As we look forward to a stellar 2016, I reached out to my
colleagues who handle major events within their designated market
segments. I thought a quick “do’s and don’t’s”
list from the best in the industry would be helpful to our readers.
Non-Profit Gala (Rob Arango):
Do: Prepare a timeline that gets your guests out by 9:15PM - How do you do this? Preset your appetizer, short video, short speeches and dessert down by 8:50.
Do: Provide a gift bag worthy of wanting to take home, i.e. 1 or 2 great items like a candle or a fabulous book
Don’t: forget the organization and their mission – The Sylvia Center Gala has the children who just learned to cook prepare the seasonal vegetables and sides from Katchkie Farms
Don’t: Offer 101 silent auction items- instead have signature guest experiences, i.e. trips, golf outings, celebrity meet & greets, etc.
Corporate (Erin Wiggins):
Do: Leave time for breaks so guests can mill around and network with each other
Do: Double check your presentations & run of show timing – watch your budget’s overtime!
Don’t: Undercut your numbers - if there are more guests than planned for, it could have an impact on quantity of food and quality of service. We need to make sure our guests expectations are exceeded!
Don’t: Ship boxes that aren’t labeled properly – everyone knows that horrible feeling when you’re missing that hugely important box - and it's not a good one!
Movie Premiere (Mike Warren):
Do: They’ve been in a premiere for 2 hours, guests come hungry and thirsty, make the food & bar accessible and plentiful
Do: Since guests arrive at the same time, coat check must be strategically placed and appropriately staffed – the last thing you want is to wait on line to get into a party. And it’s even worse when trying to leave
Don’t: Sacrifice buffets and bars for furniture and décor, as a mentor of mine used to say: “function over form not form over function”
Don’t: skimp on security, the bigger the star, the bigger the team - it's better to be safe than sorry with security!
Wedding (Emily Reifel):
Do: Keep your hair and makeup artist with you through the ceremony – you will be sure to love your photos
Do: Have a small bridal party, in this case, quality over quantity is key – try to keep it to five or under
Don’t: Bring too many guests to your tasting – there are too many important decisions to be made to be filled with distractions!
Don’t: Let your family and friends run too long with a toast – and for sure no swearing!