The Ultimate Guide to Upgrade Your Step & Repeat from a 'One & Done' to a Viral FOMO Generator
Updated: Nov 19
Step and Repeat: A publicity backdrop used primarily for event photography, printed with a repeating pattern such that brand logos or emblems are visible in photographs of the individuals standing in front of it. Step and repeat banners are a common fixture of red carpet or fashion events, or custom-printed for weddings or galas in order to give a more "celebrity-like" feel to attendees' photos.
(Thank you Wikipedia!)
A key component of many events is a step & repeat but the past decades affection for 'Instagrammable moments' has allowed event planners to get more creative and expressive with the traditional step & repeat format, providing guests with unique photo backdrops that are often their first interactive experience on-site at an event.
While most often you will find vinyl or fabric banner, step & repeats can be accented with drape and props or be custom made out of a variety of materials allowing more artistry to the design. When developing a step & repeat moment it is important to keep in mind the three things this activation looks to accomplish.
1) Showcase the event, event branding and theme.
2) Provide recognition of your sponsors.
3) Create a fun photo moment for your guests.
Here are a few examples of how you can achieve those goals while creating a showstopping piece.
GET CREATIVE WITH SHAPE
Be brave with geometry and ditch the squares and rectangles! Playing with shapes that provide more cohesion with your theme is a small detail that elevates your guests impression of the full experience. Art Deco at the Cove created a paneled art deco geometric design with event branding added to the panels and 'red carpet'.
MAKE IT A SET
Don't stop with just a banner and a strip of red carpet. Look to your theme for direction on how you can further activate the space to create a more immersive set piece. The Dapper & Delight Soiree added velvet drape and chandeliers for their 1920's themed event while custom Rolls-Royce stilt walkers posed with each group.
BE BOLD IN YOUR MATERIALS
Go wild and add more pop! This Halloween themed event used 7 foot tall marquis letters to provide the event name branding and a photo opp perfect for the social feed. You could add texture to your piece with sequins or feathers or galvanized metals...
UTILIZE WINDOW AND WALL SPACES
If your venue space has large walls or window spaces, consider utilizing those spaces to provide your event branding a sponsor recognition. What might have been a blank space is now activated as an event piece!
ADD DIMENSIONS AND MOVEMENT
Get your head out of 2D! Think immersive with your 'step & repeat' by adding 3D components like these mounted gears and clocks. Some of these pieces even rotated providing more whimsy and personality to the piece.
TAKE THE "REPEAT" OUT OF STEP & REPEAT
There is no rule book saying you have to have your sponsor logos repeating over and over again. Experiment with your design and you can create super long pieces that add fun theme components while also honoring your sponsors in more unique ways. Guests spend more time here and take more photos giving your sponsor even more exposure!
GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR SPONSORSHIP INCLUSION
It doesn't have to stop at a logo! Think of different ways you can represent your sponsor that are in line with their industry and branding. This prop piece for the Chicano Federation's 50th Anniversary Gala utilized a Southwest plane replica with a 6 foot wingspan to honor their supporter in an intriguing way that caught the attention of event guests.
As you can tell, step & repeats have grown out of their name and have now become something way more dynamic and interesting. These are 'wow' moments that give your guests that take-away photograph in a way that memorializes your event and your supporters. Go big with your design and do something never done before!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenna Thompson
Jenna is a mountain based Yogi with a love for veggie focused foods. When she's not in Warrior Pose you can find her spending time with her Avalanche Rescue Dog Luna with a Matcha Latte in hand!