To decorate or not? That is the question.
The holidays mark a time when people intensely decorate inside and outside their homes. Stores are glitzy with lights, trees, and holiday images, and cities decorate their squares and parks with light shows. Some people go big, others are a little more subdued, then some do nothing at all.
It got me thinking about events that happen during an implementation and go-live. How much time and effort should we put into decorating? To be completely honest, I am a minimalist, by nature, when it comes to decorating. My holiday decorations are pitifully simple, and when it comes to decorating for events, I would consider myself utilitarian.
At my last go-live, I worked with a wonderful person for whom decorating for the occasion was very important. The application teams created their own application signs that we hung over their areas in the command center, and we decorated the command center in a seasonal motif. It was inexpensive, looked nice, and the teams had a great time being creative and developing their signs.
Given my inclination to skip decorating, I did a little digging into why decorations are worth considering. The purpose of decorating for any occasion is to make a space aesthetically pleasing and is considered necessary for setting the mood, framing the emotion, and underscoring the importance of the event. For business-type events, it is important to make a good first impression on the clients and attendees.
The experts in event décor suggest that corporate event decorations should be calm, serene, and reflect the culture and values of the organization. Decoration materials can be anything that can represent the idea of the event collectively. They help set the mood of the participants. This was the case when the applications teams made their signs for the command center. They were collectively a unique reflection on each team and brought humor and a festival-feel to the room. Operations loved them, and it lightened the mood and made for a friendly, cooperative atmosphere.
Knowing your organization’s culture will be a good indicator for decoration depth and design. An implementation is an expensive undertaking and keeping the decoration budget to a minimum will be important. Make sure to get approval and a budget from the project leadership team before planning decorations. Dollar stores often have inexpensive decorations and supplies for handmade creations.
It is important that decorations used do not interfere with the functionality of the room and workspace. Command center space is typically tight with participants sitting shoulder to shoulder. Monitors, keyboards, and power strips are commonly used, and decorations can get in the way of placement. Decorations should not inhibit visibility of signage, monitors and collaborative efforts.
Decorating a command center can set the stage for the event and create an inspiring and inviting atmosphere during a time of high stress and anxiety. It shouldn’t be over the top, but finding a way to foster creativity and put a little pizzazz in the command center setup is a great way to show the client you care and enhance morale during the project.