How to organize an out-of-this-world event

How to organize an out-of-this-world event

What makes a luxury event a truly unforgettable experience for clients and their guests? Four industry professionals take us behind the scenes to reveal what’s involved in planning and designing an ultra-special celebratory occasion, from personalized experiences to 3D mapping projections.

Making memorable moments

I tend to think of the designs we plan and build for our clients’ special occasions as ‘momentary architecture’, most probably because I have an architectural and design background. At weddings, we focus primarily on the personalities of the bride and groom, and the story behind the event, using simplicity in all its beauty to create meaningful memories. This is exemplified in our biggest highlight to date, which was the wedding of Jordan’s Princess Iman and Jameel Alexander Thermiotis in Amman in March 2023. Here, white cherry blossom branches were added to existing trees in the garden for the bride’s entrance to symbolize new beginnings and the start of spring, for example.

An eclectic era

Exciting new trends include a move toward eclectic designs, combining different styles and blending juxtaposed elements. Examples range from mixing color palettes to putting together patterned and solid textures. Event design today also has a sharper focus on the innovations under way in sound and light production, with event lighting now dealt with as an architectural project in its own right. This allows us to create the softer, more ambient options requested by many clients.

Bridging gaps through AI

We see Artificial intelligence (AI) as highly beneficial in our work when used efficiently and effectively, especially when it comes to 3D visualization. AI is helping to bridge the gaps we sometimes find exist between a client’s idea and how the designer imagines it. Being able to involve the client in the design process through the use of virtual reality (VR) and simulations that are more engaging and relatable is a major advantage.

ABDULLAH ASSI Founder and principal designer ADegrees

Founder and principal designer
@abdullahalassi @adegrees

Understanding the vision

I make it a point to work closely with clients to ensure our designs reflect the aura of an occasion. For example, if it’s a luxury brand, we want to define the purpose of their event ahead of it and if it’s a wedding, we will work to fully understand a couple’s vision for their big day. I put my heart into every event I design, whether it’s a huge event, like the Tiffany Trump-Michael Boulos wedding we did in November 2022, the Joy Awards – a personal favorite– or other smaller-scale occasions.

Pre-emptive planning

One approach we adopt to avoid typical industry challenges is to try to stay two steps ahead in the process. To help with this, I’ve built a system which includes several pre-emptive measures. I’m also fortunate to be surrounded by a great team of individuals who can perform a multitude of tasks, which fosters a productive work environment.
In addition, diplomacy and patience are crucial attributes in our line of work to facilitate a smooth collaborative process with our suppliers.

Trailblazing ideas

Our aim is to create trends rather than follow them. This was exemplified at a recent wedding in Monaco, where we chose to use 3D mapping projections throughout the event, including the cake itself, to produce immersive experiences. The events industry is always evolving, driven by shifts in traditions and designers pushing the boundaries. Today, technological advancements such as AI are playing a major role in shaping the industry. Nevertheless, with all of these advancements, I strongly believe that no AI tool can replace one’s touch and creativity. Instead, it can be used as a helping hand, such as providing us with useful insights to be used within our scope of work.

TONI BREISS Luxury event designer Level Toni Breiss

Luxury event designer
Level Toni Breiss

Balancing acts

The goal I set myself when starting out in the event planning industry two decades ago remains the same, which is to create events that are a harmonious fusion of tradition and innovation, complete with a personalized touch, resulting in unforgettable experiences. Challenges are an intrinsic part of the dynamic and complex realm of event planning. Negotiating tight timelines and balancing myriad client expectations, while adhering to budget constraints, are common hurdles. Strengths that I believe help us to overcome these issues and deliver successful events include adopting a proactive and collaborative approach, and having a keen eye for detail, together with a network of premium vendors.

The rise of the hybrid event

Current industry trends include an increase in demand for hybrid events which seamlessly blend virtual and in-person experiences. We’re seeing a greater emphasis on sustainable practices, coupled with immersive technology integration. Personalized experiences and intimate gatherings have also become focal points, while flexible seating arrangements, creative culinary offerings and stringent health and safety measures further define today’s event landscape.

Key role for customization

The future of the event industry will be marked by ongoing technology integration, particularly with the rise in the number of virtual and hybrid events. Personalization, driven by AI, will be pivotal in tailoring unique experiences. However, while AI is undoubtedly transforming the industry, I’m convinced that the key, magical ingredient in our business is customization. Every aspect, from matchmaking to logistics,
is tailored to each client’s unique vision.
AI enhances efficiency, but it’s the personalized touch that creates a deeply relatable and memorable event experience. This commitment to customization ensures events are not just efficiently executed but also resonate deeply with clients.


Founder and CEO

Know the goal

I always like to firstly figure out what clients want to achieve from their event. Once I know the goal, I can plan everything around it. I pride myself on ensuring the events I create are unique and special, rather than copied. Every event is like a story and can have a theme or fun things to do. Event planning is undoubtedly a wonderful job, but there are inevitably tricky parts to it. These range from clients being uncertain about what they want to ensuring the timing runs with precision. This is where key strengths come into play, like being able to handle the unexpected.

Think immersive, interactive experiences

The event planning world is constantly coming up with new ideas and ways to make experiences more engaging. Some of the hottest trends around include:
Hybrid and virtual events: think conferences with live and online attendance.
Hyper-personalization: it’s all about tailoring the experience to each individual.
Sustainability: eco-conscious event planning is a necessity today.
Advanced technology: this is transforming how events are done.
Micro-influencer magic: partnering with smaller, niche influencers can be a powerful way to reach your target audience.

AI as a transformative tool

AI is transforming the events industry, bringing innovation and efficiency across all areas of the industry, including:

1. Planning and organization.
2. Personalization and engagement.
3. Operations and logistics.
4. Post-event analysis and optimization.

The integration of AI is still in its early stages, but its potential to revolutionize the events industry is undeniable. As this technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more innovative and transformative applications to emerge.


General manager
@q8planner @salmughamis

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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