Entertaining on a Large Scale (from the non-professional)

Farrell plans major corporate events on a daily basis. I, on the other hand, just attended my first one. Here are some observations and what I learned:
  • The Venue: The event I attended was at Cipriani 42nd in New York. It was really beautiful. Beyond just creating a memorable atmosphere, a visually interesting venue has some other perks. Namely, if the event flops (or if people are at a loss for conversation), at least everyone can stand around saying, "Wow, this is an amazing space."
  • The Flowers: NOW I understand why people use tall arrangements. Proportion, proportion, proportion... The table linens were purple, and the jury is still out on that. However, they did complement the flowers nicely, and the planners probably wanted something bold that would not be lost in the ballroom.
  • The Food: I am pretty sure Farrell is going to post about this at a later date, but buffet dinners are very tricky indeed. Often the food is not hot enough. Additionally, everyone is up and down and it makes for difficult conversation. And yes, you can have a wide variety of food, but really sometimes THAT much choice means that everything is mediocre, and nothing is fabulous (and as all men will point out, everyone really just wants shrimp cocktail anyway.) Which leads me to...
  • The Band: Suffice to say that when a band performs everything from At Last by Etta James to Hips Don't Lie by Shakira, there might be problems. Look for a band with a cohesive style that works for them and your event.
  • The Alcohol: The Bellini was featured, and some of you may remember how I love a champagne cocktail. Clearly I enjoyed this aspect of the evening.

In summary, I think the bottom line is that too much variety is risky, no matter what the scale of your party. It can be overwhelming and difficult to manage, both for the guests and the staff. In my opinion, it is better to offer fewer choices, but offer the best and make sure it is executed perfectly. After all, a delicious Bellini, heavy chocolate cake and vaulted ceilings can make any night special. - LG

1 comment:

MC said...

I totally agree about the band, the fundraiser ball that I worked on always uses the same band because they think they are fabulous. I think it is terrifying when middle aged men play Sexy Back and elderly people dance to it.