With a client list that includes the likes of Ferrari, L’Oreal,
Christies and Caterpillar, Stones Events Managing Director Tom Goodwin
offers his tips on what’s on trend for 2014:
1. Most people
probably receive an abundance of invites every year to parties and
corporate events. So to ensure you get the best possible turn out, your
invitation needs to not only be a reflection of the event, but the start
of a journey. It needs to be provocative enough to grab people’s
attention, gain their interest and then create a desire to attend the
event. Something that makes people curious and want to talk and
speculate about is a must (think The Great Gatsby parties).
media can help you create and build the hype surrounding your event. By
setting up exclusive accounts on channels like Facebook and Twitter,
you can encourage guests to interact before the event and give them easy
access to any information they may require. A great way to do this is
to create behind the scenes sneak peaks as the preparations unfold (“our
gold plated trays have just been shipped in from China” or “our silk
scarves have just arrived from Milan”). An introduction to the chef
preparing your food for the evening would be great too. This is also a
reliable way to gain feedback after the event.
2. Themes and
styles for events in 2014 are simple, elegant and sophisticated. It’s
about creating an overall vibe that should be reflected in everything
you organise, from how the guests are greeted on arrival to the
decorations, food and entertainment.
The cocktail party vibe will
still be big in 2014 but traditional classics will be spiced up with a
molecular twist. Think quirky elements like smoke and fire alongside
flavours like lavender and basil. The idea is to give your guests the
feel of being more than a VIP (a label that has been overused). They
want to feel exclusive and that they are experiencing the ultimate in
luxury. Waiters can become butlers and cocktails can be served from an
exquisitely designed bar.
Themes are a way of expressing your
brand’s ideals, and every element of an event can be reflected within
them, from the invitation design to creative photography and
videography. Try filming the event on Super 8mm film or a HD effect.
the event is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, people tend to want a
beautiful snapshot of the event, and short films shared on Youtube or
vintage prints on social media are great ways to continue the hype long
after the event. If people are still talking about it in years to come
then you know it was a great success.
Even the furniture can
match the theme and we are often asked to bring in our interior
designers to help create amazing backdrops.
3. We believe 2014
will see the return of plated classic menu choices, using best of
British ingredients. Canapés are one way to create the wow factor and we
are presenting them in increasingly unusual ways. Our chef recently
themed an entire menu around the colours of a company logo, meanwhile at
the eleven launches of the Ferrari 458 Speciale, all the unique
cocktails created were based on the colours and names of Ferraris and
racing drivers. These finishing touches give the event a unique feel and
will give your guests something to talk about.
technology into your event shows that you are at the cutting edge of
your industry. Greet guests by using an iPad check in system and set up
iPad valet parking. If you are doing anything with a charity angle then
make sure you use the latest iBid software, which gives attendees an
interactive way to pledge or take part in a silent auction.
The entertainment really is an important part of any event and should
not just be an afterthought. For corporate parties the whole event can
be used as a chance to entertain your guests and we are seeing a real
trend towards turning your party into a stage. Think about the way you
welcome guests to the event. For example, we recently organised a party
where a bongo player greeted guests as they arrived. Later he played
with the DJ and to finish the night he performed with the singer. We
have also recently seen a hypnotist and a world class balancing act at
an event, so think about how your entertainment reflects your chosen
theme and gives the guests something to remember.
6. Finally, as
previously mentioned, ensure you give attendees an experience that goes
beyond the few hours they are actually there. Maybe arrange an after
party, which has a less corporate feel to it. Or if your event already
has a late finish, how about a morning breakfast, or a beautiful
champagne brunch with the breakfast being served in the form of canapes.
Ensure all your guests are looked after from start to finish, even
booking hotel rooms for them. This will make them feel important and
encourage them to attend more events with you in future.
Any comments? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org