Our society has put the cocktail party concept on a pedestal. There are many reasons for this. They are glamorous, they are easy to plan, they are inexpensive, they give you the ability to experiment with food and drink and often, they give hosts more flexibility. People enjoy attending cocktail parties because it also gives them the flexibility. They can be flexible in what they wear, they can eat beforehand and not worry about the food situation and they do not have to commit the entire evening to being away from home. There is also something less ‘serious’ about a cocktail party that fosters conversation and networking. You can meet people at a cocktail party rather than getting to know your table at a dinner.
Our mantra is generally to keep things simple when they need to be. While a lot goes into a cocktail party, keeping the look and feel simple will likely keep your guests chatting and flowing throughout the room. Creating a theme to go along with the event may help. It seems that whenever we suggest a theme for an event, our clients often spurn at the idea. Perhaps it’s because they may think we’re suggesting something outlandish like an 80s party or a masquerade ball. Yes, these types of events are always a good time but maybe your function does not call for that.
When we say theme, we recommend something subtler, like the music playing in the background, the string quartet that you may higher or even a color palette that runs throughout the room. It allows you to set the tone to achieve your goals for the function.
Our team loves helping clients with these affairs because of all the great brainstorming it allows while not getting bogged down by budgets, speakers, A/V equipment or specialized linens. We can work with event planners and coordinators to select from a larger pool of venues, design a theme to create and curate an experience that their guests will not forget. Without all the bells and whistles that often go into some productions, we can skinny it down to produce even bigger results! Even if it has all the bells and whistles, it will appear like it doesn’t. How’s that for a theme?