Experiencing Color

How Does Color Influence The Mood Of A Meeting or Moment?

When planning your next event, you have to put serious thought into how you will deliver your message using nonverbal environmental cues, including color, to shape the mood of critical moments for the audience.

Color. A longtime obsession of brand and experience designers alike.

Like artists and interior decorators, those deep in the throes of event planning and experience design (XD) understand just how impactful simple color choices can be.

Whether as part of the meeting theme graphics themselves, the event signage and facility branding, or tradeshow booth and giveaway collateral, all the way to furniture, lighting, and floor decals, every opportunity for color is an opportunity to influence the mood of your meeting and how messages resonate with your audience.

The Psychology of Experiencing Color

All people are deeply affected by color, even when we’re not consciously aware of it. Verywell Mind does a great job at breaking down what certain colors typically represent in terms of mood and interpreted messaging in the following graphic.

Illustration by Joshua Seong

The color black has long been associated with death and mourning, but it is also considered a sexy” and sophisticated color that is favored in high-fashion marketing. In event marketing, it can add seriousness to your message, although it’s doubtful that you’d want to go with an all-black event.

Red adds impact to any gathering and often conveys a sense of warmth and comfort. You should use red when you want to make your signage pop and when you need to grab the attention of your audience. But too much red can overwhelm people and even make them anxious. After all, red is the color we ascribe to anger.

Blue is a calming color, so if you want to have a laid-back event, consider making your color scheme a sea of blue. Blue evokes the serenity of the oceans and the sky. If you choose an icy blue, though, you may make your guests feel unwanted. Balance is the key.

Psychologists have carefully studied these color effects, so you should consult the research before choosing each key element of your meeting and event design.

XD is Nonverbal

It’s also not just color you need to consider in terms of nonverbal experience design cues. Space, noise, and temperature have a lot to do with how your attendees interact with your event as well.

If it’s too loud, people won’t hang around because they can’t talk to one another. If it’s too quiet, people will feel uncomfortable and likely retreat to their phones for fear of standing out.

If it’s too hot or too cold, people won’t be able to concentrate on much else besides how uncomfortable they are and the first words shared between new connections will likely be tied to that simple fact they can both relate to — temperature. Outside, that’s the weather.

If it’s too crowded, some people may feel claustrophobic and if it’s too open, attendees may feel exposed and vulnerable.

Effective event planning and experience design means taking all of these factors into account. Setting the right mood is as important as delivering the right message.

But certainly in your event planning and experience design exploratory phase, one of the best places to start conversations is around the psychology of color and how the extension of your meeting theme or corporate brand colors will carry through in subtle ways to the different experiential elements of your physical event.

What mood will you be creating through the use of color and what impact will that have on how attendees absorb or interpret messages?

Maybe someday not too far down the line, event wearables like smart bands will also have a mood ring functionality to them. Only approach attendees in good moods, and know exactly when a conversation or sales pitch has gone on a little too long. Wouldn’t that be great?

Written by

Jonathan Ronzio

Experience Chaser, Writer, Speaker

How Does Color Influence The Mood Of A Meeting or Moment? is part of our obsession with:

Event Experience Design

The art of designing memorable moments.

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