Indoor & Outdoor Décor and Furniture for Your Summer Event

Sassies, can you believe we’re officially at the halfway mark of 2021? This year is blowing by so quickly. As the weather starts to warm up and push events indoors and outdoors, my friends at CORT Events are back with a few décor tips on how to blend these spaces to create a memorable summer-time event.

Blend Natural Elements

Imagine what feels like a free-flowing, open-space concept, connecting the indoors and the outdoors. Take some of your soft-seating furniture outdoors, and decorate your indoor spaces with topiaries, potted plants, and other natural themes for a seamless flow.

Turn Up the Lights

Lighting is important for any event, but it’s imperative for an outdoor event at night. Decor options for lighting include string lights and lantern lights, which offer both aesthetics and function. Be sure to prioritize safety and comfort when you’re thinking of lighting also. Pathway and stair lighting are necessary for walkways and steps.

Matching Colors and Patterns

Once you’ve chosen your furniture, do keep in mind that aesthetics are still important. While traditional summer colors work well together, don’t be afraid to play up an outdoor space to help make it as festive as possible. Mediterranean and Tuscan influences, such as black and white with topiary, also make a bold statement.

Give Guests Plenty of Space

Think of the word “cohort” as you design the furniture setup. If this is an event that has cocktails and dining, the flow of the room may include an open space for cocktails, perhaps with no chairs and high-top tables, to encourage social distancing, and a dining area, with tables situated at least six feet apart. Rental furniture or event furniture is an ideal thought here, as coordinators can help you with placement and design as well.

If you’re looking for a partner that can help, make your event a truly memorable one while still staying safe and healthy, turn to CORT Events. They offer personalized, white-glove service that make your next event – whether indoors or outdoors – one that your client and their guests won’t forget.

Plan Your Space Carefully — and Creatively

Hey, Sassies! I don’t know about you but one of my favorite parts about attending events is all the yummy food and drinks. As we start planning fabulous live experiences again, it’s no secret one of the biggest challenges is how to safely incorporate catering and bar service for guests.

But have no fear! My friends at CORT Events are here with a few quick tips on how creative use of furnishings and décor can help to alleviate some of your – and your clients – catering stressors at your next event.

Plan Your Space Carefully — and Creatively
Looking for a bit of encouragement while you plan? Well, if you keep in mind the general guideline is to dedicate 500 square feet per 10 people when it comes to venue space you’ll be good to go! This gives you the chance to create a safe environment without sacrificing exciting design. CORT Events recommends using different types of dividers — plexiglass, stanchions, planters, and greenery — to designate spaces with variety and add style and texture to the practical applications within the venue.

Let the Tables Turn
These days, people are used to being told to keep their distance everywhere they go, and the same goes for dining at an event. Space tables 10- to 12-feet apart to allow for at least six feet of space for traffic flow, especially if you’re employing servers.

Decor can also help make sparse tables look more inviting, while dividers between tables and sections can ensure more privacy as well as safety.

Serve ’Em Up
In a post-pandemic world, buffets and finger foods are absolutely off-limits at events of any size – unless they’re sectioned and sealed for single servings, of course.

Instead, try designating specific bars for tables and groups at the event and dedicate specific staff for those bar areas. If staffing isn’t in the budget, consider marking lines and places for guests to stand while distancing.

One of the best things you can do is partner with someone who makes setup easy, and the best partner to have on your side is CORT Events. Think of CORT Events as your one-stop source for everything you need to make sure your event looks great, maintains safety and minimizes stress.

Bring the Drama With Event Drape

Hi Sassies! Trade shows, expos, and so much more are coming back to the events world and I couldn’t be more excited! If you’ve been tasked with helping a client set up their booth or one that’s looking to add a bit of color to an empty event hall, my friends at CORT Events are once again here to help you save the day.

Break up the space

When you’re planning your event and walk into an empty event hall, it’s easy to see a cavernous and nondescript space. But the truth is, that event hall is a blank canvas that gives you endless possibilities for customization. Your creativity and vision will bring the space to life.

One of the most versatile methods for transforming an event space is the use of drapery.

Use drapes to cordon off or divide spaces at your event with ease. When you set up drapes as a stage backdrop, be sure to set aside space for your backstage areas, and use drapes to designate those sections as distinct from public areas.

Drapery also works well to divide a portion of the hall into rooms for breakout sessions or meetings, and it can become a subtle way to make wayfinding easier without signage. The right drapery configurations give you the ability to control your space and divide it in ways that suit your needs.

Create Special Sections

Drapes don’t just give you functional benefits — you can also use them creatively to generate beautiful spaces for specific purposes. Make your bar area more inviting with dramatic drapes that draw attention to a space in the center of the event hall. Set up gorgeous VIP lounges or cabana spaces to get away from the crowds.

Bring in the Color and Texture

Now, let’s be honest, there may have been a time or two that we’ve all relied on a single color of drapery for every use at an event. But why limit ourselves to just one?! In fact, why not try to combine multiple colors of drapes along with lighting for dramatic effects that bring a sense of dimension and texture to an event space. Think beyond monochrome and get creative with color.

Some quick ideas are:

1.              Bring in multiple colors of drapery that fit a client’s branding or the theme of the event.

2.              Use layers of different colored drapery — in complementary or contrasting colors — to give your walls a dimensional look.

3.              Tie layers of drapes in hourglass patterns to give pops of color to a space.

4.              If you’re hosting a multi-day event, move the drapery layers around to create a new theme for each day.

When the time comes to bring your next event to life, don’t go it alone. Trust CORT Events to help you make the most of your event space. From drapes in multiple colors and configurations to the lighting that makes your drapery even more effective, CORT has everything you need — all in one place.

Set the Right Stage

Alright, Sassies, Spring has officially sprung and with its arrival we’re seeing a return for certain in-person events – yay! Like always, my friends at CORT Events are ready to help you – and your clients – come back to their corporate meetings and events in the safest way possible this season.

Set the Right Stage

In 2020, as we all found ways to adapt and learn new ways to remain flexible, one thing that was learned is that when it comes to planning events, it’s best to take a “both/and” mindset. I say all of this as initial face-to-face meetings in 2021 are expected to be smaller than the past, regionally focused, and in a hybrid format.

With a small percentage of attendees live and in-person and the rest at home, this is a great opportunity to plan staging so things look as good to the folks tuning in virtually as it does to those in person is a must.

Instead of speaking in front of a screen or a presentation, encourage your clients to think of their meeting like a production set with elements like side tables or greenery from CORT Events that can help make things appear more visually compelling while filling the 6′ space between speakers on stage.

Bring the Connection

There’s no question that everyone is looking forward to meeting again face-to-face as soon as it’s safe to do so. After months apart, in-person attendees will crave that meaningful connection and interaction that was missed in 2020. There are ways to create the warm environment we once knew while keeping physical distancing in mind.

Lean into unique elements like drape, high back seating, and clear dividers to create spaces for safe conversations during networking sessions or break times.

Another approach could be to group teams together by row with CORT Events 30″ tables that come in multiple colors. Not only will they add a bit of visual interests, but color-coded seating can also designate smaller groups to be called on individually for breaks and meals. That’s a win-win!

Put FOMO Back into In-Person – and Hybrid!

Okay, Sassies, let’s be honest for a moment. In the past, it was all about planning the live experience. Creating an equally compelling time for a digital audience wasn’t a focus point. But now, as we begin to incorporate in-person elements back into our planning, we’ll have to think of our guests – including those attending virtually – as more than just attendees. Everyone should feel like an event is for them which is why engagement is so important.

Consider allowing both in-person and virtual attendees to earn points for asking questions during sessions, taking quizzes, and engaging. At the end of the meeting “door” prizes can be given out to the individual that’s earned the most points. This point system will also allow you to measure engagement and offer this data back to your clients so they can adjust the content of future events.

There’s no time like the present to start planning the next meeting. Lean on my friends at CORT Events to build the foundation for a safe event and support. To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com

How to Make a Wedding a Share-Worthy Experience™

From the proposal, to engagement party, onto the bridal shower, then finally –  the big day! That’s right, Sassies, winter is almost over and spring is nearly here, which means wedding season is almost in full bloom. My friends at CORT Events want to help you – and your client – say “I Do” in the most memorable way in 2021.

Say “I Do” to Photoshoots

Y’all, who doesn’t love a good photoshoot? But we all know, the perfect setting for an engagement photoshoot may not always be within range. That doesn’t mean your client has to say no to their concept, instead, help them take matters into their own hands and design one perfectly suited for the enamored couple. Let’s also not forget about selfie stations. I mean, if guests don’t take photos for their social media, did the wedding even happen? I kid! But in all seriousness, break away from the mold and design. Cardboard and plastic props are cute and fun but try out designing a unique, luxe, setting that will make the happy couple – and their guests – want to strike a pose – or 3!

The Main Event

Love may be the star of the day (or night), but a jaw-dropping setting is sure to keep guests talking long after the sealing kiss. Sassies, whether the wedding is taking place in a backyard or at an established venue, what you add to the mix sets the tone for the experience. Frame the wedding party in dramatic flair with CORT Events drape, or go minimal in furnishings to showcase the venue’s existing elements. 

Time to Party!

Now, there’s no denying that 2020 was an unprecedented year and we’ve all held out hope that this year things will get back to some state of “normal.” And while we’ve learned to come to terms with the pandemic to some extent, we’ve also started to accept that post-COVID events simply won’t look the same. Many are opting for smaller guest lists even after restrictions are lifted. Buffets and passed finger foods are likely going to remain in a distant memory, and reception seating will be more generously spaced out.

For bar service, try out bar-top plexiglass dividers with a serving slot with enough stations so lines are short for guests. Don’t forget to Incorporate beautiful soft seating and bar table options to create lounge spaces when those dancing feet need to rest.  

My friends at CORT Events are here to support you and your client on their big day. To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

An Open Letter From CORT Events

To Our Friends and Colleagues,

Needless to say, it’s been an extraordinarily challenging year. Some have found this year to be the perfect canvas for reflection and growth, but most have found it to be the source of the most severe personal and professional struggles in their lifetime. And for others – it’s been both!

We at CORT Events want to take this moment to acknowledge your resilience, your open minds and hearts, and your dedication towards coming back stronger than ever. If nothing else, your passion for our industry and its recovery has proven this saying true: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” 

As we inch towards 2021, here are some things we’re asking Santa for:

  • Strength to guide our ongoing fight to recovery.
  • Our colleagues’, friends’ and loved ones’ well-being.
  • Not a comeback, but the brilliant evolution of our industry.
  • Continued solidarity amongst us all.

Regardless of what the near future holds, please trust us to be open ears to your hopes and concerns. We’re fortunate to have the Berkshire Hathaway name behind us to grant us the stability and reliability necessary to be your steady partner and willing resource as we heal together. We look forward to serving you in the new year.

Have a safe, love-filled holiday season,

Damon Ross & The CORT Events Family

PS. Season’s greetings directly from some of our team members!

Classic Never Goes Out of Style

I can always rely on CORT Events to deliver the daring and bold style trends, but their classic collections are my go-to no matter the occasion! If you’re looking to create gorgeous and safe events, check out these tried and true collections:  

Safety First, Sassies!

Y’all already know attendee’s comfort and safety is our top priority. The Safety Collection is heaven sent for every event planner! This collection includes everything y’all need to help attendees feel at ease. From clear dividers to wayfinding decals, these offerings provide both form and function. Pro tip: Elevate your next event with personalized options that match your spectacular style and brand.

“Wow” with Ottomans

I’m going to let y’all in on my best kept secret for maximizing space without compromising style…CORT Events’ Beverly Ottoman collection! This modular collection is available in 11 fabulous colors, so there’s a perfect option no matter the size or color scheme. To create owned seating, pair the Beverly Oasis pieces with individual charging hubs, so attendees can power up their devices and remain in one seat for the duration of the event.

Stylin’ Soft Seating Options

The possibilities are endless when you start a design with classic black and white furnishings. Luckily, CORT Events has a variety of neutral soft seating options, like the antimicrobial Baja collection or the timeless Naples Sofa. Just because we’re taking extra precautions with owned seating doesn’t mean we have to give up larger seating options. Pair a clear divider with a loveseat or sofa to encourage safe socialization. Don’t forget to add C-shaped tables between individual seats so guests understand where to sit!

Remember sassies, my friends at CORT Events are available to support you through your next event with safety and health top of mind. To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.

Safety and Comfort: All about the Attendees

I’ve been so impressed by the creativity and tenacity the events industry has shown while we work together to safely bring people back together. From virtual cocktail hours to micro-weddings, we’ve seen a major shift in how we plan events as a result of COVID-19. I know all my planner and designer friends out there are up to date on the latest protocols, but I’m not sure how attendees are feeling when it comes to in-person events. I know with thoughtful planning and reinventive designs, we can help attendees feel safe and comfortable returning to live events! My friends at CORT Events are  sharing some more of their terrific tips to ensure every attendee feels comfortable, safe and fabulous while attending in-person events.

Loud and Clear Communication

Y’all, communication with attendees is key – especially in this crazy new world!  Attendees will expect all the details to make sure their health is a top priority, specifically on distancing guidelines, PPE regulations, safety precautions and cleaning procedures. Addressing attendees’ concerns in advance and on-site will help eliminate confusion and stress so everyone can have the best time! To pull off a successful and safe event, be sure to directly communicate the steps you’re taking to assure attendee safety before, during and after the event.

Design with Safety in Mind

Sassies, I want to get back to safe, in-person events just as much as y’all, so that means we have to be considerate of every guests’ comfort level. Some attendees might be as eager as me to get back on the social scene, while others may be more hesitant. With safety-focused designs that facilitate movement and promote distancing, like freestanding clear dividers,  stanchions, and floor decals, we can provide the peace of mind each attendee needs. Take this opportunity to let your personality and brand shine by creating personalized dividers featuring your logo or custom artwork! 

Prioritize Wellbeing

It’s no secret I like to accessorize wherever I can – that’s why I’m so excited to create a calm and warm environment for my attendees! With distanced seating and dividers, we must incorporate natural elements like greenery, florals and uplighting to maximize comfort and familiarity. Pro tip: Don’t forget to provide individual tables with charging capabilities to complete attendees’ individual spaces!

Sassies, making sure every person is comfortable will be key to throwing fabulous in-person events, meetings, and shows. My friends at CORT Events are here to lend their expertise when it comes to designing spaces your attendees will remember, while keeping them safe!  

You can schedule a consultation with on a CORT design expert! To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.CORTevents.com.  

Reconnect with Hybrid Meetings & Events

By Steve Kemble

Hey, Sassies! I’ll tell you what, this COVID-19 pandemic has really had an impact on the events industry over the last several months. I don’t know about you, but I am ready to get back to business, even if that means smaller hybrid events for now!

Current guidelines say we must reduce in-person attendee capacity, so supplementing with a robust virtual experience is a must to keep everyone involved and engaged. With this approach, we can get back to the business of creating unique experiences, all while keeping attendees safe! My friends at CORT Events always have great ideas when it comes to planning the perfect event, even during a pandemic. Here are some of their tips and best practices to ensure your upcoming hybrid events keep all attendees excited, engaged, and most importantly, safe.

One Event, Two Audiences

When designing a hybrid meeting, consider not only how the layout, design and format of the space will impact in-person attendees, but also attendees participating remotely.  Sassies, lighting, audio and colorful stage sets will have a tremendous impact on the virtual attendees’ overall experience. I’m excited to start networking and collaborating again with all of you, and CORT Events’ modern and practical options for furnishing your event space, such as large sectionals, individual chairs or ottoman configurations, can allow us to do that safely! Be sure to interact with virtual attendees in real time via their mobile devices. You know I love a good swag bag, so if you are giving away goodies to in-person guests, be sure to mail a bag to your remote attendees too!

Set the Stage

Forget mingling, guest speakers and presenters will need to practice healthy distancing while on the meeting stage. Why not envision the stage as a set rather than a classroom? CORT offers beautiful drapes, customizable dividers and greenery to create a warm and inviting atmosphere even as we all practice social distancing. Communal microphones are a big no-no in the COVID-19 world – instead, ensure each speaker is individually connected to a microphone. If your event features simultaneous activities across multiple stages, be sure to broadcast the event in a way so virtual attendees can have a holistic experience, as opposed to a singular perspective.

Out-of-the-Box Engagement

Y’all, digital capabilities will be so important with hybrid events and will involve an added layer of creativity to improve engagement all around! For in-person attendees, be sure to provide large and ample displays throughout the meeting space to limit crowding. Connect attendees together by integrating live chat features for comments, questions and polls. Acknowledge and interact with virtual attendees via livestream to recognize their contributions to the conversation. Be sure to record and distribute the broadcast after the meeting to further promote conversation among those in attendance, either in-person or remote. Technology can also be used when it comes to providing food and beverages for in-person attendees. Consider making timed reservations when attendees register to eliminate lines or assign attendees a group number and broadcast via mobile devices when it’s time for them to pick up their food items.

Sassies, it is time to safely restart events, while making health and well-being a top priority. See you soon!

To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.CORTevents.com.