5 Tips for Creating Formal Events the Disney Way

Author: Casey Gale       

Disneyland might be best-known as a family-friendly vacation spot, but as Convene saw on a recent visit to the Anaheim, hosted by Disney Destinations, it’s also famously meetings-friendly. Here are five tips from Brian Bosch, senior event consultant, the Disney Event Group, Disneyland Resort, on how Disney event planners create magical formal events. 

1. Metallics never go out of style.
“Right now, a really, really big trend — actually, I don’t think it has ever gone away — is metallic,” Bosch said. There are many easy, subtle ways to include metallic accents in your event décor, he added, including “chargers, menu cards, chairs, and mixing metals into the centerpiece.”

2. Do not be afraid to mix and match.
“Adding different visual interest through texture, pattern, and color is a really fun way to keep things unique and exciting, and is very trendy,” Bosch noted. For example, when Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa hosted Convene for dinner, Bosch mixed table styles to add visual interest. “Everywhere you walk, you want your guests to see something different and unique to keep them walking around, especially in a reception setting,” he said. “Even at a formal dinner, you want people to sit down, but then after the dinner is over you want people to get up and dance or go mingle.”

3. Follow the color trends.

“Every year, Patone releases what they feel like is the latest color that you’re going to be seeing on the runways or in the home that’s part of our lifestyle. They picked ‘greenery’ as the color for this year — a fresh, vibrant green,” Bosch said. He noted that he incorporates the color at formal events in small details, such as in the centerpieces. “It can be a white and clean [centerpiece] with that pop of color,” he said.

4. Create a focal point.
Walt Disney pioneered the idea of placing an iconic structure in the center of an area to draw people in — most notably, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland and Cinderella’s Castle in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Bosch takes cues from Walt Disney when designing events by creating what he calls a “wow factor” at every event. “Really giving that visual wow when people walk in a room is so important,” Bosch said. “It’s a budget saver, too — if you don’t have a big budget but have a little bit of money to spend on one or two focal items, that’s the way to go.”

5. Tell a story.
Whether an event organizer is planning an evening for a large corporation or small business, every client will have a story to convey to attendees. “Whether they have a theme or a motto that we want to bring to life, or a marketing message for the year that they want to instill in their guests and employees, any way we can bring that brand to life,” Bosch said, “is key.” Bosch recalled a recent event for a company that had a flame logo. Bosch incorporated the logo into the event by using “orange, rust, and burnt colors,” to decorate the space for the formal event. “It’s all down to the littlest details,” he said.

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