In our previous blog post, we took a look at the numerous events we attended this fall. And although our days don’t always consist of getting dressed up and rubbing elbows with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, we attend our fair share of events. We are also fresh out of planning mode from our own big event, our grand opening ribbon cutting, and so we know just how much is involved with throwing an event. We invited event stylist extraordinaire Michelle Martinetti of Styled Celebrations to share some tips for planning and executing a memorable corporate event.
Planning a corporate event – whether it’s for a staff party or extravagant fundraiser – can be a huge undertaking. In a world where time is at a premium and stress comes too easily, following these tips can help it be memorable.
1. Determine the type of event: Take a look at your goal and guest list to determine the type and timing of your event. Is it a fundraiser? A client holiday party? Are your guests business professionals? How much are you asking them to spend to attend? Knowing the demographic of your guests and what your end goal is will help determine if your event is a gala, sit-down dinner, luncheon, cocktail hour, brunch, or another type of event.
Michelle’s tip: Think outside of the box! If you are planning a fundraising event, there are only so many luncheons, auctions and fundraising galas that people can attend. Consider holding something less traditional, such as a wine tasting, local artists auction, or, for a more relaxed crowd, a sporting event or barn dance.
2. Choose a theme: Themes and color schemes can be based on type of event, time of year, message of the event, and more. A theme may come naturally, especially if an event is to celebrate a holiday.
Michelle’s Tip: If your event is more traditional, like a dinner or luncheon, have some fun with the theme! For instance, host a masquerade ball, a Las Vegas night, or a Caribbean theme. I absolutely love theme parties, as long as the elements remain tasteful and toned down. These tend to be the most memorable and talked about events.
3. Stick to your chosen theme: Keep the theme consistent throughout all elements of the event. Invitations, signage, favors, centerpieces, place settings, floral arrangements, and other décor should reflect cohesiveness to avoid the “pieced together” look.
Michelle’s Tip: List, research, and repeat. Start by writing down every styled detail in your event, from invitations to centerpieces to floral arrangements and beyond. Create a style board with all the items needed, photos of theme elements, and ideas you may have liked at other events.
4. Keep it simple: Tying too many elements into your table designs or room décor will make an event space seem crowded and chaotic, as will bringing in multiple themes or sub-themes.
Michelle’s Tip: Stick to one theme and color scheme. That doesn’t mean that if your color scheme is mauve, every aspect of the event must be mauve, but you should choose coordinating and complimentary colors. If you are having a holiday theme, don’t bring in every aspect of Christmas so it looks like Brooklyn’s “Dyker Lights” in December. Choose your favorite aspect of the holiday to focus on and expand on that.
5. Consult a Stylist: Stylists can offer their ideas and creative expertise to your theme, saving you hours of time in research and item creation or acquisition. They will also work well coordinating with your other event vendors such as the venue, florist, caterer and others.
No matter what type of event you have, planning for it will help ensure that it’s successful and memorable.