Flowers give colour to any event, without a doubt. But behind the screens it's quite a challenge to select the right flowers and plants for your event. Lies Martens gives a few tips.
Hi Lies, welcome in our studio.
Flowers make your event look colourful, but it's not only for decoration that you can use them.
No, there's actually three uses in an event for flowers. Firstly, when you're having food and drinks, then you have small table decorations, whether it's a cocktail table, or a dinner table. And then of course, there's the room itself, the hall itself or the stage, which you can enliven with flowers. And then there's the flowers for the people who have to speak or the artists...
Oh yeah, I always forget them.
...to thank them at the end. So that's three different kinds of applications where you can use flowers. To select the right flowers of an event, that is also not that easy. It's not easy, but on the other side it's rather thankful, because if you have a logo or a house style, with a certain colour in it, then it's quite easy to use that colour. For instance: red or yellow, in the flowers you use. If you're having cocktail tables with just a small glass with a few flowers, but you're repeating the colours from the logo, then your branding is actually even more fierce at that moment. Because subconsciously your clients will see the colour of your logo, of your house style and they will just take it home with them. So flowers can actually enhance the power of your event. They can actually help to give your branding another boost.
And can you put every flower on the table?
Well, for flower decorations when you're having a dinner table, there are quite a number of rules. For instance: don't make the arrangements too high, because you don't want to make a screen between yourself and the person you're speaking with.
Sometimes it can be helpful...
If you don't want to speak to that person, it can be very helpful indeed. But the rule is: keep it low. Don't use too fragrant flowers, because when you're eating and drinking, what you need is your smell. you want to smell the soup and the sauce and the wine you are tasting. But if the flowers are too fragrant, like lilies or freesias then that will interfere with your smelling sense for the food. So use neutral flowers like for instance roses. The roses that are growing now in hothouses. Unfortunately they don't smell anymore.
But for an event that's perfect?
They are much safer now. Yes, indeed. Don't use flowers or don't use berries, for instance, that are poisonous. Because if you have children around the table, and they will think of it as some nice fruit, and they put it in their mouth; that's something you don't want.
And what about allergies?
Many people are allergic to flowers, but that is also something that is very closely related to the fragrance. Flowers that are very smelly, like lilies for instance, those are the flowers that actually cause a lot of allergies. Again: roses are very safe. Not many people are allergic to roses.
What I do see a lot of times on an event is that backstage before you go on stage, you see the flowers for the speakers lying on the ground.
And then my heart is bleeding when I see those bouquets on the ground. There's this one person who's responsible for the flowers and he gets the flowers hours before the event starts at the florist. And he puts them backstage, behind the stage. Not in water, not in a bucket of water. Just lying there on the ground. And then the event takes a couple of hours, and then the artist or the speakers receive their flowers and they're still looking okay. But then these people would like to stay a couple of hours at the event itself of course, to have a drink or have a bite to eat. And then they go home and in the very best of cases they put it in the water when they come home, but sometimes they leave it for the day afterwards, and then if you put the flowers in water, they're going to drop their heads...
And then that's the fault of the florist.
Then that's a bad florist. So what happens if a stem of a flower is without water for a couple of hours? It's like a bottle of wine, when you put the cork on. There's no possibility the water is going to enter that stem again. So in an ideal world, you would have to cut all the stems for at least one centimetre. But who is going to do that? I don't think anybody does that. So please: if you have some beautiful bouquets, if you spend money on beautiful flowers to give to the speakers and the artists, put them in a bucket of water. You go the extra mile for your suit, for your shoes, for the food... Well, go the extra mile for the flowers also.
We'll take care of them, Lies. Thank you very much for coming over.
And you at home: thank you for watching our show. I hope to see you next week!