Steven’s insatiable talent has rewarded him with one of the most desired ‘black books’ of high profile clients in London and his long list of enviable client names have earned Steven the title – ‘the artist of the event world’.
A-List stars such as Adele, Elton John and Leona Lewis (to name a few) have famously hired Steven for his creative flair not only for their events but also to design the interiors of some of the most famous homes.
We found out some more about Steven’s business and creative mind.
When did you set up your company and what inspired you to enter the world of events/ creative design?
The company was formed in 2010 after a wealth of experience in the events and creative party industry. I always had a passion for design and impressing or creating to please. This began with interior design, architecture and visual merchandising in 2005. I designed several retail stores, private homes, warehouse conversions and worked on the skilled team of visual merchandisers for M&S Dublin, designing weekly window and shop floor displays. My inspiration comes from many things. Something as simple as a shape, colour, landscape, or building can spark an idea for an event feature, or prop design. Party planning removes the client from the world we live in to a distant magical place that the mind of a child can only naturally capture. Our aim is the recreate that and deliver it to every client. Inspiration also lies in film, culture, art, eras, pattern and nature and translates very easily into a real form of art or visual installation.
Can you describe the best event you have ever put on?
The most satisfying event we ever created would have to be the ‘Willy Wonka’ event for a company Christmas party. It wasn’t the largest party we created but the detail and essence of magic and fantasy was truly captured. Features such as large artificial oak trees smothered in hanging sweets, large flower and sweet props, toadstool furniture and live Oompa Lumpa dwarves walking through the event themed to Disney’s classic tunes. There were hills to climb, lollipops to hang out of, overhead festoon lights and tables full of Wonka treats!
If money is no object and you are creating the perfect birthday party celebration for yourself, what would you arrange?
I always say I will have a massive birthday each year but end up putting the client first and forgetting about it! I think if I was to create something for myself with a limitless credit card I would create an ‘Avatar’ theme. There are so many things about this movie that inspire me. From the neon colours and vegetation to the idea of a world so natural and self-sufficient. The ‘tree of souls’ would be the focal point with some luxurious furniture sections located in separate areas. The design would include lots of tall features and height to signify scope and ‘a limitless sky’. Aerial acts, stilt walkers and full body painted avatars would finish the look with moving vines and illuminated flowers swooping overhead. Guests would tuck into themed canapés, catered sections where they can eat from a wall of mixed fruits and treats.
What makes a good host?
A good host does not only need a welcoming approach but to get stuck in also. There will always be last minute items to rearrange or features to fix as guests interact. A good host will ensure the guests are topped up with drinks and catered to in every possible way to make them feel completely comfortable. It is extremely important to provide a naturally fun and entertaining atmosphere so they will leave with a smile and some fantastic pictures!
What are you key design tips?
Design with purpose: Make sure what you are designing has complete reflection or relevance to the client’s life or interests. Make some magic! Don’t be afraid to recreate a fantasy. Push the boundaries and get some interesting features in. Catering: Always overstock on catering and refreshments. This is a very unpredictable field, as clients can underestimate guest numbers. Venue selection: Always choose a venue to suit your theme or design rather than a space to fit the guest amount. The venue must coincide with people flow, seating amount needed and era of theme with the era of the interior already there.
What unique touches/ offerings do you have up your sleeve for clients who have ‘done it/ seen it all before’?
From our experience, they have not seen anything like it before! And that is said after every single event created. I think there is a vast contrast in flooding a marquee with furniture and drawing ideas from scratch and translating a client’s thoughts and dreams. There is always more to offer and build on but it would all correspond to the budget given and the size of the event requested. We love to break the boundary and maximise what is featured within the space, so that guests can interact with as many various offerings as possible.
Foro more information and to contact Steven Duggan, visit: www.stevendugganevents.com
By Reena Patel