Event Design - ideas for a basement?

I am organising and managing a conference early next year for 700 people at Shoreditch Town Hall. We have the whole venue and its a really great collection of spaces, especially for central London.

In the afternoon there will various break out sessions and in order to have enough space, I will need to use the basement area for 3 subject specific sessions. Its quite a quirky space, looks very rustic. I organise a number of exhibitions and the space would be great, but I am little apprehensive about how it will work for a conference. Plus side it that its a creative arts conference so the delegates are used to quirky spaces and being creative.

I have 3 separate areas that I need to dress; Music, Performing Arts and Creative Media. I am going to use lots of uplighting to make the spaces feel quite dramatic, but was just wondering whether anyone else had organised an event in a similar location and had any ideas about how I could dress the space without spending too much budget?

Thanks in advance!

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Hi @Jakki I’m tempted to say leave the space undressed like a blank canvas for all the creativity of the day. Alternatively, perhaps you could pick a colour for each area and gather some quirky props to dress each section as a small installation representing each area. You could maybe invite delegates to bring something in the colour of that are or ask them to bring something in their favourite colour and kickstart the creativity with that. You could also look at floor vinyls or go with something people are least expecting like astroturf or sand (so long as you can get rid of it easily afterwards). As it’s in the basement perhaps you could give it an under ground or under water feel. Do let us know what you run with and share some photos!

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Wow, love the space! Have you considered projection mapping instead of uplighters? You could give the place a distinct theme without actually bringing in any physical decor. Look at the effect on this old train: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wx01w5gbVk


We’ve used similar warehouse type spaces for events in London and Dublin. We’ve also found that leaving the space undressed works well (rather than trying to fight the rawness of the decor). Clever lighting, particularly string lighting is good, and +1 for uplighting or projection mapping.

Getting furniture made from chipboard or pallets (think stools, chairs, benches, etc) looks cool, is very cheap, and fits with the space. We did that where we had collapsible stools and benches made, very cheaply, and looked perfect for the space.


Got any pictures?

Agree! You can get pretty creative with pallets:


Browse Some latest RTA Cabinets Online. That cover less space and look more attractive.