Party Designer in the making…
This week I wanted to share with everyone the experience of organising my first event, which took place in London last night. The event was a networking evening for Women In Facilities Management to promote the concept of ‘feeding the mind, and not just the body’. The idea looks into how being more conscious about what you eat could have an affect on your energy levels throughout the day.
PLANNING: I came to realise that the initial planning is the most important thing!.. the more you cover in advance, the less chasing up you have to do later on. Through going to the initial client meetings, you need to make sure you understand exactly what they want and their expectations of the event. Every little detail needs to be thought about, because if just one thing is forgotten it could have a big impact on the overall event.
WHERE: Our venue was the Good Housekeeping Cookery School… a perfect location in the heart of Soho. The Cookery School has recently been refurbished to an exceptional standard providing state of the art display kitchens along with a blank canvas event space. The display kitchens make it perfect for interactive foodie events, which helps to bring a little theater to the evening!
STYLING: Given that the Good Housekeeping logo is red, we thought it appropriate to use this as a theme for the evening. Through using red lighting and wonderful red posies to finish off the poseur tables, it became the perfect atmosphere for the night. Our sustainable seeded menus were also another highlight, as guests were fascinated to hear that you could tear them up when you get home and plant them in the garden (as a result you will grow some wild flowers). Creativity really helps to engage with the guests, and if they are interested, you know it will be a night to remember!
DRINKS: The drinks were fabulous; a bespoke WIFM Collins or an Autumn Pimm’s… whats not to love about that?! The guests thoroughly enjoyed going to the bar and hearing all about the creations of these delightful concoctions by our exceptional barmen; Will and Daniele. Sadly I was drinking the non-alcoholic Pomegranate Cooler, because that’s what Party Designers have to do… however I must say it was delicious and the bonus was that I didn’t wake up with a hangover!
FOOD: Our talented chefs Pete, Darren, Scott and Nuno executed the food demonstrations to a phenomenal standard; they were clear, concise and ever so charming; which as a result had the guests locked into their world of culinary delights. We must also not forget the wonderful ladies, Lily and Tabitha, who delivered the canape service in perfect detail, whilst charming all the guests.
SUCCESS? Yes, everyone said that they had a wonderful time. One person even described it as the best WIFM event so far… I cannot complain about feedback like that!! The goody bags provided by Good Housekeeping, with a few little Inn or Out extras, were the finishing touch on what was a fabulous evening.
WHAT COULD I IMPROVE? I needed tealights for the poseur tables. At the initial meetings in early August the clients said that we didn’t need tealights because it was still light outside… but that was august! It’s now getting dark at 7pm and we did indeed need tealights. This is one of the little details that have an impact on the overall event. I’m sure the guests didn’t even notice, but as a party designer, I most certainly did. However, I have learnt my lesson and that is a mistake that won’t be made again!
The most important thing to remember is to keep the beaming smile, interact with the guests, make sure everyone is having a great time and most importantly, always remain calm. If everything looks and appears to be wonderful, it will indeed be a wonderful event!
Was it exhausting? yes. Were my feet sore? yes. Would I do it all over again? hell yes!
Until next time…
Nicholas Aldridge – Party Designer (in the making)