During over 20 years that I have been in the decoration business, I've seen many event and party decorations. There are lots of mistakes that are seen very often. This is especially disappointing because time, money and effort spent is huge, but the goal – fantastic decoration - is left underachieved.
Usually, when you are planning a party, you should be planning it with the room or hall in mind. This sounds strange, but you would be surprised by how many times this simple rule has been violated. The truth is that the same occasion will call for totally different decorations in two different rooms.
Another important thing to keep in mind: we work with human perception, not with the physical size of the space. Human perception as a topic is a little bit beyond the scope of this post, but here we mention this for very simple reason: if you can, plan you decorations, or meet with your designer in the room, do not trust the floor plan with sizes.
Here are some major points that require attention when you decide on how to decorate party:
1. Height of the ceiling.
A common mistake in the room with a low ceiling (say 8') is to use decorations that "hit" the ceiling or that are too bulky. The examples would be balloon arch or balloon columns that touches the ceiling.
These balloon decorations will take visual space (even if they do not physically take too much, human perception!) and will make you and your guests feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable.
Again, if you have a large bulky balloon arch at the entrance, many guests will feel that they have to bend their head, even if they are less than 6 feet high.
If you use balloon centerpieces with large (say, 3-foot) balloons at your tables, in a room with a low ceiling they will have to be too low and will feel oppressive and overdone.
On the contrary, you can use very thin balloon columns at the door - they will add height and elegance, making both entrance and the room look taller.
Similarly, if you use slim, upward-reaching centerpieces at your tables, they will create an illusion of an "unreachable" ceiling, uplifting the entire room. "Slim" is the keyword here!
In the room with a high ceiling or one that is too large there are other constraints - you do not want your guests to feel lost in a vast space. You might consider bringing the ceiling down visually by using, for example, a balloon dome or a balloon fountain (please see a few examples of these balloon sculptures here: http://wowballoons.com/en/portfolio/room-shaping-sculpture/) and to make the room more cozy by adding larger structures (larger balloon arches, balloon walls, etc.).
You can also "shrink" the space by adding structures along the walls but closer to the center - visually making the center smaller and creating an "aisle" along the walls.
2. Colors in the room.
I hear this almost every day: "My colors are gold and white; I want gold and white balloon decorations." Then we get to the room and I see a lot of white ceiling, pale walls and a light floor where white balloons will almost melt into the background and the golden ones will be hardly more noticeable than white. It is even worse, if the room is a white tent.
The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is - choose your colors after you choose the room. This is not always possible, but consider adding a color to harmonize the colors of the room and the colors of your wedding (baby blue walls will clash with burgundy dresses, but you might be able to introduce a mauve in the decorations to blend them).
3. Small decorations in big room.
As I mentioned earlier, we work with human perception. If you have a party in a very large room or outside, your decorations (balloon decorations or any other type) are competing for attention with other objects in the space.
In a large room it could be a stage, a big banner or elaborate chandeliers. Outside - it will be trees, house, and clouds. So whatever you plan, your decorations should be large, colorful, and juicy or you will be the only one to know that decorations are there.
For example, small, very detailed centerpieces for a party of 2000 people in a huge gym is a waste of money. Yes, they are nice, well themed, but how much attention would they get?
By the same token, if for such a party, you plan a huge balloon sculpture, do not waste money on printing your logo on every balloon. Nobody will notice.
4. Production time.
When renting your party room, find out when the space becomes accessible for your vendors (decorator team, DJ, ...).. A lot of times, it's just 2 hours before your gusts will come. In some cases, if you have a morning event, it can be a lot more, for example, when kitchen staff comes in, early in the morning. In some hotels the ball room can become available the night before.
Make sure to inform your decorator about it that from the start of the conversation. This doesn't imply that you can't use balloon decorations! However this ought to be taken into consideration. If you get the room with short preparation time, there are a few ways to deal with it:
a) Sometimes the place where you're leasing the space (be it a lodge or a community hall)can offer a back room to prepare party decorations so when the room becomes available, decoration team just the sets everything up. Usually it easily can be done within the 2 hours or less.
b) With the help of your decorator you will be able to pick event décor which can be produced swiftly and still look amazing.
c) The decorator could come with a larger decoration crew to speed up the design process. However there might be an extra fee due to the time limitation.
d) The decorator could hire a truck, produce and then bring bits and pieces of the decorations to be assembled at the location, saving a lot of time. This too may cost more, simply because of he has to hire a large truck.