An event usually starts with an idea, one tiny thread that starts the ball rolling and then magically starts to collect other bits and pieces as the event begins to take shape. Sometimes the ball is rolling so fast that you loose handle on that first, all important thread. It gets jumbled up, tied in knots and buried in the snow ball. The problem is that the thread is usually deeply connected to the reason the event is happening in the first place, be it branding or a message or simply a core purpose. That reason can easily get lost in the jumble if you don't carefully FOLLOW THE THREAD. The event might be fabulous and successful in many ways, but if the thread is lost it likely didn't live up to it's full potential.
When planning an event; identify the thread...the purpose or message...then write it down, build your elements around it and regularly refer back. Is the thread still clear? Can you follow it through all the layers and details? It doesn't have to be a neon light woven through your event design but ask yourself if what you are building is going to allow your attendees to be aware of the thread? (However subtle and seamless you want it to be.)
If the answers are no, then it's time to take stock, clear away some of the elements and get a firmer grasp. The thread should inform all the choices you make and in the end your event will be more cohesive, your messaging will be clearer and your guest's experience will be richer.