It’s a cold winter’s evening and you’ve arrived at the Christmas party which you’ve been anticipating for months on end.

As soon as you step through the doors, you’re instantly transported to a new and magical world which sets the scene for the rest of the evening to come. You could be gazing up at the Empire State Building alongside the bright lights of Broadway, strolling through an exotic Moroccan souk surrounded by traditional buildings and colourful lanterns lighting your way, or experiencing the Après ski scene in Aspen with cosy log cabins and snow-covered Christmas trees towering above you.

A Vivid Experience party is like no other. A truly immersive experience. Exhilarating entertainment, delicious food, and an electric atmosphere. But have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes to bring these incredible experiences to life?

Here’s an exclusive peek ‘Inside the Magic’…

Vivid Experience’s Workshop in Leicestershire

If you’ve already experienced one of our Christmas parties, you’re already familiar with the attention to detail which goes into our events. Each year, our venues showcase a new theme which is truly unique and designed by the in-house team to set the scene for a night to remember.

At Vivid Experience, Christmas starts in January and continues all year long. As soon as the themes for the next Christmas party venues have been agreed, work begins to prepare the scenes and props to transform an empty venue into a world of wonder.  

With over 14,000 square meters of workshop and warehouse storage across four units, a team of skilled carpenters and scenic artists, and an event management team with 20 years experience of working in the live events industry, there’s no shortage of knowledge and ideas in the team.

Construction in progress for a scene which will form part of the New York theme for 2023

New ideas and themes are developed on paper, starting with rough sketches, mood boards and research into relevant imagery. The workshop team use these as a basis to create more detailed drawings with accurate measurements to fit the floorplan for the venue, and create digital visuals to bring the ideas to life. These then go through an approval process before the build begins.

From paper to prop. This design which has been brought to life will form part of a Broadway scene at the Leicester Athena events

Elements such as themed bars are then constructed in our workshop in Lutterworth, Leicestershire using materials such as plywood and polystyrene. More detailed textures and mouldings are sourced from a specialist supplier to theatre productions, and a theme set painter completes the look with the final finishing touches of paint. Items are carefully stored away until it’s time for the onsite build to start in November.

It’s all in the detail as items are crafted by hand to create to complete the party themes

Everything is designed so that it’s easy to break down into smaller sections to store and transport.  Sustainability is also a big consideration with both frames and complete sets refurbished and adapted to fit new venues each year.

Hayley Alton is the Managing Director at Vivid Events, “I’m immensely proud of our team who work so hard to create the magic at our events. I’m amazed each year with the incredible ideas they come up with, so we create a unique and memorable experience at every venue. We’ve heavily invested in the theming for our parties this year and we’re so excited to share them with our guests later this year!”

The on-site build takes around 5 days to complete, but items such as this two-floor Alpine Lodge are months in the making in our workshop

Jodie Morris is a Scenic Artist at Vivid Experience, “I joined Vivid 5 years ago and over that time I’ve developed so many new skills, styles and techniques in creating scenic art and set painting. I’ve worked on designing some of the themed bars and I enjoy switching it up and jumping between painting and designing. This year, I’ve loved creating the New York theme – seeing it bought to life has been exciting, but we can’t always lay out the whole set together as it’s created in sections. The first time we see it complete is when it’s installed at the venue… that’s my favourite part of my job!”

From working waterfalls to huge 20m wide hand-painted stage backdrops, there’s no end to the skills of the Vivid Experience workshop team