Planning a commercial holiday program doesn’t have to be complicated. At Dekra-Lite, our coordinated teams and planning experts take care of a lot of the workload behind the scenes including, setting timelines and milestone dates, surveying installation areas, and creating a detailed scope of work.

But before planning, our designers create a mood board. They pull together color palettes, foliage samples, decor elements, and branded messaging to enhance the space and customer experience. As our teams create a program, they think about, discuss, and document the following to help them make decisions, keep the project and cohesiveness on track, and make the magic happen!

Identify the Details

Before a project takes off, all stakeholders set their budget, expectations, and goals. These decisions allow our team to provide recommendations on the overall look and feel as well as the prioritizing. It’s also essential to have all of the information up front to help with that. It’s easy to get excited and want to put an 8’ Illuminated Snowflake on a light pole. But, if that pole doesn’t have power, then we didn’t plan correctly.

Start With the Sense of Arrival

When planning a full program, the most crucial part is how the customer feels after arriving or entering the property. It sets the tone for the entire visit, and a positive sense of arrival has been linked to a desire to return. Signs, monuments, ticket booths, valets, and parking lot poles all provide excellent opportunities for decor and lighting. We recommend making them a priority based on scale: a garland topper or decorated wreath is enough of a touch on a ticket booth, but a 60’ sign would need a 15’ bow.

Design in Layers

Dekra-Lite designers think about creating layers for maximum magic! Instead of merely adding garland swags to a building, we’d pair it with perimeter lighting and an image projection system to raise the decor level, frame the property out and to add a branded element to reinforce marketing’s holiday message. Designing in layers also makes it easy to grow the program year after year since each season is a new opportunity for upgrades and enhancements. Sometimes this is done for budgetary purposes, but no matter the reason, it’s important to keep up with competition and to keep visitors engaged and coming back.

Think About Coverage

Full programs are exciting because you get to reach a lot of people at once with strategically placed decor. If you’re trying to drive traffic to your food court – think about placing a selfie station nearby – word will travel! What about a dark corner near a forgotten tenant? Throw up some LED snowflakes on the building, and the area becomes an instant gathering place! Pay attention to where people gather and where you want them to assemble, and go from there.

Create Focal Points

While thinking about your coverage above, you’ll also want to create at least one main focal point. A giant Sequoia Tree, 10-Ball Ornament Stack or Walk Through Gift Box will surprise and delight visitors of all ages. It’s even better if you can get people to stick around. Perhaps your tree is scheduled to perform every hour? Patrons will stick around for the fun and end up eating at a restaurant, shopping at a store, or both!

Get Creative with Marketing Tie-Ins

Some of the best commercial Christmas programs are the most successful due to branding and marketing efforts. Asides from always making sure your logo and hashtag are featured in your instagrammable selfie stations, there are other ways to engage your consumer. For example, Westfield Century City commissioned a local artist to paint our elegant white deer and placed them throughout their property with a map. Shoppers were on a scavenger hunt to find all of the decorated deer and once they did so could turn their maps in for a chance to win bounce back offers from the stores. We also love that many of our partners print graphic ornaments for sponsorship trees.

Remember Why You Are Decorating

When creating a commercial Christmas program, try to keep these tips in mind. They will make the planning process much easier. At the end of the day, the main thing is to remember why you are decorating. The reason should always be to bring happiness and smiles to the faces who see it!