals on hand for shoulder or back massages. Healthy snacks and smoothies can allow the V.I.P. lounge to feel like a retreat from the world. A spa-themed lounge should include decor that’s fresh, relaxing, and inviting to allow your event staff to pamper V.I.P.s.
Lessons from Event Planners
In an era of change and new paradigms, it’s helpful to take some of the lessons that event planners have learned and apply them to your next event. As the world continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Davis notes that health and safety are still a priority and that sanitation and distancing strategies should be part of the planning of every event.
Scafide offers some advice on how to make your V.I.P. lounge both safe and comfortable at the same time.
“Using our Plexiglas dividers to separate seating works well,” he says. You can still use our high-end lounge furnishings but designate certain seats for safety. Have a V.I.P. only health screening before entry. Use our bars, counters, and other items to create a V.I.P. entrance that can double as a health screening before entry.”
What other ideas can you take from the event plans of the past few years?
“Make sure you cut off the V.I.P. attendee list, because having too many attendees with access waters down the experience and doesn’t create the V.I.P. experience,” Scafide asserts. “Make sure the areas are secure and only the V.I.P.s can access. V.I.P.s that have spent extra money will be upset should normal attendees gain access to the space.”
“More personal space will elevate attendee comfort level,” Davis adds. “You can also use custom personalization and signage to relay information to attendees.”
When you’re ready to design and implement a V.I.P. lounge that’s memorable and that truly honors your special guests, you can find everything you need at CORT Events. No matter the size and scope of your event, CORT Events has the creative ideas and practical implementation to turn any lounge into an experience that your V.I.P.s will remember for a long time to come.
With CORT Events in your corner, you don’t have to worry about delivery and assembly, and you can make changes at a moment’s notice. Take the first step toward an exciting and unique V.I.P. lounge by checking out CORT Events or giving us a call today.