Making a great entrance

As with everything in life, first impressions count.  An impressive and memorable entrance at your event will set the mood and expectations of your guests for what is about to follow.

A great event entrance has the ability to instantly capture your audience and to transport guests from their everyday lives to the here and now of your event. Whether it is a conference or a Christmas party, the main objectives are the same – make your guests feel welcome and grab their attention. All events, no matter what their purpose, have a message to convey and you should start communicating with your guests as soon as they arrive.
This week we have pulled together some ideas and things to consider when planning your entrance, as well as some visual inspiration to get your creative juices flowing.

Step One – Finding the entrance

Ensure your guests know they have come to the right place. This can be achieved with clear signage or by being creative with lights, props or actors. 

Step Two – Welcome your guests

Ensure your guests are greeted by lots of smiling faces. Hiring hosts or having a few key staff members available to welcome guests as they arrive will go a long way to making that first impression last. 

Step Three – Give them something!

If it is a social event then make sure guests are offered a drink as soon as they arrive. If it is a conference, meeting or exhibition where guests are required to register on arrival, make sure you are ready! Have ample staff on hand to issue registration passes and name badges and once these are collected ensure there are more staff around to inform guests on where to go next.  

Step Four – Draw them in

Once your guests have entered the event, make sure the atmosphere doesn’t fall flat. Look to draw your guests further into the event space away from the entrance to avoid bottle necks.

Light it up!

Using a colour wash on the façade of a building is the easiest way to create an immediate sense of action and welcome your guests to your event. For venues with gorgeous architectural features, a plain wash works well. Venues with a flat surface are perfect for projecting images, logos or welcome messages.
Making an entrance with lights
1. AV1 at The Great Hall, University of Sydney                                      
2. AV1 at Decorative Events & Exhibitions Showcase
3. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London                                
4. Event in New York City


An archway made of foliage or flowers can make for a fabulous entrance way for daytime events.

Archways for events
1. Decorative Events & Exibitions at Bar 80                                          
2. Unknown

Roll up the red carpet!

The traditional red carpet is still a fabulous entrance, but really impress your guests by lining the entrance with a bit of a difference – we love the way Innovative Production Services have created a runway lined with lights. The green grass entrance works a treat too!

Light up the entrance to your event

The tunnel 

Taking guests through a tunnel or a long entrance way prior to arriving at the event can be a great way to build anticipation and excitement. Projecting onto the walls of a tunnel can also be a great way to tell a story to the guests on the way and a good opportunity for corporate branding.

Be creative

If you’re planning a product launch, creating a photo-worthy (i.e. Instagram-worthy) welcome will make sure your message is communicated to more than just your guests!

Creative event entrance features

If you have any tips on how to make a great entrance, or if you have seen some impressive entrances at events you have attended, we would love to hear from you either below, over on our Facebook page or tag us in your Instagram posts @eventbirdie #makinganentrance.